Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama Admonishes FG To stop Punishing Gay Nigerians

Archbishop-Ignatius-Kaigama2The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama has said Nigerian government is “wrong” for “punishing” gay Nigerians.

Speaking at a press briefing with The Tablet at the Vatican yesterday, the Archbishop stressed that the Catholic Church in Nigeria is opposed to any discrimination of gay people.

According to him, after Nigeria adopted a law that hands out 14-year sentences to gay Nigerians earlier this year, he had announced the Church’s support for the legislation. However, there was a “gross misinterpretation” of this by the media.

The Catholic Church, he now says, only supported the elements of the law that set out that marriage is between a man and a woman, but is against “the criminalization of people with different sexual orientations.” He told The Tablet:

“We are not supporting the criminalization of people with different sexual orientations. We would defend any person with homosexual orientation who is being harassed, who is being imprisoned, who is being punished. The Government may want to punish them – we don’t. In fact we will tell the Government to stop punishing those with different orientations.”

HIS KITO STORY (EDITION 10)

FOREWORD: You guys remember Unoma, right? Well, she has an ongoing literary project that concerns the Nigerian LGBTI community, one she wants us to be a part of. It’s a kind of anthology that intends to document our lives as gay Nigerians, our experiences, our struggles, and our peculiar ways of navigating the very hostile terrain of the Nigerian society. Telling our stories have the power to help upcoming baby gay Nigerians know that they are as normal as those of us who lived and triumphed over rejection, pain and oppression. Our stories can possibly reduce homophobia because it lets people see that we neither chose our lifestyles, nor live as gay men and women because of any spiritual or demonic forces.

We live and exist in our fullness because of the way we are. And we are a beautiful people.

And so, if you have any stories of survival and overcoming that you would like to be in the anthology, kindly either send to me on pantherptb@yahoo.com or to her on unomaazuah@gmail.com. Thanks, guys.

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singles 2I have read all the kito stories on this forum, but I have not seen one in the likeliness of mine. My story is almost one of a kind.

Peter Amechina (real name) and I were friends for seven years, starting 2005 to 2012, when my Kito story happened. We met in a bank. He walked up to me, having mistaken me for someone else – his pickup line, which I was impressed by. We exchanged numbers and not long afterward, we developed a quick rapport. We didn’t live in the same area, he in Enugu and me in Owerri, and so we maintained contact through phone calls and texts. BBM and Whatsapp made things easier years later.

Though sexuality was the string of connection, our friendship wasn’t based on sex. We were more friends with occasional benefits. Over the years, I got to know a lot about him and his family members, though I never met them, the same way he got to know about me and mine, even though he never got to meet my people. He visited me a number of times. One such time was in December 2008, when I was left in the municipality alone, and my folks traveled for the yuletide. He came to my house then, with a friend in tow, and we all had loads of fun during the period of his visit.

And so, seven years of friendship and trust rolled past. Continue reading

Out Of The Closet: The Lagosian Male Scandalized By The Internet

singles 26I got wind of the ‘breaking news’ from a friend of mine. He told me to go to Google and type in the search words ‘gay hair stylist in Lagos’, and that I’d find a scandal brewing in the blogosphere. I did, and sure enough, splashed all over the Google result lists were such cliché headlines like ‘SHOCKING! Meet the first Openly GAY Male Hair Stylist in Lagos.’

As I clicked on each report, hoping to get varying versions of the story, to better understand it, I came to realize the dominance of the ‘copy and paste’ characteristic of the Nigerian blogosphere. Snippets of the report on one blog go thus:

‘…a blog reader called my attention that I should go and do my aproko parole on Stanley Igho’s Facebook profile. As at when I visited it, he had no privacy settings whatsoever so anybody can breeze in freely…

‘…I just hope he knows the implication of what he is doing, by openly revealing his sexuality…

‘…he’s an adult, so his choices, nobody should form holier than thou here o…’

These words were more or less the same on every blog I clicked open. Apparently, all the bloggers were told by their blog readers to go and do their aproko paroles on this Stanley Igho’s Facebook profile, and they simply breezed in, screen-grabbing photos as they went. Continue reading

LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT (Chapter 3)

Blog_Life As He Knows ItThe weeks rolled by and soon turned into months. The rains reduced drastically, although it rained so heavily and unexpectedly one time Tunde decided to go see a movie. However since then, it was pretty much heat and the characteristic dry air that felt like tiny slivers of glass to the nose. A light film of dust was beginning to form on leaves of weeds and a rundown car parked close to his compound.

Kola asked Tunde only once if his offer had been considered. Tunde replied that he was still thinking about it. They kept a cordial collegial relationship. Tunde just wasn’t sure how to deal with this heterosexual guy who was so open to homosexuality in Nigeria. In his final year in the university, he told his best friend since secondary school of his true sexual identity, and the so-called best friend had proceeded to punch him and call him a fag and stopped talking to him. It had hurt but Tunde had toughed it out. At least he got out of a friendship that wasn’t worth it.

It was a particularly sunny day, and Tunde was hurrying out of the mall with nylon bags full of groceries, when there was a “riiiiiiiip” sound, and all his precious packages came tumbling out of the bags. Both bags. Tunde groaned. What kind of luck was this one now?

His car was a bit far from him and he couldn’t exactly scoop up everything in his arms and carry to the car.

