Since debuting last year, The Grey Room has been purported as Nigeria’s equivalent to BK Chat LDN, the edgy, buzzy talk show helmed by London-based young Nigerians and black Brits of Nigerian heritage. Now in its newly inaugurated sophomore season, The Grey Room strongly slants towards conversations that are considered catnip for young people: love, relationship, and sex. The show’s debut episode was suitably titled “Is It Fair On Men That Society Makes Them Pay Most of the Bills?”
Snooze. Yawn. Hand me my pillow, please. We have seen topics like this before, haven’t we? That said, the fourth episode of Grey‘s second season Do You Think People Are Born Gay? hadn’t even been released but comments had already started to trickle in on social media because, discussing homosexuality is quite a hot-button topic and straight people never mind their business, obsessing about what two consenting adults have decided to do with their lives (notice I didn’t mention sex? Good).
I watched a pre-release snippet of the episode, including a vox pop where a woman opined that people are indeed born gay but derailed when she added that they needed counselling, to change their minds. Then @UcheDandyMUFC, the guy who was allegedly accused of rape on Twitter back in June and hence birthed the #BergerToAjah hashtag, pontificated that homosexuality is a learned behaviour, a lifestyle or identity that is picked up just like religion. The episode began with a recitation – the popular fact that Nigeria ranks as one of the top consumers of gay porn and yet heavily, dangerously, and violently homophobic.
Opinions clashed into a drum noise and the episode was watch-bait at best. No dimension or illuminating perspective. It’s almost 2019 and shows like The Grey Room are still debating the legitimacy of homosexuality and reducing it into a popcorn sensationalism. Thank you, next.