Popular brand guru, Kenny Badmus, who came out as a gay man early last year, was recently in Nigeria. On his Facebook page, Kenny wrote about his losses since he came out.
He shared on how his ex-wife of six years believed God would heal him and convert him to a heterosexual man even when she knew his orientation before they got married. He also shared on how he lost a yearly Federal government contract after his ex-wife told people he was gay.
In the case of Bademosi vs. Bademosi at the magistrate court, Ikeja, Lagos, my wife’s lawyer opened his statement with how a person who directly or indirectly makes a public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years. And how anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union should face up to 14 years imprisonment.
“How did you know your husband is a homosexual”? The Judge said to my wife as she walked into the witness stand
“Kanny,” she said with her thick Igbo accent.
“Kanny is a homosexual my Lord, I caught him with his male lover” She looked straight into my eyes daring me to deny her allegation. My lawyer gestured me to remain silent.
“Kai, this man na homosexual. May God punish you!” the noise in the courtroom began to rise as strangers held their noses up.
I raised a fist to shield my smashed ego and tucked my face under my arm. My armpit oozed a mix of sweat and shame as my pressed white shirt collected the stench of fear dripping from my body. When I touched my face, I felt nothing. The Magistrate struck the gavel against a piece of wood, but the chant of ‘punish all homos’ had already gained a wild momentum.
My accuser – my wife- rode on the waves of support coming from the crowd as she recounted the names of men she suspected I had slept with to the court. My shoemaker, my barber, my art directors, my writers, my uncles, my nephews, and my strategic partner, Mr. Trasher from South Africa, whose heterosexual passion cannot be rivaled by Hugh Hefner. According to her, this man was also fucking me. Via Facebook and Skype meetings, Mr. Trasher bunked me, she submitted. She swore by it. If it were possible, in her account, I had also slept with our Audi car – a male German breed with pure muscles and monstrous phallus. This was the moment she had been waiting for since we separated in 2010. Buoyed by a firm support from the evangelical church, she made a final case why I should be punished by law for daring to acknowledge my sexual preference for men over her. “How dare you,” she quipped, “how dare you leave the natural nurture of almighty pudenda for such oddity called prick!”
Don’t rush to blame her, Diary. If I were her, and I didn’t know better, I could be doing the same thing. Yes, it’s true that I had told her I was gay long before we married, but she honestly counted on Jehovah God to use her cooter to convert me into a full-fledged heterosexual. How could you blame her for trusting God’s word? Now that six years of intense fuck didn’t change anything, she had come to use the instrument of law. Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. It’s also God’s word. The infallible word of God.
Punish the faggot! The courtroom echoed.
My lawyer touched me gently. “Don’t panic. It is not in the place of a civil court to prosecute a crime of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. This is a family court, she said. I retreated into a funk. My head deflated. My feet wobbled like that of a rope walker who just skipped a beat while trying to impress Simon Cowell.
“Do you have any means to leave the country?” my lawyer said.
“No, I don’t. I haven’t been paid at my job for over six months, but I have a pending scholarship to study in the States,” I whispered as we crawled out of the court.
“I’d pursue that as quickly as possible,” the barrister said.
I recalled how I had always wanted to do my masters in the USA, and how someone living with HIV could never travel to the States until Obama lifted the ban in 2009.
(The old lady sitting next to me on the plane just got up. Let me quickly use the bathroom before she returns. Hold that thought about HIV.) I’ll be back.
Diary, are you still there? I had to drop some load while in the restroom. Note to self: never eat Chipotle before departing for a long flight.
Meanwhile, a question that has been bothering me.
Where does the shit we shit on the plane go? Ok, wait, let me google this.
Dear Google, where does our shit go when we flush at 35,000 feet up?
Ha, here is an explanation from Gizmodo:
Between 1979 and 2003, at least 27 wads of shit fell from the sky in the United States alone, impacting with enough force to tear through roofs and smash cars. Shit!
