JAMES’ JOURNAL (Entry 23)

Blog_KD JournalDecember 9

I was in a pretty good mood for the most of last week. Then my mum came in like a wrecking ball and spoilt it for me.

I bought a flip case for my phone. It is sea-green with a black and white zigzag pattern. Not simple but not too complex, and I liked what I saw. It was on Amazon. So I bought it and sent to my mum to bring down to me when she returns. She received the package and beeped me. She said, “Why did you buy that kind of case for your phone?”

I was bewildered, wondering what on earth could be wrong with it. I showed a few of my friends the picture I saw and I trusted they would have told me if it raised red flags.

I ask her to send a picture. She replied with, “Why should I send a picture, didn’t you see a picture before you bought the case?”

I went back to my account and looked at the picture and I couldn’t figure out what on earth she was talking about.

Just then, she beeped me saying, “It has a chain on it like a bag, but I have removed it.”

I was sooooo confused then, because there was no chain on the picture I was looking at. From confusion, my mood changed to annoyance, then disappointment, and then sadness, when she typed and sent, “I will keep praying for you.”

And then, she went on to add, “I love you but remember God loves you more.”

I got so angry, I wanted to cry. I was so upset. I didn’t do anything wrong. I like some stuff considered girly but I wouldn’t see a full-on-female accessory and buy. And she didn’t even ask me questions, she just judged me. That it was the ‘gay demon’ in me that was acting up, that it was that evil spirit that made me decide to buy a girly phone case.

I wanted to scream: “I don’t need your prayers because there is nothing wrong with me! And if this is what your love is, then I don’t think I want it anymore!”

But I couldn’t. I can’t. As much as it seems twisted to me, I know her heart is in the right place. And that’s what hurts. She is just so ignorant. Fucking ignorant. And it annoys me. Her sources of information are in the Bible and Africa Magic. She’s a doctor but she hasn’t read a normal book in years except devotional.

She still thinks being gay a choice, a bad habit I just happened to pick up, even after I told her the attraction was there as far back as I can remember. She says if I pray hard enough, it would go away. Well mum, before you found out, I had prayed and fasted and all that, but it was still there and the guilt was eating me up inside. I wasn’t suicidal but many a night, I hoped I wouldn’t wake up the next day as I fell asleep, just so that burden would be gone. Then she found out and I became depressed. I just wanted life to end.

I’m so good at pretending. They think I’m happy at home. They don’t know of my dark days in school when I remember that they are expecting me to turn into something I am not or could possibly never be. Yes mum, I could fuck girls and shii, but in the end, deep down, it’s a guy’s arms I want to be in. Isn’t that enough to send me to hell by bible terms? Isn’t it because of the inherent nature of sin that God sent His Son to die on the cross? So that His blood will wash it away and make it like it was never even there. Isn’t that why we cling on grace and not what we do, to escape from hell that you’re so desperately afraid I will go to?

And why isn’t she harping on my brothers?  Why isn’t she complaining that my elder brother fornicates? Why is it always me, me, me? Is my sin greater than theirs?

I think I know why though. She’s a woman who worries what the public would think. She was the same one who complained about my dad not building a house when his mates are erecting structures and stuff like that. She can’t bear the thought of a gay son, especially her favorite.

I ended up sending her a picture of what I saw. And I told her I was upset. Very upset. And she said she was sorry. But ‘sorry’ doesn’t seem to be doing anything to stop my bleeding heart. I’m sad. Is all she sees when she looks at me ‘the gay son, the son who is going to hell’? When I just want to be is her son, the loving, caring son who thinks the whole world of her and would instinctively jump in front of a bullet if she was shot at. A friend of mine said we gay people tend to overcompensate due to guilt, but even if I were straight, I’d still love her as much as I do now.

The next day was a Sunday. She asked if I went to church. I told her no. She asked if I was still upset. I said no. But I honestly was. I think she has realised she has created a small rift between us. I think it’s going to get larger. I’m not the type to want to live my life to please other people.

I’m sure she thought I didn’t go to church because of her earlier censure. When I think of church now, I don’t see it as somewhere I can be free. I cannot go up to the podium and say, “Hey people, I like guys… I’m gay”, and not get judged. Prayer meetings will be arranged in my favour and deliverance from what I’m not even sure of. As if it’s just being gay that will send me to hell. What of the lies I have told, the malice I have kept, the fact that I am still angry with some people who have done me wrong… All that should take me to hell, not so?

