We Are Still Very Far

2 KD farI wanted to share an entirely different story with you until a dramatic twist of events occurred recently.  It is just how awestruck I am at how far away we are in this fight for gay rights.

We were given diversity projects by our lecturer right here in the USA, where I am currently attending a youth seminar. The project was aimed at making everybody become aware of each other’s diverse cultures. When I was called out to speak, I started my PowerPoint slide showing the different cultures and traditions that exists in my traditional Igbo culture, including the ceremonial wine-carrying by the bride to her groom and how she has to kneel to present him the drink.

This is when the presentation took a huge jaw dropping twist.

A girl raised her hand and asked, “Does the same apply to gay couples?” She, like a significant part of the class, was in her early teens, probably 17 years or so; and when she asked what she did, I was shocked at the directness of the question. I was also bowled over by the fact that everybody else looked expectantly at me, seemingly expecting an answer.

I curtly replied that “gay people are actually imprisoned for 14 years or worse killed.”

This set off some shocked responses from the class. Someone actually let out a “What the fuck! For real?” And I said yes.

This was when things got interesting.

Another girl of probably the same age remarked, “That is really stupid! I am a lesbian, so if I visit Nigeria with my girlfriend, I will be killed?”

I replied, “That is if you go kissing your girlfriend on the streets, then yes, you will be killed.” That put the class in another commotion of arguments and disbelief, with a majority finding it hard to understand why a country would kill or imprison anyone for being gay. I consoled them by saying, “Well, the younger generation thinks otherwise, but we are still ruled by largely conservative people.” That seemed to hush them a little till the end of my presentation.

My surprise mainly stems from the fact that a majority of the people surprised at the stupidity of our government’s decision to criminalize being gay were young teenagers who openly could say in a meeting that they were either gay or had friends or relations that were gay. Another, a guy, said, “So my cousin who is an amazing football player would be killed or jailed if he was in Nigeria?” This shows that we are really far behind. If young teenagers can openly talk about their sexuality and address it, and our old pot-bellied, retarded leaders cannot, then we are definitely still very, very far away.

Today, the scale over my eyes about gay people in the US fell off and I saw a new, totally different light to it. We are still very far, and in case you hear a story of an American teenage girl being arrested for PDA with a girl in Nigeria, just know I told you first, because the young lady, who said she is a lesbian, said she would take a trip to Nigeria with her girlfriend and kiss her on the streets, just to see what happens. To her I said, “Good luck with that.”

Written by Ace

26 thoughts on “We Are Still Very Far

  1. The persecution of the LGBT community in Africa (except for South Africa and European Overseas Territories), is very unfortunate. It’s a relief to see that not all share the bigoted views of the bureaucrats. Thank you for this post.

  2. It took America almost 50 years to get to this point. There was a time that blacks and white did not share the same bus seat until the Jim crow boycott.

    My point is that America still had its dark days because it became “the land of the free, home of the brave” as they sing in the star spangled banner.

    Things will improve in nigeria, albeit slowly. Especially with our generation, eventually we will begin to have these conversations about gay rights. Just give it time, after all twins were killed at some point in our history!

    • 50 years maybe, but if it took a man n his machete 3days to clear a path from his house to the stream, how many days would it take his neighbour??? Yeah, u fucking guessed right. MINUTES.
      I hope the lesbian is white n not mixed black. Her PDA wud prolly only attract cameras and more LGBT awareness. She daren’t be lynched. I do wish her luck with that too.

      • She is actually mixed black. One very surprising thing (maybe not so surprising but is surprising because of where I came from) is the openness at which sexuality was discussed without any form of fear. I really need to get use to that.

      • Well said Trystham!!! we have the path already cleared so we can learn from their mistakes! we mustnt take 50yrs just cos they muddled along for 50yrs having no reference points to use as a guide! we do!

    • I totally agree with ur optimism.ur belief in nigeria is heartwarming but i like the writer said I think the end is not in sight.why did I say this? Most gay guys see being gay as a crime and a sin.They use d act of “exposing” their fellow gays as a means of settling scores or a source of livelihood.How many gay guys will stand up to defend d course of gays? Nevertheless,I still believe we will get their one day though not soon

  3. Hahahahahahaha. I can imagine the horror on their faces. “Does it apply to gay couples indeed” indeed! Na so! Nice one, Ace.

  4. Hmmm gay marriage in NIGERIA?? Has hell frozen over?? Well there was this story that came out in one of the Nigerian dailies some years back about some gay marriage in a hotel and how it broke up when someone alerted the police…this was somewhere in the north!! oh but the brazenness (if there’s a word like this) of some pipo sha!!!

  5. Oh well… Its Nigeria!! The most hypocritic Nation in the World… You’d be shocked at the number of people who practise same sex behind closed doors and then publicly express disgust for it. And then there are those who are just plain stupid (not ignorant because let’s face it, the gay topic is no longer strange. You have the internet to teach u whatever it is u need to know). These lots have refused to understand the concept of diversity. I mean, why does my cousin prefer to do everything with his left hand when I can’t even hold a pen firmly with it? And then there are those outwardly religious extremists who commit unspeakable sins when no eyes are lurking. And then there are those who are just wicked and blood thirsty! This faction goes all the way out to scout for innocent gays to torture and extort from them for no reason at all. You’ve met us! This is Nigeria! We are Backward, we are Hypocrites, we are Homophobic!

  6. We r still behind…my only concern is that we might not be around to see the change…Or even if we are, by that age u wouldn’t be able to get a hard on without levitra…#OldAge

  7. homophobia in Nigeria is a basket case, I doubt any of us will see any meaningful change in our life times. the grip of false religion and hypocritical adherence to so called ‘culture’ whatever that means because culture is dynamic, remains too strong and shows very little sign of loosening … smh … am.not surprised your audience expressed shock at the depth of homophobia in Nigeria, it would shock and appall any reasonable person!!

    • I’m still have mixed feelings about this label of homophobia on nigeria.can gays be homophobia? D people that superintended over the emergence of that unnecesary law are gays.the straight guys simply followed.the people that sugest that Mr a or b is into gay practice are gay guys.straights are just carried along.we should just look inwards and purge ourselves of hate against each other b4 we blame straight people.

  8. It irritates me when people say Americans had dark years. Get a life. The dark years of US happened years ago, when human right was nothing, wickedness and maltreatment was order of the day and technology was not. But we are in a digital world, were human right prevails. We should learn from US’ mistake.

  9. Nah real “Good luck wit dat” o…I’m sure things are gonna get better in Nigeria someday, Sooner i hope…anyone noticed it’s not like it used to be??? We’re getting dere!!!

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