HIS COMING OUT STORY (It’s A Family Affair Too)

Happy black family togetherAs I lay on my bed early that April, my heart raced as I pondered over what may have transpired the previous night. I was left all alone in the sitting room as my mum and siblings held a discussion in the bedroom. This was quite unusual as we normally had our discussions together. The hushed tone of their conversation was far from comforting. Somehow, I knew I was the topic of their discussion.

Months prior to that time, I made the tough decision of telling my mother of my sexuality. She didn’t yell or wail, as I had imagined. Instead, she calmly told me that it was good I told her and even blamed me for not telling her earlier. She said everything was going to be fine. I blinked in disbelief as I heard her words. It sounded too good to be true –indeed, it was.

About two days later, she told me of how she had cried her eyes out over the issue and I felt miserable. She insisted I was being ‘indoctrinated’ into homosexuality and needed to change my friends. I told her over and over (and over and over) again that I’d always liked guys and that I was in my twenties when I had my first gay friend. She didn’t listen. I supposed she was in denial.

Not long after my talk with my mother, my brother hacked into my phone and stumbled upon ample evidence, including my chats with my then-lover, which revealed that I was not straight. When he confronted me, I told him the truth.

And so, as I sat in the silence of the sitting room that night, I was sure that my sister, the only person who hadn’t known about my sexuality, now knew about it.

Interestingly, the first and only person I came out to before my mum was a Christian friend with whom I’d been about to start a business. He initially told me he had no issues with my sexuality. However, a week later, he sent me a text message saying he could not be a part of “such”. When I asked him what he meant by “such”, he didn’t respond, and we haven’t seen each other since then. Ironically, before my revelation, he had professed that my business idea was God-inspired.

The experience was hurtful, but was nothing to be compared with the hurt I envisaged I would feel if I was to be rejected by my family. As teenager, I had prayed never to see such a day. But here it was staring right at me. It was almost dawn and I feared what was going to happen when it was morning.  A family meeting was inevitable.

Just as I foresaw it, the sound of my brother’s voice woke me up.

“Wake up! We need to talk.”

I woke up to see myself surrounded by my family members. The much dreaded family meeting was upon me.

For the next two hours, I was bombarded with questions ranging from ‘How long I had been gay’ to ‘How long I’d been dating my lover’. With all the calm I could muster, I answered all their questions as truthfully as I could. I told them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sadly though, my words didn’t seem to be understood.

One interesting question asked was: “Do you think God created you as a homosexual?” That had been a question I asked myself all through the years. I knew the undertone to the question was if being gay was a choice or not. I answered that I had been gay for as long as I could remember and that there was no point in my life where I decided to forsake my heterosexuality to become a homosexual. I tried educating them that my experience was not peculiar to me, as homosexuals generally have the same experience.

Ultimately, my family demanded that I “change”, even if it required a miracle from God! They asked if I believed God could change me. I couldn’t answer because I had cried to Him for so long to change my sexual orientation, and I’d never gotten an answer. In my opinion, when His answer came, it came in the form of self acceptance. I had been troubled about my sexuality for years, but when I learned to accept myself, I was filled with inner peace.

But, now the peace was threatened by the probing questions of my family members, and I found myself unable to effectively define the person I had grown to become.

I looked into their faces and understood the reason why it was difficult for them to understand who I was. The reason was that they were not on the same phase as I was. I figured that the phases to the acceptance of one’s sexuality for the gay individual should be parallel to the acceptance by his loved ones. In their eyes, I saw what I used to be long before I accepted who I was, and now, I saw the same expression of despair, denial and anxiety I had long left behind. Knowing how much I had suffered then and now, watching my family suffer the same things was almost unbearable. I felt helpless. So, I made the decision to help them understand who I was as a gay person.

