I was 10 years old when I started secondary school. I remember very little from that first year, but I haven’t forgotten meeting Victoria.
I’d had many female friends before meeting her, but I remember how very different it was when I first saw her. I should have known in that moment that there was nothing straight about me, but I just thought I really wanted to be friends with her.
Everything about her made me shake with awe. She asked me to be her best friend and I agreed. I remember us holding hands very often. It was a lot for ten year old me to handle; the closeness of our hands and the electricity I felt in those moments. She left school the year after that.
I was 15 years old when I started talking to a girl in the class below mine. She was 15 too. With her, I felt the same way I had felt with Victoria. We did everything together. After a long day at school, when we got back to the hostel, she would come to my room and stay beside me. I remember little from that year, but I remember her. I remember the curves of her body and her face. I remember the way her eyes sparkled when she spoke about music. And I remember thinking ‘this is the one person I want to be with forever’.
I remember a particular Saturday when she came to see me. I remember her playing with my breasts and I remember us going to the bathroom to bathe together. Nobody else knew about that.
I was 16 when I first heard about the legalisation of same sex marriages in the United States. While many people in Nigeria were sad/angry at that, I remember thinking “very soon, it will be legalised in Nigeria, finally I can marry my best friend and be with her forever.”
I was 18 when I realised that I could feel attractions for men and women. I labelled myself ‘bisexual’. It was not a hard fact to accept. I had always known deep down, even though I never admitted it to myself until this point. I was born this way.
I was 19 when I realised the feelings I felt for men, women and people outside the binary were romantic attractions, and not sexual attractions. This was when I realised I was grey-asexual, which means I feel little sexual attraction towards people.
It has been a long and exciting journey of self-discovery and acceptance so far. I have felt so many emotions: fear, guilt, hope, assurance and love. I am grateful for this journey, and happy to be who I was born to be.
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