Dear KD: I Want My Brother Rescued From Homophobia

blackmentalkingIn a typical Igbo setting, a male child is said to be a gift from heaven. The more male children a woman has, the more renowned and respected she is. I will like to acknowledge the fact that I am hardcore feminist, but there are some things no amount of education will change, especially when it comes to dealing with tradition and whatnot. By the way, my mother has five children, all are male.

I am the third child of my parents, the middle-man, the one who settles fights between the seniors and the juniors. I am the poster good kid, intelligent, witty, polite, Straight A student. I also happen to be as gay as a bag full of rainbows and I am so far stuck in my closet that I suck dick in Narnia.

Did I forget to tell you that all my brothers are homophobes? Yes they bloody well are.

My elder brothers are hardcore womanizers who believe there is something seriously wrong with gay people, that they should be thrown into a mental hospital and psycho-analyzed. They always disturb me about having a girlfriend and pester me with stories of the sweet, sweet pleasures they get when they have sex with their numerous girlfriends. (I usually get so disgusted at this part that I want to gag)

My immediate younger brother suspects I’m gay and calls me a faggot whenever we have a fight. I usually get revenge on him by channeling my inner Victoria Grayson and accidently setting his clothes on fire or some other nasty thing. (What can I say? I’m such a klutz)

And our last born? A sweet fifteen year old kid who believes all gay people should be stoned. And he is the one that scares me the most.

Anytime we watch shows like Glee, and Klaine or Brittana scenes come up, my baby brother (Let us call him Daniel) says nasty things like “Are these people mad” or “They should be stoned”, and if I try educating him that gay people are just like any other person (except we are way more fabulous), the entire family zeroes in on me with this funny look and I tend to just shut up.

I sort of blame his behaviour on my other brothers and the kind of friends he has in school. I wrote this to ask KDians about their opinions on this issue and how I should educate him, because I feel he is still young enough to be impressionable. I love my brothers very much and I believe no one should have this much hate in them.

Submitted by Eros

44 thoughts on “Dear KD: I Want My Brother Rescued From Homophobia

  1. Brother its not easy to effect change in someone unless the person is willing to change of his own volition. I fear even your 15 year old brother is already ‘lost’….as we all know, values ingrained from childhood are very hard to break away from even when highly toxic

  2. Iyanga dey sleep trouble wan go wake am abi? Issoright!
    Just jejely leave them to their opinions so as to avoid trouble for urself.
    Some families r just not like others nd from what u wrote, urs “may” not actually throw a bachelor’s party if dey eventually find out about u!

  3. I know right, I’m d first of three boys and my baby brother is a big homophobe, I flinch when he throws arnd the word faggot, even in front of my parents…..my immediate younger brother is a bit relaxed with his homophobia. We hardly ever discuss homosexuality in my house, in fact sex is no go topic, especially with my dad.
    Personally I think if they found out someone close to them is gay they won’t be so homophobic……I mean I remember sometime in September last year, when they slept over in my room and they were talking about sex(with women) and I chipped in, they went “Ewwww dude u can’t be discussing sex with us, we don’t see u that way, we have 2 perceptions of you, you either still a virgin or youre gay, and it tilts more to d gay side cos we doubt you’re a virgin”, I found it funny and we all laughed about it.
    My advice is be careful though, take things slow,drop subtle hints of enlightenment especially when its just u two, and be a little less defensive when the subject of homosexuality comes up it should help.

  4. Eros, you are the girl your mum never had. No?

    Sigh. Let me dial Pastor TB for you. (I trust what that anointed Man of God can do.) Your brother(s) enjoys swimming?

  5. All but one in my whole family are hardcore homophobes.. It stings like hell when they make derogatory comments about gay people. I think you should take a chill pill first. Changing the mind of homophobes is like trying to fit an elephant through a keyhole.

  6. It’s a gradual process.

    First: reevaluate your closet. I’m sure it’s packed full in the name of discreteness; you have to start throwing away some things to free it and yourself. The best way I know in this scenario is to start by dropping tiny rebellious hints where your brothers can pick them. Perhaps you like to read and there’s a book on sexuality you keep hidden, well fish it out and keep it where they’ll see it. Or maybe there are gay-themed movies you keep in a separate hidden file on your computer…mix them up with the “normal” movies. Or maybe you tend to avoid certain friends around your brothers, never inviting them to the house etc, because your brothers may put two and two together and start asking JAMB questions…stop hiding those friends… They ask you why you don’t have a girlfriend, you ask them if it’s a must that a guy will have one, and leave it at that.

    Do NOT out yourself. It’s not necessary at this point. (Unless you can take the backlash.)

    Already you’re doing a great job by telling them gays are just like everyone else. That’s rebellion. You’re not keeping quiet.