I do find solace in my younger brother sometimes. He (apart from my dad) is the only one who has decided not to judge me. He says it’s between me and God. I was trying to explain to him that I can’t change truly. He asked why not, and I gave the classic example of asking him to become gay, that could he? Would he ever? Then that’s what he’s asking of me! He said he had never thought of it like that.  And I realised more than ever that it is ignorance that is killing my people. They don’t know.

I showed a couple of people my conversation with my brother and they recoiled, asking how I can talk about something like that with him. And it left me wondering: If we gay people don’t talk to the straight people about it, then how are we going to let them see us as humans? If we keep quiet, how will we prevent lynching and murders on the basis of being gay? I have quietly made up my mind. My family doesn’t need to come and meet me before I talk about gay issues with them. I will bring it up, softly and gently, to help (not make) them understand. Hopefully, if my brothers fully get me, when they have kids, they will teach them not to discriminate against us and those kids will have kids and a sort of chain reaction will occur. A change doesn’t have to be big, like in Stonewall or wherever it was that gay pride started from.

I said a mouthful. Some of my thinking is probably flawed. But I’m just 20. There’s enough time to grow with experience.

 

December 10

I just finished a pharmacology test. Very easy. But I have a microbiology test and some stupid general studies test where I have only attended a single class and spent most of the period looking at funny pictures of cats. So there’s that.

I saw some pictures of my secondary school classmates doing their NYSC thingy and I thought to myself, ‘Meanwhile I have three more years in a public school, studying a course I’m in a love-hate relationship with’, and I felt kind of down, sort of wondering if I’m failing and shii. I mean, I’m not spectacular! Especially in this course. I struggle most times, to be honest. During the test that was simple, I drew blanks at first and was getting into full panic mode before I whispered a prayer, took deep breaths, and then pictured my note.

Well, I’m living my life, not other people’s. Just because some people are ahead of me doesn’t mean I’m not where I’m supposed to be. Where I am has helped me meet wonderful people, learn valuable lessons and taught me to be content. But I will not be complacent. I will still strive to be better and all that motivational crap.

I remember one time, my dad asked if I wasn’t worried that my classmates were ahead of me in education (as if he wasn’t the one who forced me to do A levels). And the honest truth was that I wasn’t. One way to be unhappy in life is to compare yours with other people’s lives too much. And I’ve got enough to make me unhappy already.

I’ve been getting these migraines, especially in noisy environments or bright lights. It could be normal headaches or it could be glaucoma, which very unfortunately runs in the family. A relative has almost lost sight in his left eye because he didn’t let people know in time that he was having headaches. I don’t want that happening to me. I should also check my HIV status, just in case.

 

December 11

Today, I began to feel less resentment toward my mum. It’s 5:30 am and I’m reading about viruses. Well, I was. Nothing else wants to enter my sleepy brain. The mosque close by is doing that their call to prayer thingy. I’ve often found that sound quite comforting, I’m not sure why. Maybe because of the way it drones on and on…

We’ve always been talking about Christianity and sexuality. Hardly anything has come up about being Muslim and gay. Is Pinky scared of being blown up to pieces? Lol. I’m going to bed. And remember, if you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gon’ love somebody else? Can I get an “Amen” up in here.

Written by James

31 thoughts on “JAMES’ JOURNAL (Entry 23)

  1. Thank you RuPaul. Living a happy life for one’s self just can’t be over stretched. School, family, career and all just remember that at the end of the day its your life not mumsy or your dad’s. And about the headaches try taking an asprin of 75mg – 81mg daily for a while it will make your blood thinner and carry more O2 to your brain. Also, avoid bright lights at early and late hours. NB this info should not be completely taken over a personal doctor’s advice.

    • Scarface right on. I have a lot of medical people in my extended family and they talked about the wonders of aspirin one time. That blood thinning thing is another application for reducing cholesterol level but the eldest of them all said prolonged use has side effects like thinning the lining f the intestines leading to ulcer ultimately and talked about some other drug. don’t remember the name though.

  2. Oh dear James, I love u… being in ut shies. suicidal at a time, but pulled thru. U will..cus u seem smarter and more resilient

  3. I think your mum is just being a mum, and to be honest I feel you are lucky to have her. Most Nigerian mums will have u disowned or even kick u out of her home after discovering about your sexuality. it will take a while to eventually come to terms with it, especially since it conflicts with her religion so u should bear this in mind and just let somethings slide.

    and we’ve all been through the whole NYSC-envy period.where u feel so left behind. But life is just like NYSC itself…everyone has their time, and when urs eventually comes.. (it will in the long run), it always feels apt.

    ok so…I enjoyed reading this. Clap for yourself.

