Hopes And Fears And Everything In Between

hopes and fearsChurch was fun all the way down to the sermon.

And just when the pastor was going to round up the preaching for the week, he brought up the one subject that makes me swallow hard in a gathering like that –

Homosexuality.

Of course, I swallowed.

Then he began his narration of what he’d been seeing in the papers – about how the same-sex bill could be revisited in Nigeria as homosexuality had become a global topic; about how the homosexuals are trying to take root in God’s church and lead people astray. A couple of prayers against us, present but unknown, were made. I was so stunned by the condemnatory nature of the prayers. And when the name of Jesus was called upon to stamp His approval on the supplication, I couldn’t say ‘Amen.’

How could I?

After all, I happen to be one of those whose “sin” he was preaching against, and I’m some known member of the church.

How do I deal with that? How would ANYONE deal with that?

I remember two church members were excommunicated on these grounds, each at a different time. One of them was a lesbian, or so it was implied. The congregation’s reaction was somewhat unanimous. I wished I was strong like those two, but I’m not.

Hours later, I noticed something outside the church walls. The streets have been talking. The infamous bands of debaters at the newspaper stands were talking. It felt like every Nigerian had their eyes on the Senate (or whoever it was that was responsible for the laws).

Our acceptance by the law should bring joy to us. I see hope for us.

But besides hope, I have a great deal of fear and worry. Now I find myself thinking: “So they pass a new bill. Give us our freedom. Then what?”

Does it wreak any magic on the members of my family?

Does a change in the law mean a change in their prejudice against who I am?

Yes, I’d get to move in with my boyfriend and start a new present tense – legally.

But would people then treat me like they would any other person?

Yes, I’d get to carry on my business confidently without the overhanging risk of the dreaded fourteen years.

But would I really get to enjoy that benefit – with a smile on my face? You know, without the homophobic deal all up on my face.

And what about my God? Do I get the freedom to worship him without inhibitions on Sundays, or sit back and cry like Mary Lambert once did?

Don’t get me wrong.

I have hope.

I’m really looking forward to a better future for me and people like me.

I have loads of hope.

But I’ve also got questions.

I believe we all do.

Written by Richard Moore

46 thoughts on “Hopes And Fears And Everything In Between

  1. Yes we all do! Let me state firstly that I hate this country, it has made it impossible for gay relationships to thrive. even if We are legally allowed to be ourselves tomorrow, it still wouldn’t change anything, Your bf could still leave you because his brother saw your chats on whatsApp together or because he’s afraid his father will kill him if he finds out (even when he’s a working man and doesn’t live with them, or well it could just be because he feet you make him irresponsible. it could be any Reason at all, it wouldn’t matter if you’ve been together a year or two or even four; it just wouldn’t, that’s the fucked up place we are and the people in it are even more fucked up!

    • Er……I wouldn’t say it’s the country that makes it impossible for gay relationships to thrive,rather it’s the people involved.
      Same set of conditions listed as being found here are also found in other countries,even the ‘evil West’.Difference lies in how those involved respond,react or adapt to those conditions.Regrettably,here they would rather take the easy way out than go the full,hard mile.

    • Which country do you love? Which country can one say that homophobics don’t exist legally or illegally? I hope I wont be mis-read.

      • @angel Gadriel, you have refused or remained unable to learn, or you have deliberately closed your eyes to global happenings in saner parts of the world!! Yes, homophobes exist everywhere, but like i told you not too long ago, in those other countries, homophobia is not the official government poolicy; homophobia is actively fought to a standstill, as is crime, racial prejudice, violence against women etc … in those countries, homophobes are ridiculed and shamed into silence. Whereas in this part of the world, the reverse is the case, the official government policy is homophobia, homophobia is celebrated, homophobia is embraced and espoused by the religious institutions which are largely responsible for the putrid mash of hypocrisy and intellectual indolence (covered under a thin veil of blind adherence to faith and piety) that describes you in all your totality … hopefully, once again you do have a few intact brain cells to clearly process what i’ve just said and there’ll be no further need to elaborate – hopefully; or perhaps do we have to resort to the mythical “breaking open of your thick skull and attempting to pour it in”?

      • I’m sure I didn’t direct my question to you knowing how foolish people that knows that they know better can be. If you are so obsessed with me that you look for the slightest excuse for a rejoinder from me,why didn’t you attend to the clarifications I sought from Pinky, your principal on the status of Max as a co-admin and save him the embarrassment his answer caused him and your gang? Do I sound like that your neighbor who you bater words with at the public bore-hole or kitchen daily? You must handle this your obsession before it consumes you.

