Dating while gay is hard.
Now, dating while gay and Nigerian is the ultimate struggle. Plus, Instagram doesn’t make it easy for the boys. Everyone is presenting the best version of themselves so you better get in formation or there is no hope for you. I probably should just paint a scenario for you.
So you on Instagram just minding your business and checking out profiles because Grindr is casted. You see a fresh looking guy with 20 posts, 900 following and 15k followers. He is looking hot and his pictures are artsy; giving the impression that he is not trying too hard. You think to yourself, ‘this is probably a great guy.’ We probably might have the same interests and you see that you guys can bond over your love for SZA because he put up a post jamming to her music. The problem is how do you get him to follow you back so that you can slide into his DM.
After careful consideration, you hit that follow button and like 10 of his pictures. He is bound to notice especially since you not doing badly yourself. You have 1000 posts, you follow 2k Instagram users and you have 3k followers. In the league of random guys, you king! He finally follows you back and you quickly send that message. You don’t want to be too desperate so you say something like “Hi. Thank you for the follow back.” Homeboy is not having any of that because he doesn’t even respond. After three weeks of liking pictures back and forth, you send him another DM, complimenting his recent post. He says thank you and then after small talk, he shuts you up with ‘k.’
Come on, who does that?
Fast forward to three months later, you see the Instagram dude at a party.You go say hi and he doesn’t even send you. Like homie has no fucks to give. Let us not forget that said party is already a chore because everyone is in a clique and is not trying to mingle. It is like everyone is in competition with the next person. No one is saying anything or interacting outside their circle until there is alcohol.
It is just a mess.
I am not saying this is the reality for every gay man in Nigeria but I think a number of us can relate to this. If this is not the case, you probably have met someone who just wants to smash and not commit because “this is just a game” and “we are not going to end up married.” When you are in University, your peers don’t want to date you because you are young and not experienced. They will rather be with someone who is older and more experienced. When you get out of university, the older guys think you are too young and probably just want to sleep with you and bounce. When you get older, your peers want to smash younger boys because they don’t want to commit to a man. They just need a side piece to fuck when their wife is out of town.
I guess this is just a manifestation of the society that we live in. We have been told over again that being gay is an abnormality. We have raised men to believe that the end goal is having a wife and some kids. We are constantly told that homosexuality is the express visa to hell fire. I guess I should not be surprised when gay men refuse to commit. Why should they? Relationships require a lot of work and commitment for both parties but should there be a commitment when there is no end goal in sight? Some gay people don’t even believe in marriage. They make statements like “leave marriage for heterosexuals. That is how it has been ordained.” The effects of homophobia in our communities are more dangerous than we like to admit. It will remain the same cycle of lies, with husbands on the down low, afraid to admit to their wives that they do not love them the way they will love to be loved.
Who is going to break the cycle? Who will teach the next generation that it is OK to love who you want to love? Who will let them know that it is OK for them to marry the same sex and that they can raise a family regardless? Research has shown that children raised in same sex households turn out the same as children in heterosexual households. There is a need to kill the myth and challenge these stereotypes that have affected our dating culture as gay men.
Ultimately, I want to meet someone and fall in love and have that fairy tale life on television but I guess that is just a pipe dream. The chances of Buhari fighting corruption is higher than any chance of me falling in love in Nigeria.
I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that it’s just going to be my hands and Breed it Raw.
Tomiwa Yakubu (a pen name) is a banker who lives in Abuja with his partner. His hobbies are taking long hikes and traveling across Africa.