Sometimes, when you finally accept your sexuality as a queer Nigerian, you may not know what to do. So, these six queer Nigerians give advice to newer queer people.
You don’t have to label yourself. Be patient with yourself, love yourself and know that whatever you are, you deserve love and acceptance.
You don’t have to come out until you are ready. The world is wicked enough to queer people. You should only do it when you are ready. When you eventually do, be ready to lose a lot of friends and family. Don’t be too worried about that, because you will find many many more that love and accept you as you are.
Your identity doesn’t have to fit in a single label. You’re still bisexual if you haven’t had sex or been in a relationship with anyone. Your labels and identities can change and that’s okay. You are queer enough.
Take it easy on yourself. Things are meant to be figured out, don’t rush your process. The world, especially Africa and the media will say so many things that probably will make you hate what you’re feeling, and in turn, hate yourself. Don’t play into that. You and your feelings are as normal as the person next to you. You’re valid.
Everyone who has embraced their sexuality had to figure it out one way or the other. Everyone’s process is different. Don’t rush it or beat yourself up because you’re not where others are in their journey. You owe yourself love regardless of your sexuality. Self-love, love from friends who love you, love from someone who makes you feel over the moon. You deserve love.
Curate your social media as well. The content you digest matters a lot too. Taking in homophobic content 24/7 or straight people drama will definitely not be helpful. Curating makes sure there’s enough queer content to counter the negativity. Trust me, it is very important.
I think that’s it’s important for everyone struggling or questioning their sexuality to know that you don’t have to be what society or your parents say you should be. You don’t have to label yourself. Be patient with yourself, love yourself and know that whatever you are, you deserve love and acceptance.
I learned this later in life and I regret repressing my sexuality for so long because when I finally decided to live as authentically I realized I have never felt as free and as true as I am living my truth. It took 8 years and lots of hating myself and others but here I am.
I feel seen, I feel loved, I feel true and that can never be bought or repressed. Be brave. Be loud. Be true.
I know this is really really hard, but only surround yourself self with people that are either queer or people that don’t have homophobic thoughts towards queerness. When you surround yourself with people that make it comfortable to be yourself, there’s less need or want for you to shrink or try to fit in. It wouldn’t matter and it sort of reshapes how you see yourself.
Love yourself so much without needing any validation and slowly it reflects on how you think. You begin to realize you coming out is not so anyone to accepts you, because you don’t need acceptance. You’ve accepted yourself. It’s just to let people know how to address you without assuming. It takes a shit load of work, but it’s the best bet at finding peace within yourself. Also, understand whatever you identify with at the end of the day is valid.
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