I am back, this week, with danfo gist from Lagos.
On my way home one evening, I was in a danfo, as usual. It was a lazy evening sort of – rain had not made up its mind if it wanted to fall or not.
The bus driver probably dreading the weather left the bus stop with just a handful of passengers. At each bus stop along the road, he’d stop to pick up people. When we got to Jakande, he stopped to pick up more people.
Two young men entered and at this point, the only empty seats were at the back. The boy in front was quite big so he was trying to squeeze past to the back. The other one sensing that the driver would soon move while he was standing by the doorway tapped his friend on the buttocks to urge him to move quickly. And that was it!
“Why you go nack your fellow man for yansh like dat, you be gay?” A man in the bus asked.
Let’s call him Jimoh.
I chuckled because I thought it was a bad joke. But brethren this thing went from zero to hundred real quick. Other men in the bus joined Jimoh. See im haircut, dem be gay. Dem wear tight trousers, na gay people be this. The two guys who were now sitting went mute, they, like me, couldn’t believe what was happening.
It was the bus driver who became a voice of reason.
“Make una leave them abeg. Na young boys wey just dey play. I no sure say dem be gay, abi una be gay?” He said with a laugh and then with a small laugh, they said No, that they grew up together, they were friends.
But this Jimoh was not having it- so una be friends na im you dey nack im yansh like dat?
At the next bus stop the guys who said they were going to Ajah came down. Good thing they did because this Jimoh person was still trying to start something that would have ended badly.
He went into a rant about devils agents, useless boys doing abnormal things about how God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Adam, about how we should stay woke to preserve our culture and not buy oyibo culture. His fellow yes sir men joined him in the stupid commentary.
By now, I was pissed. I wanted to ask them what they know about our culture. If they knew their ancestors openly accepted and left gay people alone. That some of the great men he descended from were gay, proud and their communities left them alone?
But I said nothing and luckily I soon got to my bus stop and was saved from hearing stupidity.
But when I got home, and finally settled down to sleep, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that if this had happened in a market, people like Jimoh with all their love for God and culture would have been the first to pick up a used tyre and put on the necks of those boys, and the yes sir men would not stop to think, they would have beaten those boys blue-black or even set them ablaze.
Have we always been this homophobic in Nigeria? Or is this a new trend? I am genuinely confused as to why Nigerians hate gay people.
Last week, the Police in Jigawa state arrested 15 students who beat a man they SUSPECTED to be homosexual to death. These are teenagers between 17 and 19, and they beat a fellow human being to death because they suspected him of being gay.
In Lagos, the police left badoo boys they should be chasing, kidnappers, ritualists, all the criminalsi in this Lagos and went after gay men, splashed their photos and names everywhere.
What is wrong with us in the country? How come what adults do with their bodies is your business? And why do we always think homosexual relationships is all about sex. You straight people is your relationship with the opposite sex based only on sex?
I am certain those guys will not touch each other in public again even if they were not gay. This is how we stifle male friendships, men cannot hug each other, or cry or be vulnerable.
As nosy as we are in this country no one was aware of the kidnappers and ritualists and other criminals operating in our neighbourhoods but if it is to observe people who wear tight trousers, or hug their friends we’ll chook our mouths there. Leave gay men alone biko and by the way, where is your President?