I am a rebel, something that, of course, comes with the territory of being a gay man; it has been this way for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I held my ground against my parents’ “wise decision” for me to study law; I refused and subsequently was not allowed to get into university for three years. I refused to break until they backed down after the third year. I absolutely hate being told what to do or how to do it, not because I think I know everything but because something inside of me resents someone else telling me what to do. I think that’s just the way I am. Most times, when I get into a parking lot, I deliberately do not follow the lead of the parking attendant and would most likely park somewhere else that is equally good, as long as I did not park at the exact spot that he was directing me to park. When I do however follow his lead, I will extend further than he asks just to get the satisfaction that it was my decision. I do realize that it does not make any sense, and sometimes I don’t understand why I do it… It’s just the way it is. The person that I report directly to at work understands me perfectly and always allows me to go carte blanche, as long as the expected outcomes are met; he often pretends not to notice that I employed my own MO. At the sports centre, I have been reminded SEVERAL times that approved gear for tennis is white and not orange (which for some reason I prefer to wear) and that the shorts have to reach the knees. (Let’s just say that the hemline of my shorts does not like my knees, so in the interest of world peace, I keep them both far apart). I am slowly learning to let go sometimes and not be unnecessarily stubborn, even though it is a very difficult thing to do.
I also have some weird differences which some of my friends do not understand, characteristics that prompt them to ask what kind of gay man I am. For starters, I do not like gay porn; I am not big on porn in general, but I particularly do not watch gay porn. I don’t download porn as I tend to stream whenever I want to watch (which always eats up my data bundles). I do have a few I downloaded years ago on a hard disk that I still keep, but that’s just about it. I like straight porn and my favorite category is interracial bondage and domination; I also like interracial lesbian porn. My friends however do have on surprised expressions whenever I tell them that I don’t have an impressive porn stash or when they see that the few ones I have saved are straight porn. Someone once said that I am confused because of that, and if it were bisexual porn I watch, then he could categorize me, but as it was, he had no box for me except confused. Frankly I don’t get the need we have to categorize people and assign labels to them as well as archetypes. I am confused because I don’t like gay porn? It literarily made me laugh as I have observed that gay people are usually very intolerant of difference. This is extremely ironical seeing as we fight for acceptance from society, but we don’t easily give that which we want. Anyway what do I know? Moving on.
I had lunch with Pink Panther on Sunday, an outing which was amazing, besides the fact that he made me feel like an alcoholic. (After I ordered two beers to go with the pizza, PP ordered a coke and gave me the look) Anyway, while I was trying not to be distracted by his porcelain skin, we got to talking about a lot of stuff; KDians (naturally), hair, roles, Chimamanda Adichie, archetypes and skin bleaching.
And I told him a story. Just the other day when I was travelling, I ran into someone I know at the airport. He called my name and I looked at him. The voice sounded very familiar but the complexion was not. When I finally looked closely and realized who it was, my jaw dropped to the floor. This guy used to be dark skinned, like really dark skinned, and now PP sef has nothing on him. I told him to pardon me not recognizing him, seeing as he had become fifty shades lighter.
And he was like, “Oh you know, I went to the USA for a few years, right? The weather over there just makes you really fair…”
I couldn’t hold my tongue (yes my infamous tongue), so I replied, “Yes, I know you were in the States, but Oprah, Forrest Whitaker, Don Cheadle and even Lupita Nyong’o all live in the states, and are still very dark skinned, are they not? Abi the weather dey select people to affect?”
He gave an awkward laugh and rallied with another excuse: “Well, you know I have fair people on mumsy’s side of the family…”
“And so, your genes waited till you were over thirty for them to suddenly realize they had fairness in them?” I returned.
And he was like I was just jealous, and we laughed over it and said our goodbyes.
I realize this is a touchy subject and some people may say I am judging, but I think skin bleaching is the highest declaration of insecurity, and it means that you have bought into the narrative sold by the West that fairer is better. The stats by WHO says that 77 percent of Nigerians bleach their skin, so even for KD here, them dey. Una doooooo! I hail. *runs away*
Now, a majority of straight people look at us as just sexual beings, believing that sex defines our entire existence as gay men. This is of course absolutely ridiculous, but sometimes we buy into that stereotype. A friend from Enugu called me before the holidays, asking me to accommodate his close friend who was coming to PH for a job interview. I know that Nigeria has an unemployment epidemic, so I’d be more than happy to assist anybody get a job. I readily agreed. The guy came, stayed over that night and I provided a room for him, food and all; I ensured he was comfortable. I even called someone I know in that industry to get him information on what kind of questions to expect. I eventually retired to my bedroom and slept off after doing some work, only for me to be woken up a few hours later when I felt someone touching me. It was this guy, and I freaked out totally, asking him to return to where he was sleeping, that this was not the plan, and that he should not feel obligated to do anything for me in return. He made a fuss about me not desiring him and all, and eventually left. He proceeded to be cold throughout his stay and left on the third day after the interview. (Dude deleted me from BBM the moment he boarded a bus) I wondered: Is this how it is now? Can’t someone be nice without expecting something in return? And since when did all we think about become sex, that if someone is not interested in doing the fandango at that point he becomes an enemy? Now this guy was very attractive, but that was not the circumstance under which we met. I realize quite a few people would have grabbed the offer but I just freaked out (especially as I had a boyfriend at the time, which was also made clear to him). Coming on to someone is not exactly a crime, but when they decline, it’s not a biggie neither does it mean you are ugly. HIAN!
Enjoy the rest of your week, folks.
OAN: Erm, Pink Panther, I kept walking behind you, and opening doors for you to pass through, not because I am a gentleman or anything. I just wanted to gawk at your cakes, which are quite impressive by the way. *RUNS AWAY BEFORE LORD SCARFACE SHOOTS ME IN THE HEAD*