Nowadays, according to my Google source, modern planes carry shit in a special compartment under their belly. On the surface, on board, everything smells good because the airplane uses a particular suction device to push all that mess far away from people’s eyes and noses. Once the plane arrives its destination, it then empties all that shit before it flies again. That’s exactly how I feel living with HIV and being a gay man. I can live with HIV. I can at least hide it with some suction device, pose for the camera and say that famous line: HIV is never written on the face. Yea, right? Magic Johnson could announce in 1991 that he had contracted HIV, and still return to play in the 1992 All-Star Game but Justin Fashanu, the first black footballer to command a $1.23million transfer fee could not announce he was gay. Being black and gay stinks. Or why do you think so many great black men and women who are gay never come out to say it? Let’s not mention names. You know who I’m referring to.
You travel such a long distance in this life, achieve so much, fly high. Unlike others around you, once you are out, you have no suction device to hide your shit as a gay person. No support system. Just you. So your shit keeps falling from the sky, tearing through roofs. Then people continue to talk. How come you are like this? How come your wife is leaving you? How come you are still single? Didn’t the Bible condemn that shit? How come, how come?
For me when my shit started to fall, many family members stayed away. (I’ll talk about those who stayed through the shit later) Friends refused to pick my calls. Wifey had told them I was gay. Church stayed away. Jesus had told them ‘touch not the unclean thing.’ The advertising industry in Nigeria, where I had spent a good part of my life raising talents and developing the industry stayed far away. Cricket. Even those I had assisted finding their first jobs in the marketing communication industry. Those who are now brand managers, creative directors, account planners, strategy directors, managing directors and all those sizzling titles. Wifey had told them “Kanny is a homo.” In Nigeria, it doesn’t matter what you have done to assist people. If you don’t post updates such as ‘Come and see what the Lord has done,’ ‘If not for Jesus,’ ‘Father Lord no ni’ on your social media, you are an infidel. So you see all these people, after stealing company’s money, after inflating media and production quotes, after giving so many kickbacks and receiving so many bribes running crony businesses. You see them on social media telling the world how God had brought them from nothing. How they are being elevated by the Almighty. They have a suction device to hide their shit.
As my shit started to fall through the roof, major clients left because they heard from someone who heard from someone, who heard from my ex-wife that I was gay. The ad industry in Nigeria quickly avoided me like a leper. The Lord had told them to stop talking to me. My shit had no hiding place. Remember I have no suction device. It’s falling through the roof. It stinks too. But the Lord is graceful enough to help these people hide their own shit. They dwell in the shadows of the Almighty.
My yearly contract with the federal government (which trained thousands of graduates annually) ended. Speaking with the director of the program earlier, he claimed my wife had been to Abuja to tell them I was a pervert and had no moral standard to teach the youth how to develop their talents. In theory, when I spoke, my saliva emitted millions of gay matter that could infect unsuspecting young adults. In theory, also, I would be bringing the wrath of Jehovah upon a delicate nation already struggling with bad governance. This Jehovah, they claimed, was happy to live with the looters, the child-bride proponents, and the terrorists. The roads to the farms might be bad; the nation might not have electricity, and the cost of food might have skyrocketed, but nay! The sin of Kehinde and other such gay persons in the Republic was the abomination that had robbed Nigeria of its greatness.
I read the papers and online blogs, the chant I heard in the courtroom kept rising: kill the gays. Punish these homosexuals!
In August that year, instead of going back to the court to continue my trial, I flew to the US to begin my graduate degree. I left the only nation I had called home. Behind me was a kaleidoscope of a country with colors of corruption and injustices. Stella Oduah. Lawani. Oil subsidy. Bring back our girls, and all that military ammunition imbroglio. But nay! The sin of Kehinde and other such gay persons in the Republic was the abomination that had robbed Nigeria of its greatness.
I said goodbye to Aduke, my 80-year old mother. She looked me in my brown eyes and said, “home, my son, is wherever you find peace and happiness. Don’t worry about me. Go!”
Now, it’s November 2016. I’m on my way back to Lagos. I heard Aduke has now become a flower sprouting from the earth.
I’m looking through the window. We are about to land at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. I have just broken a sweat.
“Lagos is about ninety-five degrees,” the captain says.
This shit is about to get real, and I have no suction device to hide it.