I had my first frottage at age three, and munched on my first sausage (elder brother the second) at age five (a conscious act, mind you).
Growing up was hellish; I had to fight the demons that plagued my very existence. Being a pastor’s child, you’d think that everything about my sanctity had been taken care of. But no! It could not be taken care of by the Holier-than-thou persons that were around me.
It turned out to be the perfect irony that Mother Nature could ever conjure – me, as who I am, and an offspring of a Christian home. An existence that came with beautiful lessons to be learned, bearing in mind how my pain and hardship has helped shape my perspectives and curbed my excesses.
Growing up, I was the bright eyed kid with a plum cherubic face and perfect sets of white enamel teeth that sparkled anytime I guffawed my trade-mark laughter (earning me the moniker ‘teeth sunner’). Ah, that toothy laugh, one which was admired by men and women alike, and sparked sibling rivalries. (Remember Helen of Troy and what her beauty did to kingdoms? See, I told you I had Greek origins)
I was happy on the outside, bright, with a life I was sure I had figured out. The Sciences? No! Advanced and too many complex calculations were a bore. But novels, stories – anything with an element of literature, whatever genre, which held the shimmering allure of ink – was pure bliss, heavenly blessedness.
I transited from childhood to being a starry eyed eleven-iner, who naively but slowly became fully aware of who he was, with surging emotions that begged to be set free and let to rampage.
Secondary School was not far in coming, and for the first time I heard the G word, it was from a friend, who had spoken the word softly while craning his head this way and that to check the bush pathway we were trekking on, checking to see if any other student was within earshot, afraid the wind would snatch the word from his tongue and blow it away to undeserving ears.
“Huh?” I said with a quizzical expression.
“G as in gay, what we are and do,” he explained.
What we are and do? Wasn’t ‘gay’ that other word for ‘happy’ and ‘festive’. I had to be sure. I checked it in my trusty dictionary, and sure enough, there it was. That was how I came to know I had a label.
I was the poster child for teenage perfection at home, because I could cook, clean and put everyone else’s comfort first. All that perfection began to disintegrate with my first kito experience. The cracks began to appear on that seemingly beautiful façade I’d created, first like a fine network of spider-web starting from my very core, until it spiraled through my entire being. It gave my siblings more armaments to haul at me. Father and Mother resented me. Everything became an agonizing blur.
I became stoic, withdrawn, developed killing stares set in moulds of clenched muscles. My anger smouldered and brooded, until it choked me and over-flowed in torrents of invectives towards whoever was unfortunate to be in my crosshairs. I became unpredictable, honed my spontaneity, all in a bid to hide my tracks, to leave no breadcrumbs for my persecutors to follow to my true self.
And all this while, they came. They always came. And when they were done, they walked away, leaving me in pieces, antagonistic yet hopeful, afraid that the next one I turned down might be Mr. Right. So they kept on coming. And I let them.
A very wise psychologist once said: “Homosexual, learn from your experiences. Set yourself free from the chains of society. Embrace your ignorance, and you will come close to truth.
“Let the conviction that determines your action come from what you know deep within your heart, and let it be true and not what has been parroted from progenitor to progenitor through the ages.
“Your sexuality is a gift, an open door into a new world of fresh ideas, true perspectives and honest inquiry. It is not a curse! It’s a blessing. Hate yourself no more, embrace who you are, accept it and prove yourself a true Homo sapiens.”
So my sexuality opened my eyes to the beauty of free thinking, to the power of this beautiful soul who flows across the paths of the Homo sapiens in fluid motions, like a brief spell of rain in the Sahara; a cool soothing breeze in the scorching noonday heat of the Harmattan. A rare sub-specie of the Homo sapiens, beholding in awe and wonder within me the imperfections of nature, its marvelous intricacies webbed within our day-to-day living.
I sought for and found my peace.
And now, I’m on a threshold, wondering what yonder holds – the future, I mean. There is fear mixed with a tinge of hopelessness and a splash of foreboding. There is pain that I let those jabs and slurs get to me. There is anger at the institution that I grew up in, which was supposed to show me light and protect this hungry soul. There is sadness at their lack of understanding, their need to explain everything away with demon possessions and bad habits.
I am twenty-one today. And I’m on a threshold, wondering what yonder holds. There tears from times past, and there promises to be happiness in the times to come.
Written by Andrevn