Noticed that the number of homosexual men and women married to heterosexual partners getting outed is sky-rocketing?
Well, we have.
From rumours to full on exposes complete with pictorial receipts, more and more Nigerian down low (DL) men and women are getting publicly shamed. Maybe social media has made over-sharing easier, or our generation feels less pressured to maintain the illusion of perfection, especially in marriage; in the last ten years we’ve seen a definite spike in the number of married men and women who reveal through heartbreaking social media updates that they were tricked into a marriage with a lesbian woman or a gay man. Quite a number of high profile Nigerians have even roped into these scandals and have to consequently with live a cloud of doubt on their sexualities whether they refute the rumours or not.
This isn’t a lamentation about how ‘teh gheys’ are all of a sudden everywhere. They’ve always been here, but with military regimes and a government that kept most distrustful of others and united against a common foe and a one-kain economy, nobody was about to disrupt their secure marriages for something as by-the-way as same sex infidelity.
Now that we’re in a democratic government, albeit one that doesn’t understand or care for basic human rights, Nigeria has become infatuated with the idea of ‘discovering’ homosexual people. For clarity, this isn’t a treatise suggesting that the ill-thought law President Goodluck Jonathan allowed to pass and went on to disown is the reason for all these outings. Nigerians have always had aproko, there just is an impassive an anonymous way to situate yourself front and centre in the amebo. What this really is about is how this DL epidemic came to be in the first place.
The Nigerian LGBT community will tell you it has never really concerned itself with marriage equality, there is enough stigma from religious and post-colonial ‘African culture’ to dissuade even the most woke. The objective has always been to be allowed to live full lives in peace without oppression or molestation. But conservative Religious America, failing to push its often bigoted religious agendas has turned its eye to Africa, just like the Missionaries did four centuries ago. Added to our home-grown religious and cultural leaders seeking expand their authority by emphasizing what they call ‘God ordained’ family values through coercion and public humiliation, law enforcement that sees LGBT people as ATMS and a legislature that thinks rights for everyone but heterosexual men is a joke; things are pretty grim. But none of this could happen without you. Your continued bigotry and wilful ignorance keeps this cycle spinning.
Welcome to 2017 Nigerians, this might not be what you wanted when you decided to let them pass a law that targeted millions of people, a public culmination of all the things you’ve said and thought in private, but this is what you get.