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Tag Archives: coming out

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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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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How To Come Out With Style In Nigeria

Bisi AlimiIn 2004 Bisi Alimi, a recent university graduate and activist came out on the national TV talk show “New Dawn” in Nigeria. He had been outed in the university by a magazine and this made the rest of his stay in school difficult and led to some difficulty in getting his certificate on account of “moral issues” even though he had completed all the coursework required. However coming out on live national television at a time when many people still thought gay men and women only existed outside the country pushed the issue to the fore-front and led to him being ostracized by friends and family but especially by other gay men who didn’t want to be seen with him for fear that others may suspect that they were gay too. Also he began to receive death threats and finally an attempt was made on his life after which he left Nigeria in 2007 and moved to the United Kingdom where he now lives and works. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Gay Heroes

 

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Kenyan Writer Binyanvanga Wainaina Comes Out

binyanvangaWhile writing about the anti-gay law in Nigeria, I considered advocating that Africans who can needed to come out especially now that anti-gay sentiments are at an all time high in many African countries. People still see LGBTs as “them” and we need more people to see gay men and women as “part of us” so to speak. However I say ‘considered’ because I didn’t – it’s hard for me to push for something that I am not yet ready to do myself. So it was a welcome surprise when Binyanvanga Wainainia, the Kenyan writer and recipient of the 2002 Caine prize wrote this article as a “lost chapter” of his memoir in which he discusses his homosexuality. It has generated quite the buzz in gay and heterosexual circles especially since he isn’t the stereotypical gay male. While some doubt that this one article will make a dent in the anti-gay movement,I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Gay Heroes

 

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West Africa’s First Gay Vice-President?

A Ghanaian website has published a scandalous article which implies that the Vice-President of Ghana (Amissah-Arthur) is gay and very active, even to the point of attending LGBT meetings and assuring the gay community that their issues will be addressed once he assumed office. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Politik, Uncategorized

 

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Countdown

My mother and I are quite close and we talk at least once a week, usually for an hour or close to it. So a few days ago I was getting ready to go to a friend’s for lunch when I got a call from her. After going through the recent family gossip (where family includes extended family so this part of the conversation took awhile) we came to the subject of why I’m still not married. I told her I’m not ready for anything that serious and I’d like to focus on my work for now. She said she understood but that I ‘needed’ to be married in two years time. I guess two years are my time limit to telling her the truth since I don’t see myself marrying a woman within this period. On another note does anyone ever need to get married? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in The Business of Living

 

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