In the months that passed, my family made no mention of my sexuality. I was never victimized verbally or physically, and I was appreciative of their decision to respect my individuality, even though I sometimes felt that they were still in denial over the issue. However, some of my doubts were dissolved when my younger sister broke the ice by asking about my boyfriend (she could still remember his name). I took her through the story of how my boyfriend and I broke up. We laughed over the funny details of the story. I also shared with her my past experiences and my hopes of finding someone new. At the end of the conversation, she expressed gratitude for my opening up to her and told me to be careful about whom I dated.

From the discussion with my younger sister, I could see that she had taken a major leap in accepting me as a gay person and I felt a whole new dimension of self-worth and hope to face the future. At the same time, I was anxious about what the future had in store for my family, should they fully accept me as a gay man. I still worry about the socio-cultural and religious effects that a decision to be openly gay may have on my family. There are many LGBT persons whose family members know about their sexualities. I wonder what support and counseling programmes are available to help them fully understand the sexualities of their LGBT loved ones and protect them from possible verbal and physical assaults. Agreeably, LGBT individuals need help and support…

But so do their families.

Written by Kaytee

82 thoughts on “HIS COMING OUT STORY (It’s A Family Affair Too)

  1. So nice. Makes me start to picture coming out to my family, which is a hideous, horrifying picture by the way. One filled with biblical scriptures, sticks, stones, whips and chains, and ‘Not in this family’ and ‘You will not disgrace the family name’ et al. Although I’m sure my family strongly suspects. Anyway, I’m glad I found self-acceptance not too long ago and life has been good for me ever since. Morning folks.

  2. Wow kaytee thats a lot of coming out you did.
    Sitting there and being bombarded with questions about ur sexuality and sex life? Talk about awkward overload!

    This story raised a question though. @ PP is there a counseling unit that can help counsel families to have better understanding of sexuality related issues? Or a counseling framework at all in naija that handles issues bordering on sexuality? I know the climate does not encourage such, but one never really knows.

    • In the case the family wants to learn and accept right? Because my dad knows everything in the world, he wrote wikipedia himself so he obviously knows what is good for me and that does not include homosexuality.

      • This is the first time you’ve ever mentioned your dad..
        Care to talk about it over coffee?

    • Peak, I stylishly asked for your email…dunno if you saw it.

      Please, can I get your email address??

  3. Nice story, Kaytee.
    All these sweet coming out stories u guys are telling here tempt me to come out to my own people. But I bind and cast all temptations to turn my days with my family into a living hell for me.

  4. By the way, you people should help me ask Pink Panther what happened to our favorite Monday series (Love and Sex in the City).

  5. Our families sure need help understanding us. Heck, a lot of gay men need help understanding themselves. I still cannot imagine coming out to my family yet.
    Nice entry.
    ION anyone wanna see a movie with me in Lagos (dutch ofcourse). On hols now and i wanna see as many movies as i can. #This is NotAHookupCall.

      • Get thee behind me. I do not know what you are talking about. Better still you can be all up in my face, what do i care?

    • Na wa oooo….

      You are in Lagos and you are looking for who to meet?

      Why not meet the Mayor of Lagos…you sure gonna have loads of fun…trust me, I know what I am saying.

      • Sinnex if the mayor of lagos is Tef and you are asking me to meet him, may a ‘moto’ not jam you IJN. Can the real MAYOR OF LAGOS stand up please.
        At least if i were in PH i would know who the real MAYOR is.

  6. Strong is what you are and encouraging are your words.

    This conversation happens for me in a few years from now when I am a few weeks from bringing home my first adopted child – a son.

  7. @Peak, I don’t think so. There’s hardly any counselling unit that handles issues for gay people, much less, their families. Come to think of it, even gay people that have HIV don’t have counsellors tailored to their sexuality… It’s still Nigeria, bro.

  8. My twin sister knows about sexuality also. She stumbled upon gay porn in my phone(I was careless I know). She came to me and with a knowing look she said I know. It felt like the ground beneath me had shifted. I couldn’t say a word. She gave me my phone and walked away but she never changed towards me. Though we don’t talk about it but our bond keeps getting stronger and there’s this peace I have knowing that at least someone knows. And she didn’t spill d beans to daf and mum like I expected. Can I say she has accepted me or she’s just turning a blind eye and loving me nonetheless? I dread the day my entire family will find out. Not that I plan on telling them sha. Nice read @ Kaytee.