    Your brothers sound like people who do not know a single gay person; and you sound like you have the most sophisticated closet ever. That has to change, I think. The more your brothers are aware of gays and gayness – something you have to do wisely – and the more you air your own closet a little – haba, are you not suffocating? – things could improve.

    Tackling homophobia isn’t usually the big things but the small ones – how you react when gay issues come up.

    • True this. Absalom on point. Visibility helps. Give your sexuality some visibility. You don’t have to come out of your closet, but you can toss a few things out of it here and there, and make them wonder.

      • Or you can totally ignore them! Which is what I do with my brothers!

        We only talk on phone when it’s absolutely necessary!

        Imagine watching a movie with your brother and he is wishing he can get a gun and annihilate (yes he used that word) all the gay men in this world because of the gay character in the movie, and you are sitting there watching and thinking “that includes me too”!

        Like Khaleesi said “zero tolerance for homophobia”! I have no interest in changing you, die with your homophobia for all I care.

        Like they do in pathology, I created a “zone of inhibition” and if you are homophobic, stay away from this zone and we are fine!

        RUBBISH (ooops did I just use that word? OMG! Who will fuck me?)

  7. I know this is a very difficult experience as I went through it myself and I know so many friends that have. Well just like Dennis, in my own case, I shut them out as well. However, one thing I have come to realise is that to many of us, family mean a lot, why that I do not know and I dont think it is my place to question. However, I learnt it the very hard way to be selfish. It was a very hard and difficult lesson my sexuality thought me, and the best lesson of life i ever learnt. The moment I learnt that the most important person in my life is not my mother, my father or my siblings, that it is not even my bf or my best friend. That the most important person in my life is me, my world views changed. I know that unless I appreciate myself, I will sell myself short and thereby make room for others to sell cheaper. Also I will easily become a dumping ground for others.

    I know it is hard and it took my a log journey to get here but it has been a life changing experience. Maybe we are not the one to change our families, maybe that job is for someone else, but we should not also allow them to destroy us and take away our sense of self. Just my one kobo… Lol

    • Thankyou Bisi! That sums it! You become selfish and create the life you want for yourself. Family is not always defined by blood ties; some blood runs really thin and some water is as thick as sludge!

      Having said that, happy belated birthday and I don’t think it’s fair that you look the way you do @ 40

      • Haha…. Dennis, I owe you one… The cake is on its way. Thanks for the wishes too. I hope we see soon. (bromance not intended).

        But seriously on this issue there is no clear answer and I support the point of view of many people here. But we have to weigh our options. Carry the burden of people that dont really care? Or take the risk, come out to them and maybe, just maybe if they see a family member they might change. I dont have the answer but it can be a really cruel world out there.

    • ***throws hand in the air and rushes over breathless with excitement*** Welcome, Bisi … happy belated 40th, you look smashing for your age!! R u sure ur 40? + your boo is cute … muah!!

  8. 15??? He has not known life yet

    BTW, seems u have not lowered ur hair for them small. Adopt a few female mannerisms. Anyway, I always say the most vocal homophobes are usually the best homophiliacs. Let ur brodas continue

  9. Homophobia is part of the genetic makeup of most Nigerians – including many gay ones, hence the self hate and internalized homophobia that tortures so many of us. It takes steadfast commitment and relentless effort to liberate yourself from these shackles … i used to be there, so i know. As time goes on, i have slowly realized that the fairest deal i can offer myself is to maintain as much distance from homophobes as possible. Hence, if you are homophobic, you cannot be a part of my life, or where we our paths must cross, i minimize our contact as much as possible and try as much as i can to keep interactions limited to my own terms and condiitons.
    I havent come out – yet (i dont know if i ever will), but i am increasingly trying to free myself from the bondage of living a life imposed on and foisted on me. In a nutshell, I have (like Dennis), learned to be selfish in a good way, to put myself first and to always ensure a fair deal for myself.
    I sense that you are so deep in the closet that your brothers have no inkling that you might be gay, you know your brothers best as well as how close your brotherly bonds are. If your family is as close – knit as mine is, they will probably react with deep outrage when they learn that you are gay, but over time, they will learn to accept you as you are. In any case, blood ties are frequently overrated. This is something you’ll have to handle on your own, think deeply upon this issue, but realise that at some point you need to start being true to yourself …
    ***hugs**

  10. I like to think homophobia is an incurable disease…

    However, if they maybe, just maybe realize that someone dear to their heart is gay, they might feel inclined to be a bit more ‘accomodating’..

    Probably wouldn’t work and you might just have to keep sucking dick in Narnia

  11. If you want the truth, there is nothing you can do to cure their homophobia if their mind is set on homophobia. And it takes a lot more than just “talking” to reverse someone’s mind-set. It takes personally experiencing something deeply touching.

