Odunayo Eweniyi: Trapped in a forbidden closet (30 days, 30 voices)

by Odunayo Eweniyi


    “He felt broken, pieces of him were scattered all over the place, waiting for someone to find them.”

 There are broken people out there. People who have lost their voices to speak out, because they feel inferior. No, not inferior, different. We have made them feel different.

He had been through a lot, though he never spoke about it. His eyes cloud with tears sometimes because he had something he could do nothing about. He felt broken, pieces of him were scattered all over the place, waiting for someone to find them.

He had a lot to say but he was confused and didn’t know where to begin. He tried to paint a picture so I’d understand…

He speaks:

“My life has been an endless metaphorical ‘Trapped in the closet’ marathon. Only different in a few ways. I was molested when I was so young, I barely remember the details consciously but my Dad resents me for it. He finds me guilty of attracting my uncle and so I bear the guilt of a crime I did not commit. I will tell you today that I do not  have a life because I live one way and  proclaim another way. I’m not sure which belongs to me anymore.

I’ve been sinking deeper and deeper into loneliness. No one notices. I say fewer words each passing day, lest my secrets be revealed. No one has given me a reason to open up. We would all die alone, no one would understand anyway. But I ache for someone to try.

I am condemned to a life of lovelessness because society condemns, rather forbids my kind of love. I engaged in a vicious pseudo relationship with one of my sex, while actively pretending to love a member of the opposite sex; To avoid those soulless, judgemental eyes of the world. It did not end well, neither of them did. Things rarely end well for me.

Everyone sees life in black and white. No one sees the red. No one feels the searing pain of rejection and condemnation and discomfort in your own skin. So I did what was best for me, I embraced the nothingness to feel numb.

So now I go through life multifaceted. One person to my parents, a different person to my friends and yet another different person to my foes; a lover to men, a struggling lover to women. Satisfying everyone especially that cold lady known as society, plagued with an uneasy mind and the fear of being discovered and exposed for what I was- a fraud, the forbidden fruit of the world. I let no one in. I am no one’s hero. I can barely save myself.”

There are things that break my heart.Things that you find underneath words, things that linger behind eyes. His was one of them. I am glad though, I found him and he found me. We found ourselves and now we’re learning to live only by love, care and acceptance in our fight against the worthy adversaries of life and society.


Odunayo Eweniyi is simplicity personified, striving to do only the things that matter, not minding how small. She tweets @bookjunk1e

30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Comments (0)

  1. This is so touching and i feel terrible that someone out there is made to feel this way. Many people don’t realise the damaging effects the anti-gay law has on other people’s mental healths, why won’t we just live and let live? how does someone elses’ sexual orientation affect you?

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