      • The embarrassment my answer caused me? lol. Chai! Gad, stop being delusional please. After my last response on that thread, I exited. No time to return to see whatever nonsense you’ve been spouting there. I told you. Your opinions mean nothing to me. You can pontificate from now till you are blue in the face, it won’t change what I mean to do.
        Embarrassment indeed. And here I was, actually living my life and not knowing some people think they have scored one on me.

      • @Dumb angel Gadriel, nah nigga, dont flatter yourself! i’d rather be obsessed with watching worms @ work as they slowly devour the moist mushiness thats your brain. You’re wayyyyy more boring than that – absolutely nothing remarkable nor worthy of emulation about you. However, i do realise that somehow you’ve managed to hold yourself out as an authority firgure misleadingly due to your age – which doesnt always amount to wisdom. I shall always point this out @ every opportunity … bye!!

      • ‘However, i do realise that somehow you’ve managed to hold yourself out as an authority firgure misleadingly due to your age’

        That right there is gospel. Lol. It amuses me each time this guy acts like he’s a voice of authority, like he’s doing some sort of sovereign work, calling people to order and shaming them appropriately.
        Talk about the heights of delusion.

  2. The question here should be, before the bill was passed, how were the homosexuals living in Nigeria?

    Let’s not kid ourself, the law can only be reviewed and nothing else. Don’t expect anything drastic.

  3. Even though they repeal tht law, our society is f**king full of homophob’s(pastors,mother,father,aunty,uncle,sister,brother,colleagues at work)…

  4. “Un-criminalizing” homosexuality in Nigeria would be the first step in the right direction. At least with that the pressure is off… and hopefully with time other things will follow. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    • Oluwa, I agree totally with you. Its not an entirely hopeless situation. The road to freedom starts from somewhere but the big question is: what does the average bisexual/gay think of himself and his likes? Many still see themselves as no good. Others see fellow gays/bisexuals as doomed. At the end of the day, what really counts is what one thinks of himself.

  5. I too have questions, Richard. But above my questions, I have fears. Not of who I am, but of the reaction of my family and those I care about to the reality of who I am inspite of what the law says. However, the one thing I won’t fool myself into having is hope in this unhealthy clime and society. I choose to harden my heart, to be tough and not let go rather than let myself get hurt.

    I have questions! I have fears! I refuse to have hope!

  6. Don’t hold your breath.
    This law isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you have an exit plan, now is the time to act.
    This isn’t pessimism (I’m an optimist), its realism. Homosexuals are the most hated minority in the world, right after atheists.
    And Nigerians are too backwards in their way of thinking.

  7. The law legalised homophobia. IF it is repealed, gays will still get harmed on the streets, ostracised by families, etc…
    What the law makers could do, is criminalise gay-hate crime and discrimination, then they would be taken seriously.

    But baby steps I guess😒

  8. I love this line “Church was fun all the way down to the sermon.” I think that says it all.

  9. Or it could be to;

    Repel the ban on association (activism, healthcare).
    Repel the 10 years sentence for ‘witnesses’.
    Reduce the 14-years sentence.

    The NASS can easily legalize LGBT rights and union and no much will come of it, we don’t hold government officials (esp. lawmakers) accountable in this country. Pastors are only gonna get richer with more vigils/revivals.

    Keeping hope alive.

    ***
    There’s no 1 hour prison sentence for parents/friends/colleagues of robbers, murderers, con people, oil bunkerers, 419-ers, drug traffickers, counterfeiters, adulteration mafia, pedophiles…

    But my folks will be shipped off to prison for knowing I’m in love with another man (we don’t even need to have sex).

    • I’m aware of people who have been sentenced for being aware of crimes and not report it.it has been in our law books and doesn’t apply only to same sex acts. We shouldn’t mis-inform or lie because our interest is involved.

