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Cisi Eze: Letter to a Gay Relative About to Get Married

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Dear Uncle,

Living your truth is hard, I know; however, can you not throw lies at our faces? You are mutating into a tacky joke.

Maybe what you need to do it comb out your feelings, untangle each end, work around them, and accept them the way they are. But you won’t. Instead, you spray sheen of lies and walk around as if lies do not have a stench. You know, it takes courage for one to be honest. You lack that courage. You are not strong enough to be sincere.

You wrap yourself with layers of lies thinking they would rescue you from the truth bursting within your soul. Truth is a savage locked in a basement in chains. The day it breaks free, you will be sorry. The savage would ravage with rage and there would be nothing to salvage.

Before all this started, I walked in on you watching two men at it. I was dazed. “Not Uncle,” I thought to myself.

My shock must have been contagious because you stared at me – lips trembling and eyes wide opened.

“I am watching to know what they like about it,” you rushed your words.

I confronted you.

You were too mortified to be angry at my indignant tone. Until that moment, I have never seen you contrite. You told me it was never going to happen again. To be sure, as though you desperately needed to assure yourself, you deleted those videos as I stared at you from the place shock held me to the floor.

I remember the first night you stole into my room. You thought I did not know. You stared at my sleeping form. I felt a burning sensation everywhere your gaze touched. And when your callused palm travelled up my hairy, teenage legs to my thighs, I tried so hard not to jump out of my skin.

The rest of that night, I cried.

My tears were hot; I felt my face burn. The burning sensation was pain I welcomed. Maybe the physical pain would dim the emotional hurt. Were I to take an emotional selfie, I would have looked like road kill dragged in by the cat.

You? You went to the sitting room to join in the family morning prayer. You prayed against principalities and powers. You equated me to principalities and powers. But Uncle, I was on my own! I should have called you out that morning before everyone, but I had no evidence. Six years after that day, I still have no evidence.

My sanity returned the day you left. For those three weeks you stayed over at my parents’, you explored your “dark side” with me. I did not want it from you. No one would believe Uncle – Uncle who hates and gets violent on gay people, Uncle who is ultra-masculine, and says “no homo” at the end of certain sentences – did not ask God to create him to feel intense affection for women.

No one would believe a sixteen-year-old boy talking about being raped by another man.

Ridiculous things are hard to believe. You played on this and did ridiculously wild things with me. Whenever you were sated, you would crawl on your knees to beg and cry for forgiveness. Were I God, I would have spat on you and smote you. You made it seem as though mere supplications could straighten out a bent rod. Uncle, even if you got down on your knees to pray one million times, you will never pray the gay away. Bath a billion times in the River of Redemption, scrub your skin with sacred stones if you must, you would never wash me off your skin, and you would never purge me from within.

Six years later, you are here with your fiancée. She is pretty! Pretty, but stupid. Can’t she see the way you stare at me? Maybe she has seen and she does not want to accept you are not in love with her. She might be one of those women that have chosen to aspire to matrimony and all that comes with it. Desperation has blinded her.

Then, I talked with her on Saturday. We tiptoed in and out of the conversation of gay people. She loathes you! Imagine how she would feel when she knows her husband-intended is “as bent as a crayfish”. (That was how you put it.) She would scream to the heavens. I should have hinted at you not walking on the straight path. Being married to a gay man might open her mind to understand that this is a pattern of love, not just sex.

What even attracted her to you? Love did not bring you two together, hate did. You lied to her, strung her along, and next month, you two would walk down the aisle. Now that I think of it, you two deserve each other.

You’ll try to hide your predilections by being aggressive to people that are sincere with themselves. Hating them, judging them will not redeem you. You try so hard to conform, to be perfect, but soon, the quest for acceptance and conformity would drive you over the edge of sanity.  When that happens, I will drink to it.

Yours “sincerely”,

Nephew Dearest.

P.S. Should we force people, who are not naturally interested in the opposite sex, into conventional marriages? That is tantamount to putting a square peg in a round hole. How do two people in love inspire so much hate in us? Is there any logic behind this anger (it is not hate) towards gay people?

P.P.S. You can be heterosexual and support LGBT rights. You only need to be human to support human rights. Adults support child’s rights. It does not make them children, right? When a person is homophobic, I begin to question things. “What are you hiding?” Some gay people have internalised homophobia. They overcompensate by being homophobic just like Uncle in this post. After spewing homophobia on social media, they slither their way into DMs and inboxes to talk about “sturvs”*. Like, really?

“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime| Vadymvdrobot

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

14 Comments

  1. capt. Jack

    August 23, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    everything about this story screams…fiction! fiction!!fiction!!! i dont even understand if the nephew is glamorizing the love he develops for his uncle after the rape or not

    • Mohammad

      August 24, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Duh! It is fiction. Cizi Eze write allegories and explains her position as a sort of epilogue. She is one of the more original writers left on Bella Naija.

