Public discourse about romance in Nigeria never goes beyond the socially acceptable love of cis-heterosexual (cis-het) Nigerians, and why not? Nigeria is still foot-dragging where it isn’t violently opposed to the notion of homosexual love. It is no accident that Nigeria is the number one most dangerous country in the world to be gay.
For Valentine’s Day, we spoke to a gay couple about navigating romance in the world’s most dangerous country to gay people, because despite prevailing negative attitudes towards gay relationships gay love thrives in hiding and in plain sight.
Moye (29, Male) and Moshood (34, Male) have been in a relationship for 5 years and have in that time done everything one will expect of two adults deeply in love. Public display of affection (PDA.) Date nights in fancy restaurants, cinemas, arcades and parks.
We are aching to jump right into how the PDA works in a country like Nigeria, but let’s start with how you met.
It was a hookup referral.
He hates to be reminded now that we met after he reached out to a friend desperately horny and terrified of Lagos one year after moving here for his Masters. He hadn’t had any sex in all that time and just wanted to find someone he can trust to safely have a one night stand and resume focusing on his thesis. That is how we met sha, so like it or not it is the story we will tell our grand cousins and nieces.
Moshood (rolls eyes)
He is a nihilist who can’t stomach the idea of bringing children into the world, but I’m determined to change that. We can at least adopt.
In which country? Not this same Nigeria.
You never can tell. So, how did it end up in a 5 year old relationship? And before we fall and die from curiosity, how does the PDA thing work?
He is very handsy, as you can see. I love it in private. These beautiful and very deliciously creative hands are one of the reasons why I called back after the one nightstand. There was also the fear of what I could lose if I didn’t explore things further with someone who knew my body so well from just a one nightstand, plus I did love him at first sight. So here we are.
He is braver than he admits to himself. The first time I held his hand affectionately in public we were walking down the aisle in Surelere Mall. I was nervous because I was overthinking the ease we seemed to share, that woman that just passed must have seen the gleam of joy from our lovemaking earlier, that child that looked at us and grinned must know we are lovers. Children know more than they let on.
I grabbed his hand and squeezed it briefly for reassurance when we were momentarily alone in the aisle and when he looked at me I was terrified he will panic, but it was like he read my mind because he draped his hand on my shoulder immediately I let go. After that he was fare game for PDA, wherever it feels safe enough.
We made kissing in the parking lot ahead of a dinner date a thing after that. Holding hands throughout a movie in cinemas. And one time we were walking around the estate in the evening and I just turned around mid-stride and kissed him, and whatever possessed me then possessed him too because an intended peck turned to a long French kiss.
Okay o, e don do. We are oppressed enough this Valentine’s season. Our readers will love to know how dates work, but also what’s Valentine’s like for you?
He is the king of organising things so I just trust him with date nights. He has a whole annual calendar.
It makes things easier.
I can’t argue with that. Valentine’s is just a day on the calendar, the only difference being that since our 3rd year we gift each other something from our wish list, which he made me make by the way.
Yeah. To keep an element of surprise. Duh.
The surprise of course being that neither of us ever knows what they are getting from their wish list. We switch activities every time too. Like this year, it is indoor buffet, last year we went to the arcade and played games, later went to a restaurant he booked on the Island for dinner. All these in a sea of cishets.
That was the year of boldness, and we thanked God for it because a month later we were in lockdown in our respective homes. The first year was the year of being cautious because we really didn’t know how it would look like. Again, he was overthinking everything. So we went on a double date with a lesbian couple friends.
It was simple survival calculation. I figured if we are two men and two women there will be little room for suspicions, so we went out with Nina and Temi. It was fun because I wasn’t lost in my head worrying who is wondering why these two men are at a buffet for couples on Valentine’s Day.
Thank you so much for doing this, and thanks for the food.
Moshood & Moye
You are welcome.