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Gay Nigeria?

06 Dec

The first time the average un-molested Nigerian is confronted with homosexuality is in secondary school at an age where gender confusion is common and sexual orientation may be blurred. Their only ammunition being what’s been taught on the pulpit by their spiritual leaders or the feelings of shame that accompany any expression of sexuality at that age. For many, experimentation is the driving force. It is usually outgrown, but for the few who don’t ‘outgrow’ a love for the same sex, they are faced with inner conflict, shame, religious crisis and a stigma even worse than the HIV virus.

I remember hearing about two Nollywood movies where homosexuality was the main theme and the general reaction to them was comical. The stars were bashed thoroughly and guys threatened to beat up one of the actors especially, for ‘enjoying’ his role a bit too much. Without doubt, Nigerians are homophobic!

Over the years I have read many stories. From the Nigerian boy in Germany who took a husband, to the few oddballs speaking up for gay rights in Nigeria who have been terrorised, some needing to seek refuge outside the shores of Nigeria, to the weekly City people gossip on what top-shot is gay or not in our society. Nigerians have embraced every part of the Western civilisation but deep down have crowned themselves better than the rest of the world since they have continuously resisted homosexuality. Does that truly make us better?

I’m not sure what the Islamic laws on homosexuality are but the Christians leave no question about it! Our God frowns at homosexuality. He sees it as despicable. If He came down to earth, He would first rain fire down on all the gay people and then the terrorists and probably the corrupt politicians stealing Nigeria’s money and then perhaps, if there was still some fire left, He would then throw a little spark at every other sinner in the world but really is that how He operates?

The bible says in James 2:10-11 ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker…’
Why do people decide to isolate one sin and judge it with such hatred when for the most part every time that sin is brought up in the bible it is listed amongst an array of others ranging from fornication and pride to drunkenness and witchcraft? Yes, our religious sensibilities are insulted by the thought of homosexuality but have we ever stopped to wonder about the excuse it affords us to be cruel to another human being? Do we ever ask ourselves what would Jesus do if he walked amongst us? Surely he must have met some homosexuals in his time since the sin is as old as the city of Sodom, dating long before Christ was born.

The story of the adulterous woman is worthy of note. In John 8:7b Jesus said: ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her’. In verse 11, He said neither do I condemn you… He never held back showing love to all those who were outcasts in society. He was accused of dining with sinners, walking with rejects and misfits and basically shunning societal norms but He demonstrated more love to these people than they had ever known. Matthew
7:1 says ‘Judge not that you be not judged’. Verse 3 says ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log that is in your own?’

For some reason, human beings seek validation by bringing into focus the sins of others. I believe it makes theirs seem a little less awful. As the world has been consumed with ‘righteous anger’ over these people, I sit back and wonder ‘where is the love?’. God hates sin-no doubt, we should too, but didn’t He send his only son to die on the cross for sinners? Would you, holy as you are, let your son die in the place of a criminal even if you knew you had the power to bring him back? I guess not!

Dear friend, who made you ‘the avenger’? When did we become bullies in the school yard who pick on those different from us? Are we any better than the Ku Klux Klan who used extreme violence to achieve their goals of racial segregation?
Homosexuality is not an illness so why the homophobia if you can’t catch it from them? If you fear you may be a target and hence justify being on the offensive, look at the mating ritual, a proposition is made to you, if you are not interested you decline and move on. It ain’t that hard. People have been jailed, brutalised, attacked, vandalised, assaulted, cussed at, shunned, criticised, stigmatised and murdered just because they were different. Why don’t you allow every man the opportunity to face his maker and account for the life he has lived? Why take matters into your own hands?

14 years in jail if you ask me is a bit harsh. Armed robbers walk free, corruption is swept under the carpet. Rape cases are dismissed. This issue is as old as time. As far as I’m concerned, all they were saying was keep being gay in secret, if you rub it in our faces, you go to jail! I’ve heard of stories of people who committed suicide because they couldn’t deny the feelings they had and I know that before these people ‘come out of the closet’, they struggle and struggle with these feelings, trying to suppress, deny, rebuke and reject them, very aware of the effect it would have on their lives. People around them have tried to save them, from prayers to ‘deliverance’ to psychotherapy to shock-therapy to forced marriage to forced sex with the opposite sex but all these people have gotten from the saving is a broken spirit and a scarred soul.

