Nele's Thoughts, Op-Ed

Some Easy (recurrent and ignorantly) Tested and Still (sadly) Surviving Ways Of Being a (Nigerian) Homophobe

1.
This is really important, which of course is why it is the first thing up here, as it rules every thought, ideology, perception and action that homophobes and prospective ones live by when it comes to us LGBTQ persons. Which is to have absolutely no/ridiculously minimal knowledge of what it means for people to exist differently from the way you do, but most importantly; to disregard the validity of that existence with a wonky defense.
(Trust me, it works like magic!)

2.
Rely on what you hear from other homophobes who heard it from other homophobes, who heard it from other homophobes who told the people who told the people who told you because, although acknowledging the inevitability of our (permanent and very much real) existence, they cannot handle diversity and a change reaching for the light that used to be turned away from it.
By (yes, you’’ve got it!) this same people up there.

3.
Join the IT IS NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH NATURE mantra, but never ask yourself in the confines of your organic lives, what truly is natural about our human lives?

Does the fact that you come to the knowledge of something -that has been misunderstood for a long time and judged on a frankly absurd and subjective scale- you previously weren’t used to but which isn’t out to do your life any harm (not even spiritually, but hey! There’s that possibility now, you know with the preposterous law you endorsed, but whose wrath, by any form of illogical association you aren’t excluded from? I wonder why homophobes don’t make jokes about that, great comedy material innit?) make it any less valid?

4.
Don’t ever see queer persons as humans. For what now? Do I want you to be able to practice the love of God you claim to hold steady to your bossoms?
(By the way I feel this should have been number one, you all tend to (unknowingly) see yourselves as anything but human, seems too much to expect you to see someone else as one)

5.
Don’t ever do your research. Why now? When you can just use your data to spew hatred into a public space where a young person can pick it up and plunge swiftly into bouts of insecurity and self-hate. (Really, one of the best ways to be a terrible person, you can say I told you so.)
Even if you do, that is when you must have been prompted to after a thorough Twitter or Facebook comment section lashing, (my people are fierce like that, you’re brave hating us the way you do, I’d like to think you have no idea who you’re dealing with.), you musn’t believe what is right in your eyes. Disregard it as some subjective ‘Western’ article, and don’t listen to the tugging in your belly, asking to let the hate go.

And because you will not listen, although in some cases you might, as many before you do, engage obsolete materials to solidify your spite, which at this point makes us sound like lab rats. Newsflash: we don’t need you to deal with it like you can’t see how much a part of us it is, we just need you to start embracing our collective reality. Fast! (For your own good.)

6.
Don’t ever engage a queer person to explain things to you.

7.
Don’t question where your hate is from, (society or yourself? Yep! Highly possible).

8.
Join yet again the IT IS NOT IN OUR CULTURE arena, and don’t ever pick up a book or an insightful article to actually know what our culture really is(most especially the parts politicos wouldn’t want you to know about).

9.
Don’t ever consider us capable of love, why? Are we not just sexual deviants (which reminds me, you should check your stats)

10.
Finally, always forget that queer bodies owe you no explanation, neither an apology, nor an expectation of “tolerance”, but rather deserve a well grounded measure of respect and acknowledgement of our unwavering existence.

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

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