As he bent to start picking his things, a deep voice said, “Excuse me, do you need a hand?” Continue reading

WHIPS

Remember Unoma, who wrote Internet Lover (Read HERE)… Well, she has sent in another piece for our reading delight, an extract from her upcoming memoir, Embracing My Shadow. Check on it.

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Girl ChildI was hungry, but I came alive as soon as other students started gathering their notebooks, getting ready to dash out of the class. The bread and tea we had for breakfast didn’t seem to serve any purpose. I had hoped that whatever we were having for lunch would be rice and stew. In the refectory, food was divided according to tables, so five to six students per table and each table had a pot or two of garri and soup. Sometimes, the soup was too watery, and then the rice and beans had small pebbles in them. I had the responsibility of dividing up the food. Nobody appointed me but I volunteered as often as I wanted. Occasionally, some accused me of not doing a good job.

At one point one of the girls at the table, Amaka, who had a large head yelled at me, “Unoma, the fish in your plate is bigger than others.”

“Bigger how? I shared the fish equally.”

“No, yours is bigger!” she yelled.

I shoved my plate to her and snatched hers, but she pulled it back, spilling some of the Ogbono soup. I clenched my fist and glared at her. I didn’t want to get into trouble by fighting. Otherwise, I would have punched her big head. The rest of the girls at the table told me to calm down and to ignore her. Continue reading

LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT (Chapter 2)

Blog_Life As He Knows ItTunde settled into work more comfortably. He even got friendlier with the female staff, especially Shalom. Most of the females thought his reserve was cute. He’d go get lunch with them often. He also made sure to always lock his computer.

A couple of days had passed, and Kola hadn’t said anything about anything. Soon Tunde almost put the incident out of his mind. He still saw Kola staring at him when he thought he wasn’t looking but he refused to be nervous. He did wonder if he – Kola – had told anyone else about what he probably saw, but nobody else seemed to treat him weirdly. He probably hadn’t. And Tunde wasn’t interested in stirring undisturbed waters.

He had reprimanded Ope heavily about his carelessness, and Ope became really sulky as a result. Feeling a bit bad, Tunde took him to get some food at KFC and told him about how his workmate had probably found the porn. Ope played with the straw in his drink while he listened and apologised for putting him in such an awkward situation. Continue reading

HIS KITO STORY (EDITION 8)

bigstock-Worried-black-young-man-with-h-52268527I live in the ancient city of Benin. And this is my kito…or rather, near–kito story. It occurred (or almost occurred) right after my Post–UTME exams. I am sure a good number of us can remember passing through this period. It’s a time when it feels like you’re in limbo. You’re out of secondary school but not yet in the University, and it’s frequently a time of intense boredom which can reach a stifling intensity. It can last for several months, or even years if you’re so unlucky.

Anyway, I was on the verge of losing my mind due to boredom – Benin isn’t the most fun place to be – and so, I decided to spice things up a bit and create some fun and diversion for myself. I didn’t own a Blackberry then, and thus, didn’t have access to BBM. So I logged on to my 2go account and found a thriving gay chat room which was full of eager and available guys. Continue reading

LOVE AND SEX IN THE CITY (Episode 16)

Blog_Love And Sex In The CityThere was no exchange of words, hostile or amicable, between Fabian and I before I left for work on Wednesday morning. In fact, I did not set my eyes on him, not since he confronted me last night. I remained in my room for the rest of the night, too distraught to even feel the hunger pangs or to simply give in to exhaustion and sleep off. It wasn’t until around 1am that I realized I was ravenous, and made my way downstairs, through the gloom in the house (my brother had turned off the plant, and NEPA still hadn’t restored the electricity) to the kitchen to take a quick midnight supper of buttered bread and tea.

As I started out of the house for work early in the morning, I walked past Fabian’s closed room door. I could tell by the subdued volume of some radio station’s morning music programme coming from the room, that he was awake. The electricity had been restored, and light spilled out from his room through the door jambs to the dim hallway; I could see shadowed movements cutting across the thin slats of light, which implied that he was moving about in his room. Probably packing for his trip to Port Harcourt later in the day, I thought.

I briefly battled with the thought of going in there to speak to him.

About what, the voice queried. Continue reading

LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT

Blog_Life As He Knows ItThe drivers on the road are particularly mad today, thought Tunde as he slowed down to prevent bumping into a car that had abruptly braked. He maneuvered his car carefully, mentally biting his tongue so he wouldn’t insult the useless driver that wanted to be the reason he would dent his almost new car.

He stopped at a red traffic light and the car behind him honked very loudly. Tunde looked into the rearview mirror and used his hand to motion that the guy should fly over his head.

“Idiot,” he muttered under his breath. Soft music came from the speakers as his early morning playlist pumped him up. Music did a lot of things to his mood and sometimes even woke him up more than coffee ever could. How could people even stay awake with coffee? He had tried it all – black with sugar, with milk, without milk, and every bloody time, he just wanted to put his head on his office desk and snooze.

A car horn blared from behind him snapping him back to reality. The light had turned green. He steered his car back into the moving traffic as he shook his head. His mind wandered a lot like that. The car behind him sped past and he could see the man behind its wheel muttering what were most likely insults.

You just had to love Lagos. Continue reading