Kene Richard: Selective Judgement

So a colleague came to our table yesterday, he looked around for a bit then said:

“ehen Kene! you are the one who can help me”

He asked for ideas for a date, I started to help but some how I was irked and it took a few seconds to understand why.

Unlike him, I couldn’t go on dates and enjoy it to the fullest. On a date in public, you usually hide half of your emotions, and when you do get to show it all, you are hiding in a room.

I was jealous and somewhat vindictive, torn between sharing all my dream date ideas, and not helping at all. I like many other people, have a list of activities I would love to openly and publicly do with the one I care about. Alas, I can’t handle the social backlash that will follow.
I cringed as I shared my dream dates, swiftly replacing the pronouns as we have trained ourselves to do.

More often than not, when I write about my sexuality as a gay man, I just want to write about the subtle public experiences I am deprived of having because its socially unacceptable: hand holding, resting on your partner’s shoulder, feeding, staring at each other and so on. It generally makes me apathetic about sex and/or love, since I can’t be/do everything I would want to be/do.

What kind of cognitive dissonance allows a straight man find loopholes to explain heterosexual fornication, rape, non-consensual sex and underage marriage but be disgusted at the mere thought of gays. Someone once said to me, “if we allow homosexuality, pedophiles would soon be demanding for rights as well. We have to draw the line somewhere.” With this statement (which is rooted in homophobia), one can almost assume that Pedophilia is the sexual attraction of an older person to a child of the same sex, regardless of the countless news of fathers raping daughters or other female children, teachers raping students of the opposite sex etc. Unfortunately the stupidity in their logic is not visible to them.

It’s like they live their lives basking in the warmth of hypocrisy; the average heterosexual male does not know what personal boundaries are, until a gay guy approaches them or their immediate female family members are involved. The average heterosexual female can fully understand oppression, subjugation, equal rights and feminism until you bring in homosexuality, then they quote the same bible that forbids women from speaking in certain circles. Frankly, I as well am unable to grasp this logic that requires me to go through high levels of mental gymnastics.

There are a lot of parties this season. My male friends say to me “make we go, babes go dey” because I am what can be defined as “straight acting” even though they have raised eyebrows regarding my sexuality. The girls say “hope fine guys will be there”, and i want to say “IKR”. Alas, i just turn down the invites, or accept them and shove alcohol down my throat.

Why are people allowed to eat pork, molest, divorce, wear two different pieces of clothing, shave their beards even though the bible explicitly doesn’t allow it, but we are not allowed to love?
why do they find loop holes for themselves that can’t accommodate our love?
Why are we punished for our identity?
Why do they think it is a choice and no one has ever opted for a change of sexuality?
At what age did they decide to be heterosexual and if they do not have the ability to change their sexuality,  why do they think we do?

So many question so little time.

Kene Richard (a pen name) is a Nigerian Writer based in Lagos.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this Op-Ed by the Writer are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rustin Times.

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