Nigerians have a right to refuse to pass a same sex marriage bill and I’m in support of that, if we condone it who knows what would be next, maybe a bestiality marriage bill may be the next topic, not to say that the two are comparable but becoming a wholly permissive society may not be in our best interest and it is our right to protect the moral standing of the nation and give our children a future not thoroughly exploited by New Age ideas but what is truly in our hearts? Are our hearts filled with trepidation and fear? Is there intense hatred in our hearts? People fear what they do not understand but surely it is not an excuse to be cruel. Jesus asked us to love our neighbours as ourselves. He didn’t add ‘except they are different from you or sinners!’. The British even threatened to sanction us and I smiled when I read this. We are no longer under their rule, without doubt we still need them but who died and made them king? In Nigeria’s defence and this is from a non-religious angle, we have always been conservative and guided by norms and traditions that the rest of the world would never understand. It is a taboo in our culture, I asked my friend’s grandpa who is ancient and he confirmed that. Commendably, Nigerians are becoming aware that not everything the world sells to us must be bought but isn’t it hypocritical that men love lesbians and have great fantasies of girl on girl action but shudder at any guy on guy action? Isn’t it saddening that men who believe they can cure a lesbian by raping her till she appreciates the supremacy of the male genitalia are allowed to go scot free? I read about some incidences in South africa and they were from a lesbian’s perspective and I shed tears for her because there’s never a reason to rape or assault another human being.

I am not condoning sin as my bible states that it is, but i have had my own personal struggles with other sins and I don’t see how judging or hating or discriminating someone else would atone for my seemingly lesser sins. I am a true Nigerian and it is ingrained in my genetic encoding that this act is taboo but all I’m really trying to say here is that our manner of approach is all wrong. There’s so much hatred and pain in the world already, why add some more to an overflowing cup? Are we speaking the truth in love? No religion gives you an excuse to be cruel to your fellow man. Because you offer a bit of kindness to a man in need doesn’t mean you partake of his sin or lifestyle. Let us be kinder and less judgemental. If your child confessed to be gay would you make it your life’s ambition to ‘cure’ him even if it killed him or would you save yourself the hassle and murder him like Marvin Gaye’s father did in ‘righteous rage’? or would your heart grow cold and cease to love him because of his sexual orientation? Don’t be a Pharisee! Heal the world. Love covers a multitude of sins, what would Jesus do?

For my friend T, who ‘gingered’ me to write on this highly controversial topic. 😉
Have a lovely day peeps…xoxoxo 😉 🙂 😉

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14 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Hall of Fame, Inspirational

 

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14 responses to “Gay Nigeria?

  1. Lagos Boy

    December 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I think you’re article is somewhat contradictory. You seem to offer a more enlightened approach then reject the possibility of extending the same legal rights ‘normal’ nigerians have to homosexuals/lesbians. This paragraph especially should shame you:

    Nigerians have a right to refuse to pass a same sex marriage bill and I’m in support of that, if we condone it who knows what would be next, maybe a bestiality marriage bill may be the next topic and it is our right to protect the moral standing of the nation.

    Bestiality!!!!? How is this a logical extension of safe guarding the rights of humans? You then conclude by professing love to all, your article implies that you do not truly believe that. Nigerians may do as they please as a people, that does not however mean they are right.

    A Nigerian

     
  2. Ayo Osinibi

    December 6, 2011 at 2:17 am

    That’s some fresh air you’ve just blown through the miasma of putrid hatred and fear, passing for righteousness, in the many commentaries on this issue in our Naija-blogosphere. Many do not even appreciate the manipulative carniness in headlining the bill as a gay-marriage bill (with its attendant sensationalism) when it is truly about eradicating gays and lesbians, and any support group, including rights-lawyers from our society under the threat of 10 years in jail. If, or when, the bill becomes law, rest assured there will not be one person prosecuted for illegal marriage, and it’ll not be from the fear of imprisonment but becos gays in Nigeria are not clamoring to get married in the first place. However many can be arrested from being accused of exhibiting gay tendencies and many lawyers could find themselves in jail from taking up the case of those accused of being gay. This lawmakers manipulation parallels the way the roman emperor appease its suffering populace by giving them a ‘roman holiday’ watching slaves (and those that fell out of favor) fight lions in the arena. Lord save us from ignorance and inequities that born the savage republic.

