While having a much-needed tea break in a nearby café just before closing, I ran into a friend and colleague I hadn’t seen in a few months. We’d become friendly after we collaborated on project but when the it ended and we went back to our departments, we never seemed to find the time to meet up. It was unfortunate as I enjoyed her company and she was one of the only gay people at work I was friends with. However I wasn’t out to her. She once described me as “the straightest” straight man she knew. While I was amused, I wasn’t sure I liked that description especially the frisson of pleasure I felt when she said it. Did that mean I was completely boring with no redeeming qualities? Was the fact that I felt some pleasure inside mean I was still clinging to the hetero-normative ideas of manhood and had a problem with feminine qualities I or other men possessed? Read the rest of this entry »
Author Archives: D.C.
Culture Shock 3.0 – On Being Gay in London
Whenever one moves to a new place, there’s a period that’s spent learning how the people do things and trying to integrate into the community. It’s very different from being a tourist in that place and London is no different. The learning curve was no joke. Knowing how important the things that are not said were just as important as understanding what was being said (in clipped, polite tones of course). I had to learn how to make friends all over again. A friend recently told me that she’s been in London for 15 years and she still doesn’t know how to make friends here (she’s from Paris). Aside from weathering the culture shock of a new environment, us gay people have to learn what’s acceptable in any gay society and how to fit in. It hasn’t been easy but it has definitely been fun and illuminating. Some of these may be slightly NSFW. Either that or I’m more prudish that I think: Read the rest of this entry »
I heard of a young man (within two degrees of separation), handsome and smart who committed suicide by shooting himself with his father’s gun. He had been troubled, sad, frustrated and felt he had no one to talk to. He cloaked his inner turmoil in humour, cleverness and life-of-the-party-ness. When he couldn’t handle it any more, he stopped.
For a while I’ve felt overwhelmed. I feel the weight of having to be responsible. Friendly. Sensible. Lacking the African shoulder chip. Feeling worthy of something when I know I didn’t put in enough work. Having to be capable. Smart. Funny. Fun. Caring. Confident. Knowledgeable when I feel like a fraud.
And I’m tired. I don’t want to see another therapist. Sometimes I feel I learned much more of psychologists than they ever did of me. How they attempt to shape your treatment based on what they think is right for you and not what is actually right – if ‘right’ actually exists. How they live vicariously through your own experiences. But I’m so tired of having to wear masks everyday. I want to run away to a place that I don’t have to be polite. Responsible. Sane. Reasonable. Friendly. I want to ride the wave of the anger, joy, happiness, irrationality, redness, light, darkness, weakness, power, nothingness that I feel rising higher and higher inside me and see where it takes me. I want to retreat so far into myself that the world ceases to exist. I don’t want to wear a mask today.
But I fear that if I give in, I will never find my way back. I cannot afford that. And so as I put on another mask and leave home, I believe everything will be okay.
I will be okay.
A Sexual Wrestling Adventure
One of the issues that has come up during talks with my psychologist is my hidden desires. We agreed that it was time I explored some of them. As I found myself caught in a wrestler’s sleeper hold a few days later, feeling dizzy but tapping away frantically on the floor, I doubted this was what either of us had in mind. Read the rest of this entry »
Messages From Home – Two Bombs and A Mass Kidnapping
I remember thinking “thank God this is not us” when I would see car and suicide bombings in the news as a child. How the story has changed today! Besides a reputation for online fraud, Nigeria is now also known for religious unrest with associated massacres and bombings, the fear of which is so great that the Independence Day celebration was shifted from the open square to the apparently impenetrable fortress that is Aso Rock, the location of the Presidential Complex. Read the rest of this entry »
When God says jump, we ask how high
Life is always changing.
Sometimes, it’s suddenly and without reason. Other times, it’s after many hours/days/months of thought and prayer. We can’t always predict the path our lives will travel. For some, that might be frightening. It’s difficult to do something for so long, and then everything drastically changes.
Last week, God led us to step down as staff members with One7 Ministries. For those who follow my blog on a consistent basis, you know this is huge. We’re talking three and a half years of blood, sweat, and tears being the hands and feet of Jesus to the city of Charlotte. This is a major change for our family.
For the last month, we sensed God was orchestrating a change of some kind for our lives. We never thought it would be this. We didn’t seek the council of anyone other than our Heavenly Father. No one had a…
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Uganda: One Step Forward, Ninety-nine Steps Back
Recently, the President of Uganda was celebrated for choosing to back down over the proposed anti-gay law. However the jubilation was premature: he recently signed the infamous law into being. This law includes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts and prison sentences for people besides the couple who participate in same-sex marriages. Even worse: he apparently had overwhelming support from the country’s citizens who rejoice at a victory over western/unAfrican influences. True to Ugandan form, a local tabloid has come up with names of 200 gay men and women in Uganda although the paper’s online edition did not carry this story, according to CNN. . I am sad and disappointed. The hypocrisy of carrying a Bible/Qur’an yet opposing “western influences” seem to be lost on many Africans. I will admit that there is some high-handedness in the way some western aid organizations decide how aid money is spent (especially on projects that are not that big a priority) and in trade agreements that clearly do not favour the low and middle-income ones, homosexuality will never fall into that category. Rights are rights and seizing the rights of a minority when these rights do not in any way affect how the greater majority live their lives will never be the way forward. This is not even something that any African country should be told by anyone: this is something it should know. Where is the Ugandan Social Justice Department in all this? Incidentally their webpage is offline at the moment.