Discovering oneself as a Nigerian Homo. How does it sound right now? Homosexuality in Nigeria is an often under expressed topic. Part of man’s growth process involves attaining that stage in life where we sit back to discover our sexual preferences. Here, we focus on homosexuality and the path to discovery.
How about waking one morning, and your twenty year old son brings home his partner, a he?
The country we live in, is home to homosexuals. Even though we fail to recognize they are here, they still live and breathe the oxygen that you breathe.
Discovering your sexuality..
Most Nigerians are religious fanatics. We believe everything and anything our cleric says and we live our lives on the thread of the scriptural book. Any practice, word, action or occurrences that doesn’t align with the scripture is considered immoral. More so, abnormal and most times, illegal as in the case of homosexuality in Nigeria.
Your guess is as good as mine. Nigerians are not so welcoming of the same sex relationship/marriage idea – especially Gen X – our parent’s generation.
This isn’t just an issue in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the conversation has been on the mouth of many people all over the world. While some people think every individual has the right to choose whatever sexual preference they desire; some others are of the opinion that same sex relationship shouldn’t exist, hence the imbalance in societal opinion.
What is sexuality?
Sexuality is an integral part of every human – it is about your behavior, attraction, thoughts and sexual feelings towards others. Sexuality is unique to each individual. Therefore, discovering your sexuality is an exciting momentum except that the society are inherently homophobic. Society would not hesitate to discriminate a sexual preference that doesn’t fit into their standard.
It was discovered that a lot of homosexuals in Nigeria hide in their closet for the longest. And quite long before they eventually dawn the courage to open up about their sexuality. Many queers forcefully lived false lives just to earn the validation of the society, friends and family members. There are instances where parents disowned their children because they announced their sexual preferences as homosexuals.
Homosexuality in Nigeria.
More than 88% of homosexuals are innate, while others are genetic and by choice. Hence, it can be discovered that many queers do not have the choice of selecting who they get attracted to or not.
The attraction and discovery often starts at a very young age; say, teenage and adolescence.
In an interview with a queer man at a magazine media, he mentioned that he gradually began to notice how he often likes associating around his male friends than female, then it graduated into attraction and he often gets jealous seeing a guy he likes get cozy with someone else whether male or female. All of this time, he was still in junior secondary school.
Steps to discover your sexuality
The first step in discovering your sexuality as a homosexual is self awareness – you need to be aware of your sexual desires, thoughts, and attractiveness towards others.
Exploring your sexuality is another major part of discovering your sexual preferences – it is advisable that you express your feelings, emotions, thoughts, sexual desire with people you are attracted to – this will help you be certain whether you enjoy being around people of the same sex or not.
Self acceptance is another major factor when coming in terms with your sexuality. You need to understand that your sexual preferences is different from other people and that doesn’t make you less human. Your sexuality is an integral part of your personality, and if you ignore it, you’d be living a false life filled with self-hatred, anxiety and even worse – depression.
Self acceptance would ensure that you love yourself genuinely for who you are – having to come in terms with the fact that you are attracted to the same sex as you and you enjoy their company, as much as other people enjoy the company of the opposite sex.
Although, self – acceptance takes a lot of courage, self respect, self validation and attributes acceptance.
As an homosexual, you would be at peace knowing that you’ve accepted yourself for who you are and not what the society expects from you. Self acceptance would yield self love which is an attribute missing in alot of people.
What to expect
Discovering and accepting yourself as an homosexual is a long phase of different trials considering the atmosphere of our society today. Hence, it should be expectant that opening up as an homosexual might come with criticism, backlash, abuse and if not properly handled well – might lead to depression.
More importantly, it is advisable that you abide by the policy of your country regarding homosexuality – although, that may mean hiding in your closet for the longest. Particularly in situations where the law discriminates the act – but it is better that way till you are in a space where your freedom isn’t determined by your sexual preferences.
In countries where same sex relationship isn’t regarded as a crime, queers are advise to report issues of victimization, discriminatiom and abuse to the appropriate authorities.
Read about Sexuality and mental health Click here.
Generation Z are more accepting of the queer community than our parents’ generation, who absolutely detest the idea of same sex relationship. They find it immoral and not inclined with their doctrine.
It is difficult to understand the concept of gay and lesbianism when most people grew up in a predominantly heterosexual community. Hence, the idea of same sex relationship emerges as strange, awkward and new. Which apparently, many people are not going to terms with.
We recall that in 2014, a bill was passed into law. The same sex marriage prohibition Act which criminalizes same sex marriage, public display of affection between same sex, queers community or even opening a gay club. The law reiterates that same sex relationship was not acceptable in the Nigeria.
Since this ban, once caught in any of these acts, the person can spend up to 14 years in prison.
Since the development of this law, queers in Nigeria have soon understood that the community is not socially accepting of their sexuality. Which means they would have to hide in their closet and be inexpressible of their emotions to public notice.
What is LGBTQ+
The LGBTQ+ is an abbreviation for lesbianism, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other sexualities except heterosexual.
The LGBTQ+ community is a group of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender who stay united by a common feature and social movement; which is to fight and protect the rights and freedom of people who identify with this group. They encourage queer individuality, pride, diversity and sexuality.
The conversation has been ongoing and never ending since the last 10 years all over the world. People speculated that homosexuality can sometimes be innate, genetic and not always by choice, as a lot of people assume. Hence, it is difficult to hide from your true self because the society isn’t accepting of your personality. To be normal, you must fit into their standards of normalcy.
Due to this, many queers suffer depression all over the world. This is more predominant where close relatives and friends are homophobic. Homosexuality in Nigeria as a typical case study. For this, they hide in their closet until they are fully confident to speak. Before coming out of their shell.
Discovering your sexuality as a homosexual comes in different shades of revelation. One can discover this through self awareness, self acceptance, self-love, and courage.
Discrimination follows the coming to light as a Homo. Though that shouldn’t be the yard stick to decide whether you should be your true self or continue to live a false life.
If you do not feel safe as a queer, you should report to the appropriate authorities as your sexuality doesn’t deprive you of your fundamental human right.
Join an homosexual community – it would help you stabilized your courage, terminate loneliness and make you feel the warmth of acceptance for who you truly are.
And to the heterosexual community, be kind to the LGBTQ+. Their mental health is of importance too.