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At The Rubicon – How I Came Out At Work

team stockI never go out with work colleagues. Yes, it’s because of privacy issues related to gayness. I especially avoided it when in African cities. I realised quickly that the religious and conservative environment meant that often people could be singled out by their supervisors for things they did on the work night out or just in public and were seen. One of my colleagues ended up losing his job for something that was not even related to the company, something in his personal life that leaked.

However in the UK, it’s far easier. There is a certain feeling that everyone has been there and done that and people don’t really care who you shag or if you shag at all. And there’s a certain camaraderie that’s built up by those after work drinks.

I work in a female-dominated environment and they have all been very nice and easy to work with. We’ve had a few big nights. One of them in particular was so bad I had to be helped home. I had thoroughly underestimated their bar prowess and paid dearly for it the next day.

So on another night out, I was chatting with one of my colleagues when she started to get a bit flirty. At that point, I took a few minutes to gather up courage and then told her “Listen yeah, I’m gay.” She laughed and said “we all know!” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked how she knew and she responded: do you not remember??

On the big night that I’d gotten so drunk, I’d told many of the coworkers that I was gay. I don’t even remember any of it. And so it had been passed on as part of the usual office gossip and was old news. I was the only one who didn’t know I’d been out at work for weeks. A few things suddenly began to make sense.  I’d detected a softening towards me from many formerly frosty members of staff that hadn’t been there before and now I knew why. For some reason I felt weird at work. It wasn’t that I was upset that I was careless with my private life – it’s legal to be gay in the UK and I knew my job wasn’t in jeopardy – this was all uncharted territory for me and I had never even considered telling work colleagues. All my energy so far had been expended in figuring out how to tell family with the plan that I’d work on work folk later should it be deemed necessary yet the reverse had happened.  Eventually I decided to let things flow and not overthink it. So far things have been good, no one has made anti-gay statements, made me feel uncomfortable or tried to set me up yet (thankfully!).

And the love and respect I have for my coworkers continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

 

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To The Future, To Love, And To Paradise

I met up with a new but really good friend today. He was leaving town for good and even though he had a million things to do, he wanted us to meet up. We met up, walked around – which involved lots of meandering through throngs of tourists and avoiding been run over by cyclists who would knock down an old lady in a minute without remorse since they are really the ones “saving the world” and “creating green energy”. At the end of the evening, he hugged me and said he was proud of what I had managed to achieve in the past 18 months. I brushed it off but when I got home, I realised that I am constantly looking forward, constantly thinking about how to advance my goals that I never stop to celebrate the things I have managed to do. So today I opened a bottle of bubbly, a gift that I received at Christmas and drank it down alone, while listening to Seal, who happens to be one of my favourite artists and whose song supplies the title to this post. While I’m the first to list the disadvantages of drinking alone, today is a ME day. And I’m not going to be apologetic about it.

While it may be a normal/boring/crazy/terrible day for you, have a drink today for me, to the future.

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Mind, Body and Soul

 

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Nigerian Human Rights Activist Brings Lawsuit After Unlawful Detention

D.C.:

What an experience! Kudos to him for suing the government:

Originally posted on O-blog-dee-o-blog-da:

Could he have been a target because the Nigerian Court refused to nullify the new Nigerian Anti-Gay law?

By Melanie Nathan, November 03, 2014.

Nigerian Ifeanyi Orazulike, the Executive Director of International Center for Advocacy Nigeria, GayA well known Nigerian activist in the field of human rights and sexual health, who was detained without cause or charge by Nigerian police, is requesting an order of enforcement against two Nigerian Government agencies for violating his constitutional rights. The detention of the activist came mere hours after a Nigerian Court threw out a case seeking to squash the new Nigerian Anti-Homosexuality law,  The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, known as the ‘Jail the Gays’ law.  The attorney who brought that case is now representing the activist.

Nigerian Ifeanyi Orazulike, the Executive Director of International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health (ICARH), as well as the Chairman of KAP, a Board member of AMSHR, Secretary of the Board of Global Forum on MSM…

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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Challenge To Nigerian Anti-Gay Law Dismissed But LGBT Activists Hopeful

LGBT NigeriaSince the infamous bill become law recently, many LGBT and human rights activists have pulled together resources to try to fight the law. Interestingly enough the first person to attempt to bring down the law is  a straight ally, Teriah Joseph Ebah, who does not live in Nigeria. The case was however dismissed as the court said the plaintiff could not prove how the law harmed him personally and hence he was not qualified to bring the case to the court. From what I’ve been told, this is not at all the end of the line, even though it is a setback of sorts but it leaves open the door for a future case. The clear problem is that the only ones who are affected by this ruling may have unique difficulties in actually bringing this case to court since it means that one has to admit to being gay for the law to be seen as a source of harm and coming out carries certain risks – loss of employment, verbal and physical attacks among others. However LGBT activists seem positive and I really hope z new, stronger case is made soon. Read the rest of the story here.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Sodomy In The News: The Gay Medical Doctor And The 16 Year-Old Student

Source: Daily Graphic www.graphic.com.gh

Source: Daily Graphic http://www.graphic.com.gh

There’s a news story making its way through the Ghanaian media about a medical doctor who had sex with a senior high school student and infected him with HIV. The major legal issue is that they had sex when the boy in question was 15 and therefore under the age of consent. Currently homosexuality is one of the most controversial and sensational topics that one will find discussed in the media and by the public and usually the LGBTIQ people involved are usually young, flashy and feminine gay men who are bold enough to come forward and speak their mind. This is the first time in a long time someone considered a ‘respectable’ member of society has been involved in such a story.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Politik, Uncategorized

 

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The Melancholy for Can’t-Be and The Nostalgia for Never-Was

White Bouquet by Rotimi Fani-KayodeI met him online. His profile was empty and I was very wary in the beginning but we connected very quickly. He sent me some really interesting pictures – while he was good-looking, he seemed like he’d be comfortable in an office, outdoors or in a psych ward. Very versatile.  We finally met up for coffee and spent a couple of hours just talking. As he was leaving, he shook my hand then held on to my shoulder, rubbed for a minute like he couldn’t let me go and looked into my eyes. I froze. I have never been one for public displays of affection and when it comes to PDAs of the gay kind, I shut down entirely. But when he touched me, right in the middle of a train station, I felt like there was no one else there – only the two of us. I looked into his eyes and saw the longing I felt for him being returned. I didn’t want him to let go either. We met up for coffee many times after that and finally started dating. We both liked each other but neither was in a place where a relationship of any kind was possible, he because he’d recently come out of a relationship where his ex moved to a different country, and I because there are so many things going on in my life now that I am unable to settle down.

While I would never admit to it in public, I believe in the power of connections and would commit to something if I felt strongly enough about it. However like Lady Gaga once said: “If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Love is a Battlefield, Uncategorized

 

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If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent

D.C.:

The kind of parent I wish I could have

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

KidsFiltered


Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children.

I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.

Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.
Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church.
Maybe it’s because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…

1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.

My children won’t…

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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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