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Category Archives: The Business of Living

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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Culture Shock 3.0 – On Being Gay in London

_61431723_pride1Whenever 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 »

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in The Business of Living, Uncategorized

 

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As Support For Gay People Rises in Nigeria, Violence Against Them Rises Also

gay nigeriaWhile the Police has begun seizing people’s phones at random and checking for incriminating pictures, luring and arresting suspected gay men all in the name of bribes curbing the homosexual menace, most gay men and women have bound to together to form support groups and networks and protect each other while others have taken to speaking against the law. There has been support from the heterosexual community such as Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka (whose piece requires a good dictionary to follow), musician Seun Kuti who also advocated for gay people to come out, and blogger Ayo Sogunro who succinctly (and satirically) explained why even heterosexual men and women should be worried about this new law.

On the hand, two gay men got were caught by a mob of young men and forced to have sex with each other.nigeria-gay-vigilante-attack-thumb-250xauto-34826 The episode was recorded on multiple mobile phones by onlookers and uploaded online. No one attempted to help them. I watched the video and every second of it broke my heart. The one thought going through my head was this could happen to me. There have been no comments from the Nigerian police on this issue.

A man was also outed on social media via pictures that were taken when he was having sex with another man. The pictures clearly showed his face and he was tagged in the post, thus making sure that everyone who saw the picture knew exactly who he was. People immediately began condemning him and calling for him to be arrested. He has since gone underground. The worst part of this entire spectacle is that it was orchestrated by another gay man. Talk about drama.

In other Nigerian news, petrol queues are starting to form due to shortage (real or induced by those with ‘vested interests’ – sometimes you never can tell). This is yet another problem that was placed lower down in the priority list as fighting homosexuality went up. I hope Nigerians are seeing their tax Naira at work.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Politik, The Business of Living

 

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Peering Over The Edge of No Return

I love my mother. If it hasn’t come through on this blog already, today I say it plainly. There is no woman I think is more fabulous, more fun, funnier, more beautiful than she is. When we talk on the phone, it’s rarely ever less than an hour, often closer to two. When I actually go home, we spend whole days talking and hanging out. No conversation ends without me saying “Love you mum!”. It’s a good thing I’m gay because no woman would ever be able to compete with her (no, seriously). There are very few weeks that pass without me receiving such picture messages as this one from her:

promise-to-my-children

I walking to a meeting a few days ago when I received a text message. It was from my mum and I hurriedly opened it to get an unexpected surprise. It was a forwarded message supporting the anti-gay bill in Nigeria and urging all recipients to support this bill and not bow down to western or other influences which seek to quash the bill. It ended by suggesting all recipients should send the message to others to show their support for the bill. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in The Business of Living

 

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Flirting With Bisexuality: How I Learned Too Much About Viagra

nun on breakOver Christmas I got a call from my ex. Not my ex-boyfriend who I’ve talked about many times but the last girl I dated. Even though it has been a more than few years since we broke up, we are still in contact. Though we don’t chat often, when we do it’s always long, rich and interesting. We had been good friends before we started dating and we still had that friend connection. One of the things she said as she ended the call was how good she felt that we had remained friends, that our brief relationship made us drift apart and she looked forward to continuing our friendship. It made me remember our last month together. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Mind, Body and Soul, The Business of Living

 

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New Country For Old Problems

soho flagSo it’s been awhile since I posted. I was just overwhelmed with life – I moved to London for a busy project and so far it has been quite the experience. While I have been in the city a few times in the past, it’s a completely different experience actually living in it and being a part of it. In my opinion, it succeeds in making everyone feel like they belong regardless of where they are from, even if it’s not exactly the friendliest city. There are some things I love about the city and things I don’t. I love walking around the city and taking in the sights. It has a booming night life but since the trains stop around midnight and buses run infrequently at this time, many people have a ‘Cinderella complex’ and run off to the stations once the clock strikes 11.55. One of the reasons is because cabs are quite expensive and finding affordable parking in central areas of the city isn’t always easy. While the food is good and the variety is out of this world, most dishes are usually lacking in spicy heat and I have to go a long way to find Scotch bonnets which make everything better. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in The Business of Living, Uncategorized

 

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You Can Never Win The Sexual Numbers Game

man whoreMy ex and I started talking after his birthday. I made the first move – called him up, sent him a gift that he really liked (I know him that well) . Everything seemed to be going well. We would chat every couple of days about life, work etc. It was nice to talk without all the drama of being in a relationship and I saw some of the qualities that made me like him in the first place.Eventually he came into town and we met up for a chat which then turned into having hot coffee. To keep it short, I’d say the coffee was so good I could write a sonnet about it.

Anyway we talked about the things that went wrong, including the fact that we both cheated on each other (nothing new there). All of a sudden, he wanted to know just how many people I had slept with while we were together. I was taken aback by this, considering I didn’t think it was important and he had already showed an inability to deal with sexual numbers. After days of constantly harassing via phone and social media, I capitulated and told him. While it was by no means a huge amount, it was more than his and he went into a rage, called me all sorts of names, said he was very disappointed in me, that I had made him look stupid. After that he stopped responding to my messages and proceeded to put up posts on Facebook about getting out of horrible situations, or not knowing how bad someone is until you meet a better person. While I’m not saying that that I’m reason for the posts, I cannot find any other reason for this new theme. Ah well…

If I didn’t know then that I was making the right decision, I now know that I am. Conflicts are hard, life in general is hard and we shouldn’t quarrel or hold grudges if there is at all the possibility of settling things. I’ve not been a serious Christian in a while but one of the things that I hold dear settling things and not bearing grudges, regardless of whose fault the issue at hand is. At this point, I think we both messed up but if he feels I hurt him more, I see no reason not to say sorry. It doesn’t mean that I think the fault is all mine, I just think it’s the right thing to do. Occasionally I struggle with the feeling that my emotional responses are not deep enough and this time I feel that I’m not sorry enough for what I did even though I feel terrible about it (I’m not sure if this makes sense). Even after sending him messages and trying to call him, he has so far ignored me. I think it’s really over now. Though I feel a bit sad, I don’t feel a twinge of regret. As I’m moving to a different country for a while, we won’t have to see each other for some time so maybe it will be easier for both us to sort out our feelings.

But now I find myself taking a break from packing my things because I found something he gave me which I know I don’t need but I can’t seem to part with. I wish I could be completely over him right now and not have to freeze when I run into situations like this.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in The Business of Living, Uncategorized

 

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