Carl’s Existentialism III

Blog_Carl’s ExistentialismAccording to http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org, “existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility.” I understand it as a journey; a way to find oneself in any way that is comfortable, yet possible and realistic. For existentialism, “the belief is that people are searching to find out whom and what they are throughout life, as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook.”

Through Kito Diaries, I try to confront my hard truths by baring it all, even though behind a pseudonym, making sure that I am as honest as possible, and hopefully have an effect on at least one person. Someone said last week that ‘Carl’s Existentialism’ doesn’t seem to match with the weekly content. At first glance, I was a little down by the remark, but then after some self-scolding, I realized that I can’t help what people think. I can’t guide people to look beyond the surface and deeper at meanings that may or may not be hidden. It deeply pains me that whoever that person is could willingly type those hurtful words and call them criticism, let alone constructive criticism.

Anyway, I am not looking for a bone to pick. I consider the title an art, because I entirely came up with it. ANYONE who writes on this blog is an artist in himself or herself. The fact that people can take a time out of their day to construct ideas, characters, be they fiction, nonfiction or poetry, is a feat not easily accomplished. So if you don’t understand something, it’s okay to put in your little two cents, but endeavour not to put down the work read. #SpreadLove

*

I never understood why people used to call me girly. Up until JSS1, I always thought of myself as free spirited boy. Continue reading

An Open Letter To Ageist Gay Men

g53This piece was originally published on Queerty.com

*

Dear Ageist Gays,

George Bernard Shaw famously wrote “Youth is wasted on the young.” If you don’t understand what this means, then you likely fall into the category of either ignorant or “young,” which, for the sake of argument, is under the age of 25… OK, OK, 30, for those of you still clinging. But that’s the cutoff, even if you are 50 and describe yourself as a “boi” on your Adam4Adam profile. (More power to you, dude!)

A stubborn minority of gay men maintain ageist attitudes. In the eyes of many gay men, including, evidently, 40 is the new geriatric and 50 is the new dead. Continue reading

WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 3)

FOREWORD: I’d like to correct a misconception brought on by some comments some persons made on Unoma’s lesbian erotica. Kito Diaries is not a blog for gay men; it is a blog for GAY PEOPLE. And the last time I checked, that included both men and WOMEN who have love for the same sex. I am trying to break my female readership out of their writerly silence and get more submissions from them. But when the males begin to make chauvinistic comments against lesbian stories like ‘Nice story, but this does nothing for me…’ – Hello?! We know you’re gay; that it does nothing for you is already an established fact. Can you not state the obvious? It is such ‘It’s A Man’s World’ comments like this that make it hard for me to convince the ladies to send in articles.

Let me reiterate. Kito Diaries is HOME for ALL GAY PEOPLE, and that includes the WOMEN! Guys, please, stop with the discrimination. Whether intended or not, when you make such comments, that is the message perceived.

*

g1I did my fourth year university industrial training (IT) in – where else? – Lagos. I packed my things at the commencement of that six-month period and journeyed from the East to Sin City to get a taste of life on the proletarian lane. The IT attachment didn’t come easy o. I suffered the indignation of polite rejections, brusque brush-offs and unresponsive correspondences. But I was young and basically not in a hurry. The job would come in its own sweet time, I was sure. In the mean time, I could spend my days sampling the treats that Lagos had to offer, in as much free time as I could get, living as I was under my strict uncle’s roof.

Chibuzo (yes, my darling roommate also came to Lagos for his IT attachment) was staying with his cousins. That meant that he had more latitude than I could ever hope to get. He went to night gay parties that I could not attend. He had wild experiences that I could only imagine. And he met men who requested for his company at hours I could not hope to entertain. Whenever we got to hang out, he related his stories to me, and I stared and laughed and clapped my hands and felt just a smidgen of envy smoulder in a corner of my heart. Continue reading

WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 2)

To read WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 1), click HERE

*

g1The next morning could not come fast enough. So at the crack of dawn, we were awake and rearing to go. In the daylight, the ugliness and utter dilapidation of the environment in which we spent the night was stark.

One of the runs I came to see, a married guy, had called me the previous night, and I informed him of our relocation from Iyana Ipaja to Shomolu. He offered to come pick us up and drive us over to Shomolu.

So the morning saw us inside the perfumed, air-conditioned, plush-leathered Honda of the man I met for the first time that day, chattering and quickly recovering from our horrendous ordeal the night before, as he drove us to Shomolu. His wife was out of town, and he actually offered us accommodation in his place at Ikeja. But as appealing as that was, I wasn’t ready to curtail the freedom this trip to Lagos was offering. I’d go to stay in his place, and the next thing I’d know, all the excitement I was out to get would take a nosedive. The man (let’s call him Mr. Big) actually believed he was the one reason why I came to Lagos. #shakingmyhead The sheer naïveté. Continue reading

WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS

g1I recently took a trek down memory lane, remembering those days of my past as a gay Nigerian, fresh out of my teenage years. Wait, I was eighteen or nineteen. So, scratch that ‘fresh out’ bit. And these memories awakened different reactions from me as I pondered them. A reminiscent smile. A ‘what was I thinking’ cringe. A ‘did that really happen’ incredulity.

I decided to share one particular memory because it stayed with me the longest, especially since I’d just recently read Queer Mike’s A LOT LIKE LOVE, which smacked of ‘Johnny Just Come Lagos.’

I live in Lagos, and I’d like to think that I’ve been hewn appropriately by the city’s unpredictability, unreliability and topsy-turvy way of life. But I wasn’t always Lagos-savvy. I was brought up in the East, and my earliest visits to the city were under the care and supervision of my parents. My mother would accompany me to Lagos during my holiday, drop me off at my uncle’s place and then return home to the East. And then, I’d spend the vacation either being a homebody or being shepherded through sightseeing outings by older cousins. And when my holiday was over, a cousin would put me in a bus and my parent would be at the park back home, waiting to receive me.

As is typical of this kind of sheltered upbringing, I silently rebelled. I wanted to visit Lagos, see Lagos on my own terms, and not under the stranglehold of family. But such a venture required financial means and a place to stay in the city, all of them options which I didn’t have. Continue reading