Let me put matters straight right in the beginning;
In matters of the bedroom,i’m a straight guy.
You can call it my “finally coming out of the closet”.
After all,Africans are being encouraged to come out the closet about their sexual orientation,mostly by western countries.
But you just can’t wake up on a sunny beautiful morning at breakfast table and announce that you are gay and you are tired of living a lie.
You must “think like an african”!
You can be jailed for coming out of the “wrong closet”!
Let me tell you two very personal stories that brought me face to face in my personal life with real gay situation in Africa;
Stella-not her real name-called me one Friday evening after about five years of no contact.
She is my former girlfriend.
We need to talk-she said.
That raised bits of my hair.
Saturday date.Deal. Afternoon is Ok.
No. We are not going to re-live the past by meeting in our past familiar joints-she assured me.
Not necessarily on any of the venues we both used before.
It is serious Ben. More serious than our former relationship.
I eased my mind.
This was not going to be about alimony or child upkeep.
Stella was now happily married to a former colleague at a former work station.
In a way,her husband and i have remained friends and we are very civil about us both trying our luck on Stella.
Eliud won her.
I honourably lost the game.
So comes the Saturday afternoon date with Stella.
I’m still single after divorce in my first marriage,but careful about any rash commitments from my past escapades.
Stella had been my sounding board after getting back on the dating scene. I used her to hone my moribound seductive skills after my divorce.
We both have no hard feelings about how it ended.
She’s got my boy,a product of our former relationship.
There was no marriage.
I never claimed the parental rights to the boy after Stella married Eliud-not his real name.
But i can attest to two things;both of Stella’s children are mine. I’m their biological father;the one before her marriage,and the one after her marriage to Eliud.
Don’t ask me how it happened.
These things happen.
Anyway,back to my date with Stella-after five long years of absence.
She was distraught.
Her husband is gay!
He has finally told her in a moment of weakness during a fight.
She is now worried about her children,technically our children.
She can’t trust her gay husband with the boy;
She can’t trust her gay husband to be a male role model to her daughter,sorry,our daughter.
The worst thing is that she can’t tell just about anybody about her husband’s gay status. He could be jailed for having unnatural carnal acts under our country laws.
Declaring her husband’s gay status would almost certainly dissolve her marriage under law for having been solemnised on false pretences.
That may mean loss of property and inheritance for her two children after marriage dissolution.
What was she to do? She asked me.
Live it out. Pretend that all is normal. For your own sake. For the sake of your children. For the sake of your husband. For the sake of our pretentious society that does not confront this problem in the open.
I told her.
It felt inadequate.
But this is Africa.
We don’t talk about such issues.
Even in whispers.
Tom looked both amused and confused.
He was a bit agitated.
He had just had a very long discussion with his wife and her long time female friend.
Tom always guessed there must be ‘something’ between his wife and ‘her friend.’
‘Her friend’ likes sleep overs in Tom’s home,especially when he is away on duty.
Tom is a fast consumer goods salesman.
Today,he arrived home unannounced and found his wife and her friend in their matrimonial bed,sex toys and all!
Tom’s wife is a lesbian.
They have three lovely children.
It is a perfect family.
What can possibly go wrong in such a family?
Only a taboo.
Tom can do nothing about his shocking discovery.
It is too embarrassing to even tell his closest friends.
Tough it out. We tell him. Act normal. Don’t throw away your marriage on such a trivial issue. And please don’t embarrass us by coming out in the open about your wife.
This is Africa.
Africa shall be GAY,but no one is allowed to talk about it.
Don’t even mention the vile things that gays call rights!
Or even come out the of closet about it.
Africa is one vast continent.
Taken literally,it is one big closet that can hold all gays and prudes comfortably inside.
No need for any one to come out of this big closet!
Not in this millenium. Not in the next one!
Our laws-and we shall make more stringent ones if the ones we are making are not sufficient-will effectively protect us against the gays in our society.
We’d rather be hypocrites about it,but we must never admit it!
We are Africans!
We must think like Africans,even when our dear Pope says-who i’m i to judge?
Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….