Self-discovery is a fulfilling journey, but self-acceptance is one hell of a lifetime. You discover yourself as time goes by then you become afraid of your discovery if it turns out that you are gay! Some even fail to accept themselves. I know many queer guys and as we share our experiences I am like” That is exactly what I am going through!” You struggle with self-acceptance; you end up being a homophobe or even commit suicide. You struggle with your mental health and could end up being a drug addict. You cannot express your love publicly; you cannot hold hands or even hug. Here is part of my story to encourage you, in the end love wins.
Oscar. That is the name that defined my adolescent stage. I was a new student in class six. My hormones had just begun their function in my body and they directed me to this guy. He was the school time keeper, he was well built, had a smooth way of talking with the girls and there were rumors that he had numerous girlfriends. Some of those girls even fought to have his attention. Oscar had this smile that would melt your heart, his laughter was infectious and his smooth skin was indeed a nice place for anyone to touch. He would stride proudly around school and I could not understand why I was drawn to him, why my heart was drawn to him or why my thoughts would always drift to him, my eyes would enlighten as my blood would warm up. He confused me.
I was confused because class six science textbook had said that when one was in adolescent stage, they would experience attraction to the opposite sex. This was not the case with me. I was attracted to persons of my sex. I was attracted to Oscar! There was no way I could tell him. I was scared. I heard boys speaking of their girlfriends, and here I was fantasizing about Oscar. When he finally left the school, I felt as if a part of me was cut off.
In school, I would always keep a company of girls; I loved their stories of their boyfriends. One day, I was bashed for spending more time with the ladies; I would be given nicknames which I would gladly take. I would wear makeup, heels and wigs once I got home. One day my mother found me adorned in her brown wig, lipstick hugging my lips and was admiring myself in the mirror. She calmly looked at me and smiled
“These are made for women and girls, not boys. You are a boy and shall grow to be a man.”
As I removed them I was bitter. How could I explain that these things made me feel excited? That they made me feel special? How could I tell her that I had spotted a crush called Oscar? How could I tell her that I was unique?
Then, I joined a leading boy’s boarding school and my nightmares began.
I could not shower in the common room, there were fine asses! I could not bear being caught staring at my school mates. One day, things escalated and they made me hate my sexuality.
That Sunday, we had just left preps and headed to rest. Our Sunday preps would end at 9:30 pm contrary to normal days when we would end preps at 10:30pm. We dragged our feet to the dormitory area, beat stories as we cleaned. When light went off at about 10:30 pm, the early sleepers had already snored as the late sleepers were struggling to find sleep. I was in the latter category. I was noisy and had a mouth that would not stop. I would make my cube mates run into trouble for our loud laughter as I told stories. Then a scream rent the air. There was a scuffle. I froze but then collected myself to go to the area from which the scream was emanating from. What I saw made me about to faint.
“Ua hao! Mashoga!”
Fredrick and Carlos, who were my close friends, were the culprits. They received the force of blunt objects such as hockey sticks, rough sticks, crude metals, stones, shoes and whatever else they found. I wished I could find a way to help them from the pain they endured; they tried to beg for mercy only for their pleas to fall on deaf ears. They bled profusely but the beating did not stop. They screamed but none heard their wails. Were it not for the rather late response of our boarding teachers, my friends would have died that night. They were whisked away by the watchmen and were locked into the staffroom. They would spend a month there at night before being suspended. Fredrick was later readmitted while Carlos was expelled. That incident shook me to my roots. I hated myself and vowed to change.
I then asked myself after some time, what if one of the boys had sneaked in a girl? Would he have been lynched? Would he not be a celebrated hero? Is it wrong for queers to be in relationships? If so why would the straight ones come and brag about their trains of girlfriends?
We are all aware of some people who met their soul mates in high school. Why can’t queers also meet their soul mates in schools? I know what you are thinking.
“Schools are learning areas and not for any other business”
I agree pertly, schools provide the best breeding ground for human relationships be it platonic or otherwise. In schools we learn to interact and socialize. Queerness should not be demonized! We are people with feelings too!
I recall penning a poem to Sylvester. By then we were in form four during the KCSE period. I thought of writing him a poem. Little did I know the poem would be gateways of me receiving hate, of me being mocked, the genesis of me hating him me till date.
Coming out is one the many hurdles a gay man and any queer has to face. Things become tougher when you are in a homophobic society and then you are religious! You risk losing your family and friends, you risk being branded the black sheep, you risk even death. Being gay is costly. That’s why I admire the ones who are openly gay. They have and are going through a lot.
