I am not a happy person this morning.
I have just received some very distressing news. I have just been reliably informed that the winner of the Brunel University International Prize for Poetry, a Nigerian Poet, Romeo Oriogun, was attacked and beaten. His crime: being “gay”
At this point I would like to ask: what is “being gay” and who exactly is “gay”?
The dictionary defines a gay, or homosexual as someone who is attracted sexually to the same sex. So what makes a person gay?
Let me start with a little background information.
I went to a boarding school for all of my secondary education. That means that the large part of my life was spent in the company of people that were not my family. I was literally a guest in my own father’s house. Whenever we came back, it was, “ehen, Welcome, when are you resuming?” I grew up in a lower middle class household, and it did seem that as we grew older, and our demands changed from primary school textbooks to those for secondary school and then university, our class went lower and lower. So most times, Popsy had to start planning for our departure as soon as we got back, or as soon as one set of bills were paid, he immediately started saving for another set of bills. We were not that far apart in age, so it meant that at some point, we were three in secondary school together. And being that the school was a federal government college, it was no mean feat.
This is not the main thrust (winks) of this piece, however. What I meant by the previous paragraph is tat I was open, prone, and exposed to all the vices that can possibly be imagined as a young teenager growing up in Nigeria. I’m talking masturbation, substance abuse, and yes, sexual harassment.
Back then, in secondary school, who, due to what I think were some hormonal issues, perhaps over secretion or under-secretion, appeared decidedly effeminate. No facial hair, poor muscle tone, a marked lack of interest in physical activity, and a certain, for want of a better word, “tenderness” about them that made them extremely shy. Add this to exceptionally beautiful fingers, beautiful, light skin, and a noticeable refusal to use the large open air bathrooms (really, enclosures is all they were) at the same time when most of their mates were using them, and you had boys being given nicknames like Ngozi and Chidinmma. Apart from the good-natured teasing that went on, and the fact that most of these boys were simply late bloomers who didn’t start looking appropriately male until their late teens or early twenties, there was nobody labelling these boys as gay or homosexuals.
Then there were some others, who, perhaps due to an early exposure to sex and sex-related materials (porn, pictures, and practice) or due to an inability to “get” babes, were the kings of masturbation. Practically every boy who grew into a man has dabbled in masturbation at some point, but these guys were the ones who just didn’t care who saw them doing it. Bathrooms and toilets were their favorite spots, or a feverish hand job in their beds under the cover of a blanket. Some even went as far as doing it in groups, with or without pornographic material as incentives. Again, nobody labeled these boys gay, or homosexual.
Then there were the animals who actually unleashed their lusts on the junior students, cowing them into silence with threats, or buying their silence with gifts and favours. Many so-called “school sons” were actually abused in this way, with most afraid to speak up. This was not just abuse, it was the worst kind of animalism, a thing that even animals would be ashamed of.
A homosexual is not a pedophile, they are two different kinds of people. The pedophiles have a sexual attraction to the young and defenseless, often using force or other means to perpetrate their actions. None of these above scenarios refers to mutual, consensual, and homosexual sex. The question of attacking a man because he looks effeminate is akin to calling out a girl for lesbianism because she happens to have inherited the genes for size and strength. A big beefy girl does not a lesbian make, just as a guy who “looks effeminate” is not necessarily a homosexual. I have met some people with the full swagger and braggadocio of normal red-blooded males, bulging muscles and all, who just happen to prefer their own kind in bed. And I have met some so called “effeminate-looking” boys who have thick and fearsome pieces of meat hanging between their legs. I went to boarding school, so yes, I’ve seen a lot.
Where it gets particularly annoying is that Romeo Oriogun is not a homosexual, he is just a poet who used his art to draw attention to the humanity of these ones who are being hunted to extinction because of their preferences. His submission which won him the Brunel Prize was themed on issues relating to homosexuality and how their humanity is still valid.
This post is not to make a case for homosexuals, and I wouldn’t like it to be misconstrued as such. But hounding Romeo for his art is just wrong, inconsiderate, and stupid. While we are at it, why do we not fish out and arrest all writers of fantasy, horror, and the speculative, and drag them to church for deliverance because they write freely about demons, monsters, and spirits? If you take a sampling of sexually active young women, quite a number of them will tell you they have attempted anal sex, with varying degrees of regularity. So, if we are to be crude here, who is fucking these ladies in the nyash? You guessed right, men.
I’m currently listening to music as I write, and the song is by a band called Rise Against. The song currently playing in my earphones talks about discrimination, and it is titled “Make it Stop.”
We can stop this nonsense victimization, this killing and abuse of innocent citizens. Our law enforcement agencies should be more alive to their responsibilities. What Nigeria has a law against is the marriage between homosexuals, and the law has provisions for what is to be done.
We can do better. We can make it stop!
What do you think? Please drop a comment. Thank you.