The Biggest Problem With Being Yourself And Being Nigerian

Two days ago, Bobrisky was arrested by the police, and the immediate assumption by the public was that it was because he reportedly admitted to being gay on his Snapchat and then deleted it.

Of course, if we lived in a sane and normal community, one would wave this off as a rumour, but this assumption isn't far fetched given that it's illegal to be homosexual in our country.

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Granted, Bobrisky can be quite annoying, but this is not why people hate him so much. Nigerians can’t stand him because he is effeminate and unapologetically so (do you guys believe that the world hates women now?).

Although the exact reason for his arrest is yet to be revealed, the fact that the automatic assumption was that it was because of his 'otherness' is telling of our culture and people. The problem with being yourself and being Nigerian is that you can’t, unless who you are is compliant to society's norms.

A perfect example is A Nasty Boy, a publication which aims to celebrate otherness and dismantle gender norms. In a video with AJ Plus, they pointed out that they were not an LGBT Magazine, which at first made it seem as though they hadn’t done enough research and just wanted a platform to take pretty and creative pictures.

However, upon further thought, can we really blame them? Our country’s ridiculous traditional (and now legal) rules doesn’t give them the leeway to even embrace that title if they wanted to, and it’s sad that in this day and age this is our reality.

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Furthermore, a few days ago gay rights activist Bisi Alimi (who was cast out of the country for coming out to be openly gay) brought up a very compelling argument following GTBank’s announcement that Miss Jay will be at their Fashion Weekend.

Bisi on his Instagram said:

What saddens me but gives me reason to laugh is the hypocrisy of Nigerians. Okay let’s get this right, Ms Jay has an alternative sexual orientation, he is openly gay, and I do agree this has no impact on his work but he lives freely and openly as gay and has the opportunity to reach his potentials in life.

Can an average homophobic Nigerian that will attend Ms Jay’s class look in the mirror and honestly say they will be happy to attend same class by an openly Nigerian gay man? Can GT Bank honestly say they will allow an openly gay Nigerian man like me give a talk on social development to their staff?

I am sure we all know the answer unless our hypocrisy sinks so deep that we are used to it. I am writing this and I'm very sad that we rush to roll out a red carpet for other people’s homosexuals, while we rush to get tyre and petrol to set ours ablaze. 

He couldn’t have said this better! Miss Jay’s 'otherness' is alright because he is not African and he was brought up in the 'devilish western world', but Bobrisky, Bisi, A Nasty Boy and others alike cannot be accepted in their own homes and have to hide, pretend or even leave!

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The older generation of Nigerians are set in their ways and maybe were not exposed to as much information as we are – that is not to say it's okay, because it's not. Its worse and even scarier that people in our generation, who have been brought up in our information-rich digital age, still subscribe to this horrible and toxic line of thought. 

We would like to point out that grown consenting adults can do whatever they want as long as they are not causing harm to anybody, and Nigerians need to face their front and let other people be!

We're looking forward to hearing more about what happened with Bobrisky's arrest and we hope that he was arrested because he actually committed a real crime! And Toyin Lawani, 'stealing' bleaching cream customers is not a crime - and the fact that we have to say this is worrying...

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Evil dictator of taste