  9. Sometimes i try to cut our families some slack. They do not know better and they react based on what religion and cultural influences have taught them. Its not an easy pill to swallow for them, so sometimes i try not to judge.

    However family is supposed to be a unit of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE right? Which means love not tied to behavior or dos and donts, love not defined by alignment to family vision et al especially when the family member is not hurting anyone directly by his actions.

    Quite frankly I will not sit and wait around for any family that will not accept me or one that will refuse to acknowledge my sexuality and would rather pretend its not there. Life is short baby! Oge adiro

    • Yeah Dennis a unit of unconditional love, until a man disowns his daughter for getting pregnant for a priest he totally idolizes, who was ‘unfathered’ after the archdiocese found out about the fiasco, calling here a witchy slut who the enemy sent to disgrace and bring down a great man of god and his family. Imagine what he would do to his gay son. Not everyone is capable of unconditional love really. Ask that boy who killed himself because his mother just would not accept that he is gay even after it drove him to commiting suicide.

  10. Outing to my family…as very educated as my family seems, I don’t think they will be accepting…well at least the ones not of my generation. One of my aunts rather I stayed home jobless after my grad than go to learn to sew clothes and very nearly convinced my dad. She didn’t give her reasons but I got to understand that she felt it wud encourage me to be ‘more gay’. I change eye for her sotay na she gimme money to register.

  11. Every day I imagine telling my mum that I like boys and girls and I know her reaction would be*God forbid,don’t say negative things*then she will tell the pastor and they would organise a private deliverance section for me *sighs#. I’m so fucking confused cos i do not know what the LGBT have done to people to react like this.*crying_there is God o…
    Nice entry kaytee.

  12. Wow Kay u are lucky.
    My family will first of all seize my phone, then put me on a 1-year dry fast(yeah 1-year).
    Then my dad,a deliverance pastor, will take me to some of his colleagues to do a collective deliverance on me.
    After that he will enrol me in Bible school and make sure I pass through successfully.

    Such is my family.

    So I’ve decided, I’m not gonna come out to my family until I’m through with school and living on my own and making enough cash to be independent.
    Then,I will definitely tell them and not give two fucks about what they say

  13. *Squeals loudly*

    Its a lie! Is this the Kay that I know?!
    My own Kay Tee in all his monstrous nd weird glory!

    Kayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Find me! We need to talk!

    Is it just me or those it seems that sisters r the more open minded in cases like this. All the stories I’ve read here, Sisters r definitely more accepting. Lucky u guys shaa! Unlike me, my sisters would throw me in a cauldron of boiling oil! Especially that last one! Her amebo has no end! Asking me y I had my semi-nude pics on my phone nd telling everyone! My own phone nd body kwa? Ashiri gbakwa ute!

    Nice read Kay! U, me, everyone………… We shall overcome someday.

  14. Nice read, for now no one is bugging me or saying anything about sexuality, they don’t have d cause to yet….a few years down d road might change things or not…..men in my family have a history of late marriages and not being seen with random women is considered a good thing. Guess I’m safe after all, for at least a few more years unless, I get careless and out myself.

  15. Have almost
    choked on that spaghetti while deciding on ‘should she know,
    shouldn’t she know’, The first Reaction of Mum was so Funny,Definitely dis Nigeria Mum.

  16. This was beautiful and harrowing at the same time.
    Most times we expect our family to jump start to the mental state which we r in, forgetting that we ourselves was there not long ago, and it took years to get out of that state.
    I hope my family will be as understanding as yours when I finally break their heart.
    This was nice.