     
  3. Barrytonewhite

    December 6, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Nice take on d iSsue..Ur arguement is Ironclad..Av2 meditate 2come up wit a convincing counter arguement or agreement..but4 now..:x

     
  4. Window

    December 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Thanks Anita for being a very needed voice of reason on this issue. The worst of people always seem to come out when they are confronted with things they do not understand.
    As you rightly inferred, Jesus preached tolerance and showing love to people who have gone astray. Does that now mean we should support their activities? No. Does that mean that HE supported their acts? No.
    On the flip side, I believe that the senate merely pulled a political stunt on Nigerians. There are presently no gay people in Nigeria that a clamouring for same-sex marriage. The senate, in my opinion, merely raised an issue that most Africans traditionally have a bias against. I think there a more pressing issues that the senate and government would have sat on. For instance, there has been no single naira spent on capital expenditure this year. All sums approved (and stolen) by government have gone into recurrent expenditure and ofcourse, ‘securing’ the mandate of the people as per election year. The request of ‘Dumbo Jo’ of a N93bn virement to the senate in November is another issue altogether.
    Just to be clear, I don’t understand how a man can be attracted to another man or a woman to a woman. What I stand for is this: show love to them but don’t condone their acts. A bit naïve; maybe: but then, na my opinion.

     
  5. Nshina

    December 6, 2011 at 8:06 am

    A controversial topic indeed!And not knowing what truly causes a person to be gay has made this a topic that most people would rather not talk about although they have strong opinions about it. I get the point of this article but I must say that it would truly be difficult to show brotherly love to the homosexuals around us and this is solely because of the nature of their ‘problem’.My mom had a Canadian volunteer work with her here in Naija and we all lived in the same compound but different apartments.When we found out he was gay,our attitudes towards him did not change but you would never catch my younger brother alone in the same room with him.There was one time when I was in uni,that a girl I was chatting with kept giving me the once-over(she was literally checking me out).I froze when she put her hand on the curve of my hip and said..’Babe,you fine!’.I later heard from a friend who I shared the weird experience with that the girl in question swings both ways and trust me, after that, na from far I de greet the chic.We all fear what we do not understand so its not as complicated as your article makes it out to be.Besides,the  law will just make it difficult for gay folk to come out of the closet.Nothing will change!!At the end of the day,na to commit ourselves to God and ask for mercy and pray that wicked crimes against humanity are not suffered by the few identified or suspected to be gay.

     
  6. bykerboi

    December 6, 2011 at 9:46 am

    your write up really brings new light to the issue of homosexuality in nigeria. I have discussed this issue with so many people, who all like to appear upright and act as staunch “moral” upholders. What i get out of it is that most people say stuff like, “its against our religion” (mostly christians). But then like you rightly asked, what would Jesus have done if he walked amongst us right now?
    it amazes me how we as humans love to be the ones who swing God’s Battle axe of vengeance.(if i remember clearly the story of sodom and Gomorra, it God’s angels that visited vengeance on the city and not humans and definitely not Lot).
    Most times people say they do not understand why a person would be attracted to the people of the same sex as they are. well I really don’t understand what attracts me as a guy to a girl. when i understand what influences my attraction, then i might be able to understand theirs. we might be tempted to say it is only normal/natural to be attracted to the opposite sex but who defines normal? is it normal because we are the majority and fall in the centre of the “Bell curve”? We really cant explain everything and looking closely at human beings, we often run away or try to use religion as an escape route from the things we don’t understand. keep in view the killing of twins in old calabar, the burning of “witches” in old england, the racist killings by the KKK etc.

    Like you rightly said, I believe our lawmaker have better things to sit and discuss rather than this

    note to us human- Just because we feel so strongly that something is right or wrong, doesnt make it so. Live and let live. I don’t believe that God made us all to be the same, like/love the same things or believe the same things, Otherwise we’d all be of the same race, same complexion, same height same religion etc. Bleh…The world would be so boring…
    Lovely write up tho you seem to be writing this diplomatically, somewhat sitting on the fence. sorry for the long blog-like comment

     
  7. likitakay

    December 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

    After reading this don’t know which side your on! Political to please everyone. What makes homosexuality different is that they want more. More freedom more rights more protection you can’t disagree with their way of life you can’t crack jokes at them you do and the joke on you that is the problem why don’t they do their thing and let everyone be so nigeria is just setting an example. Anyone speaks out they label him homophobic.