    What am I saying?
    If you want to cure them, it’ll cost you a lot and it’ll take years.
    How?
    By coming out to them.

    They’ll reject you initially. But with time, they’ll start accepting you because you’re family. And that way, they’ll start becoming more accepting of gays and start desiring to understand gays more.

    But since that is out of the equation, I suggest you just respect yourself. And keep yourself to your Narnian closet. Lol.
    Keep talking to them sha, when the situation arises such as when watching movies with obvious gay scenes. But be very discreet about it.

  12. Homophobia can’t be rescued with men who are so ‘straight’ to share their sexual experiences with others. Your best response to them would be to be a remarkable success in life, you know, the type they can’t ignore. If they still shun your lifestyle then, good riddance. I’m very sure the world can survive without 4 of them.

  13. Thanks everyone, your comments mean a lot to me. Coming out to my family is not something I’ll do right now, I came out to my best friend and though he accepted me for who I am, it was a really harrowing experience due to the stress of me blowing things out of proportion of how his reaction will be and I dont wish to do that anytime soon. As for those interested in my adventures in Narnia, *side-eye to Obatala and Samuria* well, Mr. Tumnus says hi. I’m off. *prances of to Hogwarts*

  14. jst keep trying to subtly drop the hint that homophobia is evil and gay pple are just that way. whenever they start their ranting on gay pple, inquire why they really hate them if they haven’t done anything to dem, listen to their response (which will be dumb by the way) then give them a good answer, their is no reason for homophobia that does not have a perfect comeback answer.
    But I seriously dnt have a first class experience with homophobes though, my family aren’t homophobes and my friends too, even though dey dnt knw about me.

  15. K this is a toughie. No one in my (nuclear) family is homophobic, probably because we are oriented and exposed, my parents ensured that. My 13 yr old sis reads Jackie Collins ( ikr) and uses some words dt im like…whaat? i remember a particular incident when my mum said Sam Smith was gay and my kid sis asked ; “So?”, wanted to shed a tear. And according to mummy, she doesn’t support the lifestyle but she thinks its wrong to criminalize it. I’m still not coming out to them anytime soon.

    About your brother; Dunno maybe tell him to pick up a book and read. And introduce him to media that doesn’t protray gays as typical caricatures . Shameless US is a good start. Even I can’t stand the gay folks on Glee.

  16. Mydear be subtle but always try to make a useful point to defend gayism.But make it as if your doing that for the betterment of the world and not yourself. …just always appear as a. Human Rights Activist.

  17. I have three elder brothers and a junior foster brother. The first son is not homophobic. He actually used to touch me when we were young. It’s only my immediate elder bro who’s homophobic and he’s a chronic womanizer. Good a thing he’s not in Nigeria to watch me. I remember when I was about to have a surgery last three months and his financial help was needed. He did helped without first chiding in how I should be able to take care of myself since am an adult and doing what I like doing with my body. I deduced a lot from that statement. Actually left where I was because he came over to further his studies there and yeah, am leaving Nigeria soon because he’s coming back in few months time. Can’t stand homophobes abeg. My dad’s own is enough for me ! Remember the day he was joking to a mate how back in secondary school days a dude made advances to him and how he broke the guy’s mouth. (If he only knew) And did I forget to mention my Uncle even takes his own homophobia to his Facebook page? Jeez !

  18. Eros, don’t try to rescue anyone from homophobia. Stay as you are and keep doing all you have been doing until you are independent and VERY FAR AWAY. Then you can do whatever you like. If for example you settle outside this country, you could just pick up your fone, drop the bomb, drop the call and continue your life.

  19. Just this weekend while reading Dennis’ first entry late in the night,i left my phone to charge while i went to answer mumsy’s call

    Imagine my shock when i came back and our first boy was discussing football transfers with the second having used my fone to browse the info’

    I went to him collected the fone and noticed that he had tabbed my page and opened a new page for his own use while the word (gay) as used in headlining Dennis’ entry was so glaring……

    I told a friend about it and how my bro did not react in any way….this was someone who cracked my head open 4yrs ago for making a night call to my Bf…..and he said they probably knew but maybe were still in denial which i am so sure is true….

    So dealing with Familiar Homophobia is to act like you never are in a closet-subtle hints as highlighted by KDsians will help them
    #myzerocent

  20. Countless likes…..my dears eros never you put your happiness in the hands of any human being,because just like NIGERIAN NEPA. They will take it when you most need it…..but I still can’t figure out WHY people would want to live people life for them??…..#wickedness

  21. Brothers are hard to deal with. You can still change the 15 year old’s mindset, make him see the different shades of grey. Keep calm! Teen angst and homophobia is a lethal combo, so treat him with care. If it proves abortive, some of us have created families for ourselves, don’t despair!

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