  17. Honestly i can’t stop to wonder why gays need to tell their family or anyone they are gay. I mean its never a must that u tell ur ppl u r gay. Seriously i dnt get the point. If u tell them what is it gonna change? What difference is it gonna make? Sum ppl see dis coming out tingy as an obligation they owe their ppl. Me i see no reason in telling my ppl m gay cos dats nt their bzns and being gay is ntn special. If i were straight would i tell them ‘Hey Mama i’m straight’?. Lol. My sexuality is for me and myself. I owe no one anything.

    • Coming out is an obligation you owe to yourself, not people. To be able to be free and rid yourself of the lies.
      At least you’ll stop being scared of people finding Out. Because they know already and it doesn’t matter anymore.

      Get the point!!! When you’re tired of living your life like a rat and introducing your bf as a friend, and also having to play hide and seek game all the time and get uncomfy when your bae is around family members, you can come out.

      However, if you’re perfectly happy doing all those, then stay back in the closet.

      • Max I’m in agreement with everything u wrote, but is “obligation” not too strong a word to use in this context? Just asking

        Yes coming out helps quell unspoken questions piling in the minds of ur friends and family, but if u plan on living unabashed by ur life choices, fine! living flamboyantly and expect ppl who love and care for you not to ask question is plain delusion. Like khalessi would always say, we out ourselves by things happening or not happening in our lives.

        If you know how to put up ground breaking performances through out ur stay in the land of the living, like some ppl know how to. My dear stay put in that closet and keep those lips sealed.

        Like Mcgray, I’m not a believer of the whole coming out thing, but I respect the strenght behind it and appreciate the release that comes with/after it.

    • You’re missing the point, McCray. Coming out is not an obligation you owe anybody. It is you claiming your life from expectations. It is you being able to live free without fear or pressure. Those who do it and are lucky with the outcome are happier for it. No pressure. No pain. No hiding.
      Just say you are not brave enough to come out, or that its not for you. Not that there’s no point to it. There is plenty point to it.

    • Let’s see…
      Straight people are open about their sexuality. Gay people who are open about their sexuality don’t (need to) come out. Gay people who are not open about their sexuality are the ones that come out.

      Straight people don’t come out because they’ve been truthful about their sexuality.

      Nobody is requiring you come out and that’s because we respect your right as an individual. Now, pleas accord same respect to people who come out because in all honesty it’s people like those who’d make the society more acceptable of our rights.

      It’s definitely not your family’s business to know your ur sexuality, neither is it the business of the police, the mob (which could include your family) killing LGBT people, the church, nor the society in general.

      But…if it isn’t their business, how can we be demanding equality (to do what straight people do with their lives and partners) which will ultimately lead to marriage. Guess who was at your parents’ marriage — the society.

  18. how beneficial is coming out,when at the day Family & Friends treat your sexuality as some disease no one wants to talk about and secretly pray it goes away?

    I guess a step at a time and family dynamics differ. Congrats kaytee!

  19. ”One interesting question asked was: “Do you think God created you as a homosexual?”

    Thanx Kaytee for this part in your piece…to me I think that question is crucial….now don’t forget I said to me!!!

    I also just wanna say thanx to all who have missed me on this blog…love you all. I just realized that it was a bit rude of me to have just gone silent without telling uall…at least those that I touched a little…..why I left…and why am actually leaving now for good!!!

    It comes down to the first statement made up there…am still asking myself that question..so until that is answered and by only God himself…..!

    Coupled with the fact that I just kept on getting on the nerves of the Admin and his friends I decided to stop commenting but I have now decided to quit..i mean unsubscribe and not because of the Admin and his friends oh heavens no!! It’s just coz I still have questions that have not been answered and would just be a hypocrite here if I still haven’t and truly accepted my self….as you all may have!

    Gad thank you so very much for being a true friend indeed! I love you guys!!!!

    Ps….eh Dennis em….ok really can’t say! But know this dude…HE STILL LOVES YOU!!!!


