IF YOU SAY YOU ARE GAY IN AFRICA,
YOU MAY LOSE EVERYTHING.
BUT THEN, I AM.
When I first told my ex-wife that I was gay, we were far from being married. I wanted her to find other men honorably, who had a thing for women. I never did. I ‘swear down.’ I was only obeying the popular demand of traditions. Now, this was my terrible mistake. No one should live their life based on dogmas and other people’s expectations. As far as I could remember, even though I was always dating girls, I had always preferred being with a man. I had fought it with every fiber of spirituality in me as a Pentecostal preacher boy (find details and journeys in my book ‘THE EXODUS.’) The more I fought my sexual preference for men, the more I became more miserable. Unfortunately, as erroneously believed, sex wasn’t the problem. I had been having sex with women as far back as a twelve-year-old. Sexuality is whom we are emotionally present with, not whom we are sleeping with.
One of those pre-marriage days, while we were with our marriage counseling team, I brought up the issue again – that I had always had a preference for men. I wanted the Ministers to dissuade her from the marriage. I just couldn’t put a ring on a fat big lie. My father taught me one principle: DIE FOR YOUR OWN TRUTH, EVEN IF IT'S UNPOPULAR, BUT DON'T HARM OTHERS WITH IT. She was so happy to tell the ministers, as quickly as she could, that my feelings for men would all be gone, because she believed it was a childhood disorder. I guess she meant she was going to fck my brains into heterosexuality. This is a mistake a lot of us make. We all want to change people to conform to our preferences. We find it easier to play god in the lives of people we did not make.
After six years together, I knew I was not getting any better. I STILL LOVED MEN. And one day, because I didn’t want to cheat on her, I humbly asked her that we should go our separate ways. That was when all hell broke loose. She suddenly forgot about how it all started. In court, she told the Judge how she suddenly found out that I was gay, and how it’s against the Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In other words, she wanted me sentenced to the new 14 years jail term served by the Nigerian government. Luckily, I was in a civil court. Sadly, that day, I had to duck my face in shame as the crowd jeered at me for being whom I had always been. 'You faggot' 'Oh what a shameful man!' 'homo!' 'Na wa o ' I still don’t know how I walked out of the court premises that day. ( this case is still ongoing) What about my business.? Tell any client in Nigeria that you are gay, and you lose their business. That’s exactly what happened. I lost friends, businesses, sponsorships and family members. I had to start my life all again. Applied for a new job. Get back to school. Although my ex-wife is one of the most faithful and beautiful women in Nigeria, she is a victim of institutionalized homophobia. Just like many people who are reading this.
It will be exactly a year today, when Nigeria instituted a law to jail people like me. What’s our offense? Because we are simply wired differently. There are only about 5 to 10% of homosexuals in every population as cited by popular findings and documents. Why is a 90% dominant population afraid of its 10%? Shouldn’t you care about us? Don’t you think it’s a lot easier to be seen as part of the 90%? And before you throw those religious verses at us for being wired differently, I want to leave you with my favorite Bible verses from Romans 8:Italics mine:
That Nothing Can Separate Us from ( the universal narrative of ) God’s Love
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son ( in the popular narratives according to the Christian Faith ) but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one...
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in ( in the narrative of ) Christ Jesus our Lord.