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How to Be Queer and Closeted in an Homophobic Country

Hi! Hey! Hello! Having a gay day? Well, me too!

As the title suggests, I am one of the many queer people that live in a country where it is illegal to exist. In Nigeria where I'm from, you could be jailed for 14 years just for being gay. For just breathing as a gay person. I mean, where do you get the nerve??! Or worse, you could face jungle justice. Losing your life in the worst ways possible. To understand this, I recommend Chinelo Okparanta's “Under The Udala Tree”.

Well, I've lived this long and I've faced neither, so I deserve a medal. Are you struggling with staying closeted? Does yout sexuality scream? Well, you're at home here. Relax. No one can hurt you here, and no one will in reality if you read through. You can be gay and closeted and still live in an homophobic country, and this is how to do it in five simple suggestions. Don't worry, they're simple. I mean it.

One. If you're an effeminate gay man or a masculine lesbian, this is for you. I'm a Butch, so I understand. Dear effeminate men who wish to remain closeted, whenever you are accosted and asked the “are you gay?” question, borrow a temper from God knows where. Lose your shit. Nothing reduces an homophobe to ash than confronting their hate with an equally fiery anger. Threaten rain and brimstone. Do not give them a chance to speak. Raise your voice. Be loud. Alternatively, you can accuse them or their brother of jilting you after everything you've been through together. The fear of being implicated would make them scurry. It is important to be very touchy when you do this too.

Butch women, when you are asked the same question, say you're a footballer. Or a basketball player. Just name a popular sport. These haters buy it everytime. Hook, line, and sinker. If you don't look like you're into sports, claim you're undercover. Trying to sniff the gays out, eh matey? Orrrr, you could just buy wood, nails, and a hammer and build a fence around your closet door. I don't know, the works. Butch women can do anything. Like, punch a persistent homophobe in the face.

Whenever you're asked “are you a boy or a girl?” pretend to not understand the question. Keep this up for a while until they ask what sexual organ you have. They always resort to this, the knuckle heads. Now, be dramatic. Burst into a long fit of laughter then act very serious all of a sudden. Stare them in the eye and say you have both. Ask “do you want to see?” And advance towards them. Most likely, they'd be freaked out and leave. If this is too much, you can always pretend to be deaf and mute. No offense to people living with these disabilities. A person is just trying to survive. Forgive us.

Say, you're walking with your partner and they ask you if you're siblings.
Bring the heat. Say “excuse me? Would you like to repeat that?” They'll always repeat it. They're disrespectful like that, they are. When they do, pause. A long pause. When you speak, be sure to be looking into their eyes. Ask if you look anything alike. Ask if your legs are identical. Point at any random person and ask if they're related to that person. Now ask them to step aside. As you walk out, grab your partner by their waist. If you're not built for drama, say they're your mother's friend's cousin's sister's god child. And walk away.

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Four. You're living with your partner and people are beginning to talk. It's tough being gay publicly for fear of your life. I've got you, comrade. Daddy's got you. Simply put, they're your very close friend. You were raised together. Now you're living together because the economy is hard and rent prices have skyrocketed. Everyone can relate to this. Or, you can claim that they're your elvian vampire mate and you're bound together for life. Or some shit in a crappy romance novel. You know it.

“When are you getting married?”
I'm tired of this question. We're all tired of this question. When you're asked this, pull a sullen face and very solemnly say “how dare you remind me of my misery?” Then pretend to cry. They'll sympathize with you.
However, my favorite thing to say is that my dog died and I'm keeping my late aunt's cats and I've received so much love from them while still grieving my dog so if I let myself feel any more of it, I could burst. Then very gravely add, “and you'd be responsible for it.”
You could also pretend to be a philosopher and ask about the importance of life and love and marriage and death. Get deep.

The point is, life is hard and short. Almost like a toy I like, but not as pleasurable. It's your life. And you're gay. Get creative with your existence. It's yours!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 BigBadButch

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