I got wind of the ‘breaking news’ from a friend of mine. He told me to go to Google and type in the search words ‘gay hair stylist in Lagos’, and that I’d find a scandal brewing in the blogosphere. I did, and sure enough, splashed all over the Google result lists were such cliché headlines like ‘SHOCKING! Meet the first Openly GAY Male Hair Stylist in Lagos.’
As I clicked on each report, hoping to get varying versions of the story, to better understand it, I came to realize the dominance of the ‘copy and paste’ characteristic of the Nigerian blogosphere. Snippets of the report on one blog go thus:
‘…a blog reader called my attention that I should go and do my aproko parole on Stanley Igho’s Facebook profile. As at when I visited it, he had no privacy settings whatsoever so anybody can breeze in freely…
‘…I just hope he knows the implication of what he is doing, by openly revealing his sexuality…
‘…he’s an adult, so his choices, nobody should form holier than thou here o…’
These words were more or less the same on every blog I clicked open. Apparently, all the bloggers were told by their blog readers to go and do their aproko paroles on this Stanley Igho’s Facebook profile, and they simply breezed in, screen-grabbing photos as they went.
Here’s the report: Stanley Igho allegedly updated on his profile that he was in a relationship with a male. And then he unlocked his privacy settings and his closet doors all at once. Such audacity, the blogs want the public to believe. To be so openly gay and damn 14 years, such courage.
When I read the story, I felt disbelief, because I knew that no gay Nigerian would be this audacious. Yes, we may have out and proud gay Nigerians, but not one of them would risk this kind of publicity, not even when there was no 14-years imprisonment to be wary about.
So I dug into the story. I poked and prodded here and there (Lagos is still essentially a small community after all), until I got the gist that Stanley Igho wants people to know. He was apparently once in a relationship with a South African, during which he gave his lover access to his social media accounts, complete with the passwords. Then things went sour and they broke up. And in the wake of the breakup, ‘someone’ with the unchanged access to his Facebook account let himself in, did the damage, and let himself out. And probably tipped off a blogger on his way out. And before long, everyone could now see that Stanley ‘is in a relationship with Justin Samson.’
I feel for the guy. I really do. No one has to be subject to this, especially not in the Nigerian gay clime. According to the answers I got, he is currently distraught, as he should be. Apparently, he’s even considering fleeing (no itinerary yet), and he was blindsided by this development. You know, that awkward moment when someone tells you that your name is attached to a scandal trending all over the internet. I do so hope he can weather this storm, without getting hit by any lasting adversity like a prison sentence or mob justice.
One thing we should all learn from this: When in love, try to pry those eyelids of the blind love open long enough to know that there ought to be boundaries set. But if the blindness of your love is such that the touch of Pastor Chris’s healing hand is what is required to make you see, well, no shakings. Just as long as you know that when love is gone and the relationship is over, you need to restructure everything that love made happen. Change passwords. Shut down confidences. Sever ties. Because, an ex lover has no loyalty.