We are back with Out, Proud and African, our special Pride Month series that curates stories of Africans on the continent and in the diaspora who are out, visible and living their truths. We recognise that to be out as an African is not easy and we celebrate these individuals who are at the forefront of the fight for equality. Today, our feature is from Nigerian commentator Ani Kayode Somtochukwu. This is his coming out story.
ON COMING OUT
One of the main reasons I decided to come out was as a rejection of the shame society kept trying to foist on me. It was basically me saying, “Yes I’m gay. And what about it? And no I’m not ashamed of it. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.” I should probably also say that my coming out wasn’t a conventional one. I didn’t sit friends and family down or anything. I simply started living my life, stopped measuring my words and when anyone asked, “wait are you gay?” I replied, “yeah, I am” and I didn’t think it should have weight. Obviously it did but I didn’t want it to seem like I was seeking permission or approval to be gay. For me, it was about freeing myself completely irrespective of what society or the State thought about it.