      This is really well written as usual Cizi. The only complication is the slight homophobia on the part of the protagonist; but I guess his equivocation was due to his being abused, or the fact that he didn’t respect his uncle for not being honest, and perhaps just to keep him more realistic a character.

      Anyway, thank you for using your voice to be an unrelenting challenger of opinions in this part of the world. Every single word you write will be useful in causing people to consider more carefully their viewpoints and enable us to think for ourselves instead of follow-follow. Brava!

  2. G

    August 24, 2017 at 1:21 am

    We have heard you Cisi, you have provoked us into a positive social change, so thank you very much.

  3. Crystal

    August 24, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Isn’t it ironical how you have used the “square peg in a round hole” to prove the case of gay people? Because homophobes will use that exact line to “condemn” them.
    Oh well, you have said it’s not all about sex….,,,
    Cheers

  4. Yinmu

    August 24, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Wherever Cisi is, Mohammad isn’t far away, praising and commending her write ups.

    • Vee

      August 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Mohammed will praise any opinion that promotes alternate behavior.

  5. Purpleiciousbabe

    August 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I think it is disgusting and appalling when an adult takes advantage of an innocent mind.
    Regardless of your issues sexual or not, nobody has the right to rape another person.

    If anything I feel for the writer for not addressing what is happening to them?

  6. Temi Niran

    August 24, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I’m with mohammad on the slight homophobia on the part of the protagonist. However, it made sense that it came more from a place of anger than anything else- very interesting! Also, I didn’t really care much that pedophilia and homosexuality were conflated. The uncle could have still been a homophobic gay man without molesting his nephew. The only reason why this gave me pause is because especially with Nigerians, these two things are conflated. A lot of Nigerians believe that if someone can be homosexual, they can also be a pedophile. Does it make sense? Of course not. But it is almost always being used as an excuse, and I feel like if someone with that mentality were reading this, they would go “aha! see why these gay people are bad?” Otherwise, great write up

    • sharon

      August 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

      I agree with you Temi, a lot of people associate being homosexual with being a pedophile and that’s what the writer insinuated. Pedophilia can be both ways, with a heterosexual or homosexual. Apart from that,great write up!

  7. OOA

    August 24, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    First, I hope this is fictional. Two, it is harsh, hurtful and somewhat insulting. It carries little or no empathy, forgetting how easy it is to say live your truth yet difficult if not almost impossible, especially as a gay man. The writer seemed more preoccupied with showing how eloquent they are, too involved with impressing us the readers with your writing chops. Let me ask you this, tell me when it was so easy for you to live your truth, I’m sure your truth is not remotely close to the truth of a gay man. Even in a world more accepting of others sexual preferences, standing on their truth still remains one of the hardest things people I’m such situations will ever have to do. Your tone doesn’t speak kindness or empathy, I don’t even mind if it lacks understanding, but we can at least show empathy for a personal’s suffering (self inflicted or otherwise). I hope to God you never have to be torn between doing the right thing by you and living according to societal dictates. Your article is borderline insensitive, almost reads as if you were happy to have found this gay uncle out. Even the most prolific psycho-thriller or crime writers show more connection and kindness to this sad derogatory piece you have put out. Remember this while you’re showing off your ‘prolific’ writing that is is important that we strive to remind one another to live our truths in whatever form they come, but it is more important to be kind above all else.
    Note: I was hoping your article will touch on telling this man not to drag another person into a life of untruth above all else, but alas, you were too consumed with whatever you thought your position was and again, displaying your eloquence and command of the dictionary. Have a nice day

  8. Tobi

    August 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Sounds like the uncle was a depraved sexual deviant a pedo. Feel sorry for his fiancé. This kind will rape his own children, male or female. Sick F**k

  9. Purple

    August 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I am tired of the whole born this way/living your truth/LGBT right BS. Look I really dont care who you choose to have sex with. But it is a choice and you choose to be that. So please enough with encouraging little kids to have sex change operations and pushing down this LGBT agenda down our throats. Also this is not in anyway natural and you cannot tell me dolphins are doing it, we are human beings not animal and if you want to be a dophin be my guest *rollingmyeyes*

    • sharon

      August 25, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Sorry to burst your bubble but it is not a choice. The fact that you do not understand a homosexual’s complexity does not give you the right to undermine people that do. No homosexual will choose to live in a world where he/she is constantly threatened or abused or even killed. The least you can do is hide your ignorance.

  10. Purple

    August 25, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Sharon sweetheart… If you want to lick a huha you can nobody is stopping. But if every behaviour of ours is going to be justified by this “not so ignorant” comment of yours then all the pedophiles, wife beaters, drug addicts and what have we can use your point as an excuse. So I still stand my groud that it is a choice to indulge. It becomes a problem when they cannot control it and even then they are called diseases not human nature. Anyway I wish I have the time to keep replying but enjoy the rest of your day dear,,

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