It took me seventeen years to accept myself. I refused that name even though my body would betray me whenever I saw a nice looking dude. Prayed and fasted only to open my eyes and crush on the guy next to me in church. My prayers went unanswered. I resolved to experiment. I had Ruth as my girlfriend but it all went down the drain. I went for counseling sessions only to come out and see million fine ass men again.
Then one day, as I was walking home, I whispered to myself
‘Kelsey, you are gay”
After a week I looked in the mirror and said
“I am gay”
It felt odd, it was as if I was declaring an abominable word, I recorded the phrase on my phone. I played and re-played it. It then became music to my ears. It then dawned on me that I am gay. I enjoy intimacy with men. There is nothing wrong with me. This is not a curse. This is me.
When I gathered courage, after I had come out to myself, I decide to come out to my best friends. Stella was the first one I came out to. We had just left class and she invited me over to her hostel for diner. We watched TV and made jokes and danced as we cooked.
“Stella, there is something I need to tell you,” I began
She was stunned and asked fearfully
“What is it?”
“I am gay,” I said
She became silent the only thing we could hear was the hissing of the gas, the music on TV, and the neighbors’ woofers. I regretted telling her. I expected her to curse me out. I felt so vulnerable.
“Shit Kelsey, shit!” she managed to utter after like forever, “What? You are gay? But you don’t look like typical gays, you do not have funny hairstyles, you are muscular, sorry, I do not know what to say. Shit”
I figure out she was just processing what I had told her. She later told me she was expecting me to hit on her. From then our friendship even grew stronger, we would check men out and grade them, and we would watch gay movies together. One day she wanted to know my role. Ha-ha. I never told her.
I thought that all my friends would have the same reaction as Stella. I was mistaken. Chris looked at me with eyes so full of rage and told me coldly
“Never say that shit to me again”
That taught me that I was not obligated to come out to anyone. The point was hammered home by a close friend of mine, Sam, who works with one of the queer organizations.
“If you feel like coming out, do it. If you feel like you are not ready, then do not, No one should force you. The only responsibility and obligation you have are to you. If you come out or still stay in the closest, you are still gay, nothing changes that.
George or as I used to call him Georgy was this strong-minded, no-nonsense though sometimes playful, tall light-skinned fine-ass wine guy I fell in love with in high school. I was scared if you remember the incident aforementioned. I avoided him and even became hostile to him in an effort to make whatever might happen between us not ever happen. He noticed and kept a distance only to bombard my heart with love when I was in my third year. He refused to join campus but instead focused on their family business. The only issue was that he was bisexual. He had a girlfriend to help him cover his tracks. I was jealous because I demand total attention; I could not imagine him in someone else’s hands.
One day, he decided to pay me a visit. I told my parents who were excited that finally was bringing someone home. They thought I was bringing my girlfriend. I could read the grave concern and disappointment on their face as George parked his motorbike and came into the house. My parents left to give us space. We used that space to our advantage.
It began from the phones. I took him as we talked. He wanted it back and noticed I was erect. He asked me
“Is that what I thinking?”
I looked into his eyes and whispered as I moved to him
I tasted his cherry lips; I enjoyed his beard face as his hands provide me with his godly touch. I wanted him so badly, our clothes found their way out of our bodies as we yearned for each other. His dick was firm and throbbing. He was gasping, his eyes half-closed, I sucked his nipples as I smelt his sweet cologne, he was twisting and turning with such sweetness that I have never seen before. He suddenly became in charge and turned me. Sucked my nipples and proceeded to my erect dick. I was panting as I experienced such a heavenly feeling! We took lubes and condoms and he thrust me so sweetly. He pumped up and down as I felt his back, his ass, his chest; I called his name, his fingers in my mouth. Then he turned and made me ride him his dick sweeter than honey. I panted as sweat precipitated out of my body, we made love. I directed his lubricated hand to my dick as he was stroking it with my sweet movements. Them we both ejaculated at the same time! We had our after-sex kiss and lay on each other. That was sex!
When later I saw him off. He told me;
“I would not like to do this, I am sorry. We had an amazing two years relationship but I am having pressure from my family to marry and I am asking for your forgiveness as I choose Veronica over you. Remember I still love you. But I just have to leave you. Please do not call or text or find me.
I could not find my tongue, words escaped my mouth that as you recall I have a stream of words. I was rooted to the ground not believing what I had just heard. I thought I saw him kick-started his TVS motorcycle. I thought I saw him wear his yellow helmet and ride away. I thought I saw his image diminishing on the horizon and I was left alone. I knew that was the last time I shall ever see him again.
I wiped tears from my eyes as I whispered “Goodbye.”