7 Nigerians Reveal How They Discovered Their Queerness

June 8, 2020

June is Pride Month — an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ people from all around the world. Granted, it’s not easy to celebrate in a country like Nigeria, that has its queerphobia boldly written into law.

Still, this vibrant community refuses to be silenced. So, to celebrate their resilience, we asked a bunch of Nigerians to reveal the moment they discovered their queerness, and what that means to them.

Titi, 26/Female/Lesbian

I kind of always knew I wasn’t straight; I just didn’t know what I was. When I got to college, I had my first boyfriend and I remember telling my friends that I didn’t like having sex with him, even though I liked him. 

He and his friends would also accuse me of talking about girls and looking at them in a way that indicated I was interested in them as more than friends. At that point, I started to realise and accept that I wasn’t straight.

I broke up with my boyfriend in 2013, but I didn’t experience being with a woman until 2015. I came out as bi after being with her. I still dated men and women after that, even though I knew I was really a lesbian.

In 2019, I met a guy that ticked every conceivable box, but the more serious it got, the more trapped I felt. A few months later, I broke up with him and finally came out as a lesbian to my friends and family. 

James, 26/Male/Gay

I was 7 when I first kissed a boy, and I really liked it. At 13, I had kissed more boys and I didn’t feel like kissing girls at all. I called myself bisexual, even though I knew I wasn’t. I just wanted to seem slightly normal. 

I was 19 when I finally decided to accept myself and my sexuality. It was right after another one of my failed attempts to ‘pray the gay away’. It didn’t take me long after that to embrace myself fully

Mary, 25/Female/Bisexual

I finally realised I wasn’t straight in university. I fell in love with a female friend and I was suddenly very willing to explore for her. The signs of my queerness had always been there, but I just refused to see it.

I grew up deeply religious, and I think that stopped me from allowing myself to feel those things. When I finally realised I was queer, I struggled with it for a few months. Then, gradually, I began to accept who I am.

Emeka, 26/Male/Bisexual

I’ve always kind of known something was different about me. I remember trying to kiss a classmate when I was 10 in boarding school, but he rebuffed my advances. 

Anyway, I was 22 and visiting New York. I went to a club that called itself an “expressive space” — there were stripper poles on the dance floor and people were dressed pretty interestingly.

A couple (M/F) walked up to me and we started talking. They seemed really nice and welcoming. After a couple of drinks, we started to dance and, in the euphoria of the moment, the man kissed me.

I actually kissed him back. It was weird for me, but I enjoyed it. After that night, I did some self-reflection and connected the dots from past experiences. That’s when I came to the conclusion that I’m not straight.

I’m still embracing this part of myself. I haven’t even had sex with a man yet, and it’s been 4 years since that night. I think I’m just trying to be careful because of how Nigeria is. 

Cynthia, 20/Female/Pansexual

I’ve always been attracted to both boys and girls, but because of the way our society is, I kept mute. I even tried praying it away, but that obviously didn’t work.

It wasn’t until I joined social media that I found a bunch of voices in the LGBTQ+ community that made me feel aware that there wasn’t anything wrong with me.

Then just last two years, I realised that my attraction wasn’t limited to just the binary spectrum and cis-normative. I fully embraced my queerness a year ago, but I’m not yet out to everyone in my life.

Timi, 21/Male/Bisexual

I always just knew I wasn’t straight. I may not have known the words to define myself, but I can’t remember a time I wasn’t attracted to men. I even had a huge crush on Pat Attah growing up. 

I always just assumed that something was fundamentally wrong with me, so I never spoke about it to anyone. Later I’d learn from religion that my feelings were abominable. 

Then I read a religious book that said the feelings were normal during puberty, but with time and prayers, they would go away. Even though I knew puberty wasn’t the reason, I still held out hope.

Well, I got older and prayed a lot, but the feelings never went away. I don’t know that I’ve even fully embraced my queerness. I’m still not out to my family or any of my real-life friends. 

I even struggled with answering the sexual orientation question. I have been intimate with women and I feel some attraction for them, but I’m more attracted to men. I’m still figuring it out.

Bunmi, 26/Female/Bisexual

I’d say I have known I was attracted to women since I was 5. Whenever we played ‘mummy and daddy’, I had to have a wife. So, yeah, I’ve always liked being with girls.

I was 9 when I had my first kiss. It was with a 13-year-old girl I met at a birthday party. My heart would race every time I saw her. She fully had my mumu button.

That being said, I never dated women. I avoided that part of myself for so long. For the longest time, I described my bisexuality like it was a bad habit I needed to quit.

I hooked up with women now and then, but I dreaded any form of emotional intimacy. So, I was very clinical about it. I never slept with a woman more than three times. 

Well, all of that has changed. I finally met a woman who drives me wild. I love her and, for the first time in my life, I feel fucking free.  I wish I had the courage to own my sexuality sooner.

NerdEfiko

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

More from Inside Life

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X