  10. I can relate with your church encounter to some extent. On the eve of father,s sunday I was chatting with a younger guy who is in the same parish with me and he said, “Dad,how is the fathering sunday going to be?”. I told him that all is set and I have been appointed to preach the sermon. His reply came thus ” won’t God be angry with you?” Though, I knew where he was going, I calmly asked him,why. “You are bisexual was his answer. I was happy for his answer because it opened an avenue for us to re-visit a heart to heart talk we have start long ago but left unfinished. To cut a long story short, he tendered apologies on sunday night before saying good night. Back to the church service(i wasn’t the preacher), the guest speaker said a lot of terrible things against gays and I was wondering how the Vicar and other members where taking it. Atleast 3 younger gays I know where in church. Of the 7 couples that received prizes in the couples game I know 2 MBM. The couple that was declared couple of the year,the man is a MBM. I just kept wondering how all where feeling until it was thanksgiving time. From my observation, the guys that danced most happily were the gays. Looking @ Gerald,s face I could see this type of peace that the world can’t understand. That’s the summary of all my rantings. What matters is that we are @ peace with Him that matters most…God.

    • if you can dance and sing happily and fellowship lovingly with persons who would hate you fiercely if they knew who you truly were, then you’re a major player in the art of self deceit. You have perfected the art of getting them to love who they think you are and not who you know you are … if you’re fine with such depth of self – deceit; have fun ***shudders***

  11. If the law is repelled, there is gonna be an increase in gay bashing, deaths nd kitos all over Nigeria…….. *shudders,* can we all bear consequences……

  12. to those who bother to go to those hate – filled, venom spewing houses of judgmental hypocrites … have fun!! #PewCrew …
    A change or repeal in the anti – gay law will very likely have no effect whatsoever on the already existing homophobia, did you think that Nigerians would suddenly let gays walk hand in hand happily down the street and along the hallways in the mall, move in together and live happily ever after? ***short derisive laugh***; well, wake up!!! It aint happening! not anytime soon! if anything, the law will once again put gays on the spotlight and re – open an unpleasant chapter, the homophobes will see more reasons to torment and victimize gays; the hatred of gays will be elevated to an all time high … nevertheless, a part of me wishes the law is thrown into the trash can, even if only to make a symbolic statement … but really, am not holding my breath for anything …

    • So Khaleesi, pray tell what do you suggest? I am not deceiving myself that the law would be repealed, but what if the highly unlikely happened? Surely, it means not being thrown in jail for same sex loving? Isn’t that a positive step?😳

      And Nigeria is not a society where PDA is on frequent display. So I don’t expect gays to skip hand in hand in the street or in the mall. It’s Nigeria and not Eupore.

  13. I am sorry to say this, but i dont think the Nigerian LGBT community is ready for the repeal of that law. Even though the same can be said of other LGBT communities, the truth is that the Nigerian factor of disorganisation would see the less reasonable members of our community recklessly flaunting themselves in the public’s eye just to incite their hatred in a bid to be courageous. This is a country where even straights don’t perform public shows of affection like kissing or grabbing each other’s asses. I fear that in an attempt to be ‘bold’, some gays will be reckless and do things that “shouldn’t” be done in public. Of course, I’m not saying we should make the straights a standard for ourselves. But until this community can stand for a positive difference in a way that even straights would wish to be like us, i personally don’t think we should be granted such freedom. The truth is we all can’t control ourselves and each other to a really proper point.

    • @Josh, but straight people do exhibit PDA in Nigeria, they may not make out in public, but they hold hands, cuddle etc … if they can do thay, why should a gay couple be unable to do that, and yes, on a deeper level, you have internalized homophobia, you have automatically placed gay and straight relationships on your own personal scale and assigned more value and weight to the straight relationship … the earlier a society gets used to seeing gays and seeing them as normal functional members of society, like everyone else, the quicker is the journey down the road to true equality and acceptance. ..

    • @Khaleesi, yes I have internalised homophibia; No its not on a deep level. I have it as a safety mechanism to confuse piercing eyes and sniffing noses when they ask me that dumb question. Of course, i want to say yes I am gay to their faces and watch them jump off a bridge or combust spontaneously but I have to sound convincing when I lie to their faces.
      @ Keredim true talk… I understand you.

  14. @Josh, I hear what you are saying, but we shouldn’t let – as the song goes- “One bad apple spoil the whole bunch”
    Let’s get decriminalised and have the right to exist first. We can sort out comportment later.

    PS : you might be accused of having “internalised homophobia” (Grrrr I hate that phrase.😡😡 Sorry Max😙)

  15. Let them rePEL/rePEAL/PEEL back the law. Anything, just Peel Something. Maybe Peel Banana sef. Then we can all Chop Banana Till U Go Yo … …and become Happy Monkeys.

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