6 Nigerian Women Share When They Knew They Were Queer

April 23, 2021

There are not many feelings in the world that match the realization of ones queerness. These six Nigerian women share when they knew they were queer.

Anita, 24

I went to one of those private catholic girls secondary schools in Abuja. In JS 1, during our visiting day, some boys came from the neighbouring “brother” school. For some reason, I couldn’t understand why all the girls were excited. These guys look like they hadn’t showered in days with their unmoistured feet. Fast forward to two very close “friends” later, I understood why. So, I guess I realised I was queer in JS1.

Funke, 20

I have always known I liked boys. So when I also started developing feelings for girls, I got confused. One day while I was still in secondary school, I was watching a movie on my brother’s laptop. The main character was a woman who had a girlfriend and also had a boyfriend. Before then, I had thought you either had to like men or like women. It was the first time I was hearing the word bisexual being used. I never knew it was possible to like both, and it was very affirming.

Zahra, 29

I knew I liked women even before I was 10. But society says it’s man and woman so I always felt I was weird and alone. For so many years, I lived my life thinking I was an alien. I didn’t know there was a name for who I was until about 13 or 14. I heard it from a boy, and I was so excited I started asking numerous questions about my new “Human Identity”. The boy was also eager to fill me in. All I wanted was to know that I’m normal and sane. Then I became more confident and decisive. It’s been a great ride, now we’re only waiting for that repeal to happen.

Adaeze, 23

It was in a threesome with this girl and her boyfriend. When I touched her, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and that was when the questioning began. The thing is, I used to feel attracted to women, but I thought all women felt it too. I had a roommate who I used to flirt with back then, but nothing serious ever happened. That threesome, however, was different. The self-acceptance didn’t come until much later. I haven’t been with anyone since then. I feel like if a woman decides to actually like me in a romantic way, I might explode from all this fire inside me.

Chisom, 20

I knew I liked women in SS1, but I don’t think I ever considered myself queer until my second year in university. In my second year, I was having an internal issue on whether I even liked men and didn’t tell anyone about it. Around that time, I made a new friend who would not stop calling me gay as a joke. At a point, I realised she was right. I am gay.

Tito, 19

I think I kind of knew when I was as little as 8 years old. I always wanted the female characters in the movie to kiss, and I used to guess which male characters liked other men. The thing was, I did not even think it was something I was supposed to see as bad until I went to secondary school and they started talking about it. I was in my first year of University when my mummy told me that one of my cousins in the USA had gotten married to his boyfriend. I was so excited for him, and so I reached out to him through Facebook. We started talking and I guess that helped me figure it out. I listened to the way he spoke about his husband, and I wanted something like that. I knew I would not get that by marrying a man.

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Itohan Esekheigbe

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