     
    • Neetah

      December 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

      I did pick a side. There are 3 sides. I only pointed out the third! I do not condone homosexuality neither do I condone the crimes against humanity and the alarming amount of hatred and violence against homosexuals. Hate the sin, do not condone it- we are all in agreement there!!! BUT that is not a reason to be cruel and hateful to another human being. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! The gay people in Nigeria did not carry placards begging for the legalisation of same-sex marriages! The senate should focus on other more important issues. Anyone who is gay in Nigeria is well aware of society’s stand on the issue and most of ’em are closeted and afraid so why take delight in trampling on those who are down already?

       
      • bykerboi

        December 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

        human beings or do i say we nigerians and the word “sin” sha… who am I to label what they do sin?

         
  8. Aransiola Josiah

    December 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Though this blog seems to take the issue of gay right from another perspective, i think using biblical verses to support your argument diminishes core value of your assertion. Read Leviticus 18. If you had given a neutral and non religious based position maybe i would have been inclined to lean my support. The influx, impact of westernized , ideas and orientations bring about the rise in gayism in africa.

    Its not about showing love or judging them its about erring on the side of caution.

    We are a society with set norms and values.

    Thanks

     
    • Neetah

      December 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      I used bible verses because of all the voices speaking out, Christians seemed the loudest. I don’t think blaming the West for the rise of homosexuality is entirely accurate. They have only given these people a voice. The post wasn’t to debate whether homosexuality in itself is right or wrong as that is an over-addressed issue and we all seem to be in agreement on that. It was geared at changing the mindset of people. I still believe there is no reason whatsoever to be cruel or violent towards your fellow man who has done you no harm just because he insults your sensibilities. Let every man live out his destiny and answer to his maker!

       
  9. Muyiwa3d

    December 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Beautiful piece Anita. Indeed, 14 years is arguably to much. If a Nigerian politician can be charged for embezzlement of public funds and serve 2 years imprisonment and come out to meet a victory party waiting for him, then 14 years is too much for homosexuality crimes. It shows how much the rules are bent to suit the parties involved. Please understand my stand on this issue o. I totally condemn homosexuality. **frowning**.

     
  10. mimi

    December 7, 2011 at 1:30 am

    homosexuality is an act and lke all other acts it doesnt perpetrate itself. so its a wonder to say you are seperating the act from the individuals. you condone one and not the other. the very act itself is a crime against humanity and its the crime itself that is hated i believe. wrong is wrong and right is right. there is no inbetween. give to ceaser what is ceaser’s and to God what is God’s. Nigeria as a nation has rules for a reason, like it or not all rules cannot please or favour everyone but if you live in the nation you are subjected to its rules. imagine if there was no rule to punish murder or rape or theft and we all folded our arms and said “leave it all to their maker”. the 14yrs term is to ensure the so called marriages dont happen and since it wont no one will be jailed. sowhere is the crime against humanity? . its a win-win situation

     
    • Neetah

      December 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

      My post was actually more focussed on the hatred and violence these people suffer in the hands of self-righteous people. I personally don’t think it can be compared to some of the crimes you listed e.g rape because in rape one party is forced/assaulted and there in lies the crime. These people have made a lifestyle choice which doesn’t bother or hurt anyone else but themselves, at least not directly, unlike other crimes, hence my stand. I think most of our bias is religious and traditional hence I focussed on those two. I am not in support of the lifestyle and as a doctor I know the repercussions but I kinda believe putting ’em in jail would be akin to putting a fornicator or adulterer or man who commits incest in jail for 14yrs as these are also religious and traditional taboos, yet this is not the case. Again I say it is more of a moral issue between them and their God and we are right as a people to set boundaries since we do not condone the lifestyle but it is not for us to play God and brutally assault these people when we come in contact with them as is the case all over Nigeria. I know young lads who were beaten up severally in school because someone thought they acted effeminate and so labelled them gay. Our government doesn’t offer protection from assault for these people hence infringing on basic human rights. A guy once said at a gathering that he could kill a gay guy if he walked past him, another said he’d stone any gays he ever came across. The gays in Nigeria weren’t clamouring for a same sex marriage bill in the first place, the Nigerian government should focus on more important things.

       

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