WHO I WILL ALWAYS BE

singles 52You all know about that world we live in – the one where we go to school, get good grades, get a good job, get married, have kids, retire and be happy. That existence is not really meant for some of us. At least, not me. I have never seen myself living out my life that way.

I knew I was different when I preferred to play with dolls. My mother bought them for me, and when I outgrew them, I played with my neighbour’s daughter’s dolls. She let me play with hers because I braided those little princesses’ hair better than any girl in our neighbourhood.

I knew I was different the moment I realized I preferred to play with girls as I grew up. I could play anything a girl could, and still best them. In fact, whenever it was time to group ourselves for the games, I always found myself as the reason for a struggle for a partner, because I gave a better chance to win. And why not? I was competitive, focused and given to winning.

I knew I was different when I tried on my mother’s wigs and some of her dresses that could fit the little me then, and liked it! I liked it to the extent that whenever she was not around, I would put them on and walk the street. Yes, outside! No one could identify that I was the boy they knew. This was years before I came to know of the word ‘Drag-Queen’.

I knew I was different after I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sweating, muscle-bound body on TV, and dreamt of being carried in his arms for weeks. I dreamt that he’d came to me at home and ask me to come away with him, and be his till the end of his days.

I knew I was different when my love for classical music drove me to learn ballet and later on, belly dancing. It was no wonder I took the ending part of Beyoncé and Shakira’s ‘Beautiful Liar’ very serious.

I knew I was different when, as a young child, I began to see so many good looking men in my mind doing really intimate things with me. Dirty things. Wicked things. Things that would make the devil blush if he knew it was a child thinking those thoughts. Those very private thoughts of a child who knew nothing about the world he was born into. The careless thoughts of an independent-minded child who later grew up to ask himself why it was be considered sick to be what he wanted.

I knew I was different when the idea of being cornered by a girl in a private corner used to always scare me more than I cared to admit. Even though I talked tough and vulgar about girls back then, when in the company of my friends, I found myself in full panic mode the day Chidimma cornered me and felt for my crotch, a show of brazenness, which caused my manhood to shrink inside me with the fear of the contact that felt alien to me. She didn’t just fit. Her, me, that corner; it all didn’t make sense.

I knew I was different when while every boy was eager to play football and have the latest ‘gangsta’ fashion, my interest was in my mother’s kitchen. I learned to cook from a tender age. I disliked football; in fact, I disliked every kind of group sports. My favourite Australian gay author, Rigby Taylor, (you should read Sebastian) said that it’s perfectly normal not to like them, that a growing gay man always has a strong desire and potential to be outstanding and not mixed. Football, basketball, volleyball etcetera – they were all games of the mix, and I never found myself in them.

I’d always known I was different – that is how the world sees it, yes, different from other guys around me. And so now, here I am. Seeing myself in my chaotic society. Still trying to define myself. Struggling between my same-sex attraction and service to God. I used to hate myself. I often cried myself to sleep, asking God to help me. From my misery was born fear. I began to get scared at the mention of the words ‘gay’, ‘fag’, ‘homosexual’, because I felt that the mere mention of the words would tell the world who I am.

And then, somewhere along the line, I closed that door. The door on what the society thinks. The door that one day I may never marry a girl as family and society would want. I closed those doors on self torture and self loathing. And I opened new doors – the doors to the possibilities of what and who I am. I opened the door to the realization that even though everyone else may never accept me, the only thing I can do for myself is to out myself to myself, and accept the me who steps out of the closet.

I opened my closet. I came out to me. I allowed the beautiful rainbow wash over my face. I basked in the simple joy of the realisation that what is will always be. The Spanish made that clear. Che sara sara.

So I am all of me.

I am a Man.

I love other men.

I am a Christian – a Jesus-Loving Mary-Reverencing Catholic.

I am a sexual organism.

And I am GAY without apology.

Written by Zephallon

32 thoughts on “WHO I WILL ALWAYS BE

    • I know, right? This is one powerful revelation of self from start to finish.
      Good work, Zephallon. I love your bold declarations at the ending.

  1. Yes I’m proud of what you’ve grown to become.
    The real you with no apologies. Though I love playing football: one touch kind not the whole mess of sweating testosterone going round.

    • Oh but I like sports. The only kind where I get to stand on the sidelines and see the crotches flying on firmly toned and sweaty boy during B-Ball or ‘soccer sets’.

      This is just WOW!!!

  2. Now this is absolutely beautiful.

    I can relate with almost everything. I remember fantacizing about screwing my cute Social Studies teacher under the desk, after school when I was in JSS3….

  3. As for me I knew I was different when during break time in primary 3, I would climb on my desk and start singing “Wannabe” by Spice girls.

    I knew I was different when my father slapped me for crying at the end of X-Men part 2 when Jean Grey died.

    • I love this piece. Lol! Guys an I wicked for finding the latter part if this comment inccrrreeeediiiibly hilarious!!!!!!
      :’) :’) :’)

    • Smh. Were you bawling like a baby? I just knew how to hide my face from people whenever i get emotional during movies but then again my dad would not sit down and watch XMen 2 with me.

  4. The Realization of Self Love.
    *in RuPaul’s voice… If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else*
    Can I get an Amen!!!

  5. Wow Zephallon, this reads so much like tje story of my life! By the time i was 5, i knew i hated football and that i was never going ti play with any of the plenty plenty balls i got as gifts when i was a kid. Soon afterwards, i also became strongly aware of my growing attraction to men – the coming years were full of fear and guilt and pain, of desperately trying to fit in where u clearly did not belong. A thankfully, i still struggle but i have largely outgrown that phase. I’ve learned to love me, i have realised that ME is all I’ve got in the end and if u cannot learn to love and cherish me, then all is lost. The constant struggle with depression, fear and loneliness will probably never completely go away, but i am learning everyday to thrive regardless, to take it ine small step @ a time and to savour each victory – however small, to the fullest. Remain strong dear ..

  6. Let’s slow down biko. When did the love (or lack of it) for football be a basis for determining being gay or not….

    …. I thought we have always been anti-stereotype?

  7. Wow! This is totally relatable.

    I never really knew I was different due to my bookish background. However, that knowledge hit me when I was 4 and its been a long, tough journey to total acceptance. Thanks to KD, I finally have accepted me for who I am.

  8. Me i totally loved to skip and boy was i good. I played ‘Suwe’, did ‘mummy and daddy’, sang ‘who stole the meat from the cooking pot’, dreamt about boys all day long, well….mostly my mum’s cousins when they were younger, played football only when my friends were a player short and i sucked.; i totally loved to wear mamies heels Only thing was i hated dolls.
    As for not liking group games, i think i am also like that. Maybe that’s why i liked WWE when i was a lot younger (though i’m not sure if it wasn’t just those hot half naked men that got me so exicted).

    This speaks to me on so many levels. Thanks you Zephallon.

  9. this cant be truer for me too, i can relate very well wt dese kind of experiences right frm childhood..just accepted my sexuality 6months ago at 23 even wen i learnt in my clinical classes dt its jst a type of orientatn …d journey hasnt bn easy tho bt i know im livin my life to d fullest. thanks to kd.

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