I don’t know what the future holds for me

an invitation to lgbtq+ Africans

I’m a 27 year old gay man (whew, even typing it out feels very liberating) in Nigeria, and my story mirrors that of countless queer people. 

At ten, I kissed a boy and this was a moment of reckoning in which I was able to ascertain my sexuality. I, like many others, grappled and struggled with it because I understood the implication of this, but in due time I came to accept it. I so accepted it that I almost came out to my family but, well, family can sometimes be the biggest detriment to your truest sense of self.

“I’d rather I had never had a son than a gay one.” Those words coming out of my mother’s mouth still haunt me to this very day.

My first romantic relationship didn’t pan out well due to us having trauma we had both not resolved, leading to a very unhealthy dynamic. Then came my friends assimilating by marrying women, which just left me hollow because I knew my day of reckoning was beckoning and I’d have to answer the dreaded question,  “where is your wife?”.

I did plan on my 25th birthday that at my 40th birthday I’d take the power away from them by taking my own life, but am I really reclaiming my power or deluding myself? I remind myself I’m not the only one struggling: there are children being trafficked into sex slavery, trans women who get killed and so many people navigating life with so much fear. Maybe this is my way of coping.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, whether I will choose to come out, assimilate into heteronormativity or reach a place of committing suicide. One thing is sure though: none of the options is an easy path to tread and I’m gonna struggle either way. So say a prayer for me.

To find out how you can share your story with the Quietly Queer Collective, please send an email to forcolourfulgirls(at)gmail(dot)com.

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3 thoughts on “I don’t know what the future holds for me

  1. E says:

    The power is in choice.
    That power has always been and will always be with you.
    Many of us struggle with acceptance, self love and worth… but we must always remember that what we are worth what we say we are.
    How we see ourselves is the most important thing. The rest are opinions from the society not facts…
    The family we’re born into is more like foster home, people who guide us and care for us… when we had nobody.. they didn’t choose us and we didn’t choose them.
    But luckily for us, as we grow into adults, we get to choose our family. These are the ones you share values and likeness with… these are the ones we choose that choose us too.

    It’s okay if some people don’t understand or accept you. As long as you’ve accepted yourself, and you’re willing to live, the universe will align you with those who will.

    Be open minded… the path you seek may not be in your immediate comfort zone be willing to travel far and wide.

    My prayer for you is that you choose life.

    E.

  2. K says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. What you write feels very familiar – feeling out of place, being worried about the future, the suicidal ideation.
    I won’t pretend to know exactly what you’re going through because we each have our individual journeys. But I just want to say that out in this world, there is another queer African rooting for you. I want you to know that you, and the way you love, and the way you express your gender are all beautiful. I can’t tell you what choice to make but I do want to say that within you is an innate light, and innate beauty, that can never be snuffed out by the cruelty that surrounds us. Queer Africans are here. We’ve always been here. Our ancestors are rooting for you, your queer siblings are cheering you on, no matter the distance, there is a golden thread connecting us all. Even if we never meet I hope you know that your are in my thoughts, you are cared about, and you are loved. I hope the journey becomes less painful for you – you deserve to feel peace and joy.
    With love,
    K.

  3. Tola says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope and pray that peace, joy and love find you. Hold on to life, it may be hard and messy but it is definitely worth living. Your story is important and you should continue to share it with the world.

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