by Tolu Orekoya
Many Nigerians will identify with Josh Weed; he is from a very religious background, is married to the first and only person he has ever slept with (a childhood sweetheart, with whom he is deeply in love), loves his children, and he does not cheat.
The point of divergence comes at his sexuality; the only way he differs from most other family-oriented men is that he is gay.
For Weed, he has found himself a path that works for him. He considers himself gay, he has told his church leaders and his community (his 6,000-word long post on his website was his ‘coming out’ to the world moment) and he lives fully within his church. Some way, somehow, Josh has struck a path that he feels is true to himself, and his God (he is Mormon/Church of the Latter Day Saints).
Gay rights are still a hot-button topic all over the world even in the US when President Obama and rapper Jay-Z both came out (no pun intended) in favour of gay rights. For many it is a debate between nature and nurture, whether a person is born gay, or whether life’s influences ‘make’ an individual gay. There has been research carried out about finding a cure, and to better understand what makes people gay.
Of course, in Nigeria, it is a criminal offence and a celebrity recently forced a publication to apologise over false gay allegations.
To the question of having sex with a woman he is not attracted to, his answer:
“…to answer your question sex, for me, is about my love for my wife as a human being. I’ve always thought she was beautiful, as I think most gay men can find beauty in women. But sexual attraction is a totally different thing. Not sure if I can answer this question without getting more explicit than I’d like to. But our sex is great.”
How does his wife feel about this? Does she know? Yes, she does, and actually part of his coming out post was her speaking about their relationship. She wrote:
I knew that I loved Josh. I loved All of him. I wanted to marry him. I wanted to marry Josh Weed because I loved the man that he was. I loved everything that made him him. I didn’t want anyone else. I knew that we had the kind of relationship that could work through hard trials and circumstances. I had faith in him and I had faith in our love. I did not choose to marry someone who is gay. I chose to marry Josh Weed, the man that I love, and to accept all of him. I have never regretted it.
His blog post is an interesting and thoughtful read, and he chose to respond to questions at Gawker.com, where he delves a little further about the choices he has made.
What do you think?