    • Waiting for God to answer your question.. You’re gonna wait for a very long time.
      What you should ask yourself is this- “At
      Which point did I change”? But then again you already know the answer. We all have our memory from 5years old.. Start there in your search.
      You’ll still arrive at the same conclusion anyway.

      Sayonara dear…

      • Dear Max I wish for me it’s as easy as it is for you…but sadly it isnt….for some of us we have taken an OATH!!! And that with God almighty and it’s about for HIM to leave in me and no more me in me!!! So you see why I don’t have that same luxury as you!!!

        So in order for me to do the ‘gentleman’ thing…I have decided to go…oh goodness no offense to anyone at all!!! If anything you guys always make me wish it was this easy for me…..so bye again! …I guess the ‘opium’ is too strong in my case!

        PS again…I was raped at that age by our landlord’s daughter..if I remember correctly…So maybe just maybe I am the fake one here….all the same I have decided to quit! Thanx for your care and concern!

      • @Lord, lool, the fact that “rape” by your Landlord’s daughter at the tender and impressionable age of 5, still didnt make you straight, speaks loudly about the likely answers you’re going to find in your quest. This is just all hues and shades of messed up, ***the destructive power of religious opium …***, neverthelesss, i genuinely wish you happiness and nothing but the best – you/we all deserve it … cheers bro

      • My Lord so you are just gonna appear and disappear just like that? Look here mister! If not for ur heart felt reason for staying away, I would ve started the trek to abuja to demand a legit explanation………well that’s after I ve delivered a well placed upcut under ur jaw line.
        Its really really really nice to hear from you old one (no pun) miss ya plenty plenty. Take all the time you need. Some of us are still finding ourselves. May God grant u the peace u seek. **warm hug**

      • Thank you Peak and Tef….you guys are making me blush oooo! Wish you all the best of the best too….from me heart!

    • Absie, i folo you faint.
      Lord, pls don’t go. I can say i have missed you a lot. Although, that does not mean there are not a lot of bad things to say about you. You seem like you have doubts about who you are and i wont berate you for it, heck Bruce Jenner isnt sure who he is at 60 . There is still plenty of time to find yourself.

    • @Lord, its nice to hear from you again, it really is! I hope you find the inner peace you – we all are looking for. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for … bye .. **hugs**

    • Lord II,
      If only what i will say here will make you change your mind. You are one of the first persons that made start reading comments up here, i didnt agree with all but you certainly made a positive impression.
      Let me tell you this as a gospel lyrical always goes…. Jehovah has the final say. Trust me Lord ll, i have
      questions to ask BaBa God too until that day sha. However He has been my peace and strength since.
      I was where you are at one point, so i can relate really well. Some christians would say you cant ask questions but i disagree on this ‘homo’ subject, mba i no gree, however God has been indirectly answering
      me. Trust Almighty to answer your questions.

      As i said, i believe the admin means well for all readers, commenters and writers on here. The job of a blog
      owner is immense and continuous learning is involved, The hazzle, bullying, grief and personal attacks
      have been addressed.. If some says you are ‘ getting’on their nerves, i believe some are getting joy from
      reading your views and comments. At least am delighted that you have someone such as Gad to have your
      back up here, thank you Gad despite…..

      I wish you could stay Lord ll. I wish to maintain contact .

      • Thanx a lot Chris and Khaleesi…it’s true that God answers and am sure he is going to…but until that time eh….!

        Oh Khaleesi that experience with the landlord’s daughter scarred me for life so I really wasn’t looking forward to that sticky, yucky and uncmfy feeling I felt through the ordeal!!! So just maybe that was to blame!

  20. Great piece. Message was clear… first piece i have been able to finish at once (This week).

    La Familia …. Its always great when they form your support system.

  21. I can imagine the tears from my mum’s eyes,and the hisses from my dad’s mouth. OMG dat day (d day I come out to them) is gonna b a day filled with Pain and maybe Happiness.

  22. Lord, may God himself attend to your quest the way He attends to our prayers. You were real. Keep being real and thanks for all you have been.

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