  4. Amen!
    James dear, ur mum sounds like a great soul who loves u dearly (trust me on that) sometime we just need to be patient with our loved ones. Ignorance is one heck of a disease and can be cured with the right infomation and most impportantly a mind that is open to it.

  5. Wow James! This entry is d one I’ve enjoyed d most!
    You’re just 20? Hian? All these 20-year olds that are terrorizing us with their big, adult-like brains(no shade,hehe) on dis blog(Rapu’m,I’m lookin at u too)!
    Wonderful read,James.I can relate with a lot of ur experiences (and I’m even envious of some!).

  6. I love my mum, my family. I just love them to the ends of the earth. And yes they love me to the moon and back. But telling them of my sexuality? James, you are just lucky you haven’t being disowned yet.

    S for Muslims and homosexuality, I know quite a few muslim gays. But I like to think that Islam is more homophobic than Christianity. Exactly why is what I haven’t figured out yet.

  7. Homosexuality and Islam?? I am a muslim or rather I was raised to be a muslim and Trust me you dont wanna go there. It’ll leave you depressed and suicidal.

  8. Awwww James, your writing always makes me think of this cute adorable puppy i want to shower with hugs and kisses … the sweetness of your soul oozes out of your writing … so relatable … You need to thank God everyday for the Mother you have, she is the true definition of a mother’s undying and neverending love for her children … she truly loves you, and will never abandon you even when everyone else does … the special bond you both share is evident even though she is deeply saddened by and disapproving of your sexuality. I truly respect and admire her for clinging tight to her love for you even after she knew you’re gay. However, she is also a deeply religious woman who will cling fast to her convictions, please cut her some slack and focus on the bond between you two. I hate to tell you this, i foresee that as time goes by you will slowly (against your wish) drift apart. Yes, you’ll still love her and be willing to die for her, but … you will realize even more than now that you need to live you life … that you need to do you first before anything else and that sometimes, being yourself is a matter of your survival, you will be forced to pick between her and you and sadly, but truthfully, YOU will slowly and subtly slide into first place … ***personal experience*** please, no matter how unpleasant or even nasty things eventually may/may not turn out to be, remember this: your Mother’s love is ever – abiding, ever constant, undying, she will love you till she draws her last breath, never forget that and do all you can, as much as you can to keep it that way … its not an easy road ahead, but we have to be strong ***hugs***

  9. @Pinky and James, the reason nothing has come up on Homosexuality and islam is this: The Koran and Hadith are clear about forbidding homosexuality. No Muslim thinks Mohammed actually believed being gay was OK. Our conversations about homosexuality and Christianity oftemxrecolve around whether you can be Christian and gay. Islam is much less ambiguous about homosexuality being a sin.
    Please feel free to reblog this as a post.

    • Wow. Chuck seems to get it. With Christianity there is some leeway. As tiny as it is, it exists, and it stems from the fact that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality not to even mention speaking against it.
      Islam on the other hand condemns homosexuality totally, the punishment that the act will get you in this life ,the grave and the type of punishment that homosexuality will get you in hellfire. No really, there is full description on the matter.
      We gay muslim brothers have it much worse. So which ever one of us you meet, who is comfortable with their sexuality, know that we have and are still fighting a hard battle we are mostly never gonna win.
      Chuck are you a muslim??

  10. I have always admired and marveled at the depth of your wisdom. Even in your pains you were still benevolent and kind enough towards the opinions of those who are yet to accept your sexuality. You were honest to admit that their problem was ignorance and you suggested enlightening them. This is angelic. Just keep hope alive.Your mum et al will understand one day and be grateful to you for even tolerating them in their ignorance

  11. James when you finish your exams please give some thought to coming to abuja let’s meet ok….you r such a beautiful soul and an interesting fellow….all expenses paid weekend on me ok!!!

  12. Beautiful stuff… love how you bare your soul. I feel you on so many levels. My mama is uber religious also. And although she knows about my sexuality, she likes to think of it as a cross to bear. Be Gay but don’t ‘practise’. Whatever that means…
    I remember not serving when I was supposed to. It tore me apart seeing all my classmates share their posting and experience. But eventually when I got to go, I got to serve in my state of choice and my ppa was all I could have dreamed of also. So I tend to believe that even when we don’t understand why things are, somehow it’s all working together for our good.
    I love that line about not comparing your life with others. I do it often, as some of my peers are super successful with salaries that conveniently double mine and I wish I were them. Then I remember the countless jobless others I meet. Or the ones who’s salaries I conveniently double also. And I’m thankful. And focus on my own race.
    All in all, you are a wonderful dude. Keep being you! Maybe someday we’d meet and talk about Taylor Swift and a whole lotta weird stuff…

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