Nele's Thoughts

Dear You Who Still Thinks Heterosexual Marriage Is Forced And Inevitable

So, I saw your tweets as regards the inevitability of LGBT persons getting married due to either family pressure or a sense of frustration (I am not sure that is what you said exactly, but it leaned towards that).

Quite typical of the looming ideology of most average Nigerian gay persons, I must say. But look, I know it’s hard, everyone knows how hard it is, not just here but in most parts of the world, if we are to stretch it that far.

It is with great honour though, that I get to break it to you, no matter how hard it is, or may seem, getting married out of ‘compulsion’ (which I’d dissect a little) to an unsuspecting person is nothing short of evil, and a great disservice to your person. I have nothing against marriages, it is highly understandable the need for a companion that will last us forever, having a long lasting union (with who we love) to build beautiful things with, and the many other subjective reasons involved, so yes conjugation is a mighty good thing, but not at the detriment of another, never at that, it becomes something else altogether.

Also, saying that for every gay Nigerian that forced, or pressurized marriage with someone of the other angle is unavoidable goes to show how much disregard people still have for their sexuality. Owing to how society has struggled, and quite sadly succeeded in painting, writing, and showcasing us, in a way that many still feel a lot of shame, and disgust for being their true selves it is understandable that be an unconscious thing, maybe a temporary nag, a thought that comes off orientation and an unbalanced indoctrination, but in our world now in rapid change, with information at your fingertips, virtual queer communities suffused with relatable informations and healthy guidelines through hopeful experiences shared regularly, and of course introspection right inside of you,( although this has to be stoked sometimes) you have no excuse, not one, to justify, and or boil our sexuality to a unique game of sex that probably ends when you have gotten ‘common sense’ to get married to an heterosexual person.

For heavens sakes, why do you think people are sacrificing their time, resources, emotions, and the many pains involved to fight for our rights? Why do you think, Nigerian LGBT activists and other non-identifying freedom fighters, stay up all night trying to find ways to say to the general public taught to regard homosexuality as nothing better than disastrous or felonious (all religious factors noted)? Why do you think these people get off their comfort zones to counter the toxic logic of the general public with something more true to our persons and our experiences?

Why do you think there are spaces where people come to feel loved, sheltered, and included? Why do you think we do not deserve to love openly ( tell me I have read too much into it, and I will vigorously agree), and good radiance to the days of we just wanting to love and maybe not get married, we want to get married! Because our lives in no way affects the country in the glory of it’s fractured sense of morals in a bad way, but instead preaches a better kind of living, a character of people more righteous than the claims of most religious persons swarming our voices over (I know somewhat harsh, but it is true!). The average Nigerian LGBT person with a full understanding and acceptance of who they are tend to inhabit most of the virtues most religious persons fail at, yet claim to have.

What am I saying in essence? You need to change your ideology. Being gay is nothing, not bad( daming society), not special. It simply means being you, the way God (and anything else you believe in) fashioned you to be, and once you begin to understand that, I am sure you will find reason in sticking to your kind (if you feel so genuinely), and saving an unsuspecting person the hurt from an inexorably unfaithful union, (let’s call a spade a spade).

And still on that note, being gay isn’t synonymous to being a sex preoccupied individual, (a little digress here, it is so astounding how much we don’t know, and refuse to know, how much we misconstrue and refuse to correct). Stop letting the people whose minds we are trying to change see us as nothing more than deranged sexual objects, because if you think their opinions or tolerance doesn’t matter, it does! I know of experiences where heterosexual people encountered homosexuals through perversity; the gay person forcing themselves on the straight person, now how else do you think they will keep seeing that probably cultured person on their street if not in light of repulsion and hate, not that this is justifying homophobia attacks (apparently there is a need to spell things out this days), it just says a lot of bad things about people who actually comprehend their sexuality beyond the ambits of sex.

The raunchy, and constant suggestion of sex is not how to show love, or express who you are. Use your thoughtful words. Use your sensitive actions. Use your optimistic disposition. Be human (and be imperfect at it). Show people that your life, our lives do not boil down to we constantly doing things with our genitals. Show people that being gay doesn’t mean you cannot produce excellently at work. Show people that being gay doesn’t mean you aren’t human who can make silly mistakes, and want silly (but please not disastrous) wants. Show people (if you can) that your all round happiness, not pinched, or halfheartedly tolerated, matters.

And most importantly, show people that there are other ways to make their and your families happy (if it means that much to you), by doing and being what makes you happy, that which isn’t at the expense of another.

This is 2018, support what the people who can stand for us are doing, support it by understanding the need for it, support by discouraging a chain of toxic existence, support by being with whoever who truly love, because love deserves that much. I, you, we deserve that much.

Nele’s Thoughts is a column run by Nigerian Writer Nele Anju. Click here for more posts.

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