My gay life in Nigeria – Isolation, danger & fear

Published: November 20, 2014

MAMBA
Ethan Regal
Original Article:  bit.ly/1vx8rWd

When I was a young boy in Lagos, Nigeria, I had a mysterious, unexplainable tingling sensation whenever I saw an attractive guy. The stories I heard regarding romance involved a boy and girl. So I thought to myself: maybe I’m a girl deep down. That seemed like the only explanation for my attraction.

I kept thinking that maybe God made a mistake. Perhaps I was meant to be a girl. I never had issues with my body. I wasn’t interested in getting rid of my penis or growing breasts. I just thought that in order to be with a boy I have to be a girl.

Gay people in Nigeria were invisible – constantly hiding. We never had TV series or movies with gay characters so I was confused. All I knew was that people discussed homosexuality with so much disgust.

At the age of nine or ten, depression kicked in as I realised my family would hate me if they learnt the truth. Even in school, I was bullied by classmates. My friends made fun of my femininity. I tried to blend in by playing sports but I was terrible. I had only one friend and he was feminine as well – but not gay.

The two of us were frequently bullied, physically and emotionally. Most nights we contemplated suicide. We even talked about poisoning the guys who attacked us. It sounds crazy but picture yourself in a boarding house stuck in there day and night for months with boys relentlessly attacking you.

Here in Nigeria I haven’t met a single gay guy, at least not one that I know of. I have tried chatting to some men through Grindr but I fear someone might track me and arrest or kill me.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1vx8rWd

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