#YNaijaNonBinary: Death comes for everyone, love should too

The current world population as of July 2020 is 7.8 billion, and all 7.8 billion of us, are going to die. Whether we accept or reject it, we will all leave earth someday. We can eat healthy, exercise, take pills that have scientists have promised will make us live longer, and hopefully many of us will, but inevitably we will take our final breath someday. We have no power over that.

The imbalance in the human experience is that while we will all die, some never fully experience love, life’s greatest gift. This boils down to two factors – internal decisions and external decisions. Most times, internal decisions stem from external decisions. We decide to deny ourselves the experience of loving and being loved due to societal and religious constraints.

The story of Kenneth Felt depicts that; Kenneth Felts was 90 years old when he decided to come out as gay to his family. During the lock down in Colorado where he currently lives, he recognized he simply could not forget about a man he fell in love with 70 years ago. Therefore, despite all his greatest fears, he made the choice to tell his family about who he is, The Denver Post reports. He had previously chosen to live as a straight man because in his words “It is much easier living life as a straight man.” Since his coming out, Felts has searched for Phillip, the man he fell in love with 70 years ago, but unfortunately has not been able to track him down. He has since updated his Facebook profile to feature a profile picture of him wearing a bright rainbow hoodie and become more vocal about his sexuality. It took 90 years for him to be vocal about who he truly is.

There are countless Kenneth Felts out there. People who due to external pressures live a life with unfinished chapters and sadly, sometimes, die without fully expressing their heart’s innermost desires. Men and women who live behind shadows all their lives because they’ve been told over and over again that their existence is an abomination.

On external decisions, when a society or group of people enact rules and laws that deny the rights of certain people to authentically be themselves, they create an environment where love and truth become illegal, a stagnant atmosphere where free self expression can’t thrive, a place where people die without fully expressing who they are. There is no excuse for that. The freedom to love and be loved should be granted to all. We have limited days on earth, we should ensure everyone lives it fully and freely! The least we can do is make life a little bit easier for our fellow travelers. Death comes for everyone, love should too.

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