Thursday, February 5, 2009

THE CITADEL OF THE SOUL

Inside each of us there seems to be a secret part of our lives that keeps us at distance from others, even from the people we love best. It is place where we experience our most poignant fears. The fear of not being loved by people close to us because of our sexuality. The fear of not being sexually adequate or fulfilled . The fear that life is not what it promised to be.

But believe it or not, this same secret place where we hide our fears is the also where we keep our most private and fragile hopes on the basis of our sexuality.. In a sense if we tell this aspect of lives and then fail to achieve our dreams and hopes , then we have no comfortable private fantasy into which we can retreat when things are not going on well. As a result many of us try to play it safe and never try to actualize our dreams on the basis of our sexuality or even dare tell them to another soul apart from those who share the same sexuality with us. We keep the fears of letting others know our sexuality , our secret longings and our flickering hesistation buried deep inside us.

But like a lightening, in the middle of the night there sometimes come a time when we realize that we are going to one day die- that we may never do the things we have dreamed of. Several months ago this sudden awareness occurred. I realized that irrespective of my sexuality I was no different from other people and that whether I liked it or not I was one day going to die. But it also occurred to me that dying without fulfilling my dreams as a homosexual would mean a lot if I rather die fulfilling my dreams as a vain heterosexual person.. This happened to be one of the boldest decision that I have ever taken. Coming out as a homosexual, an African and most of all someone with dreams.

Folding my clothes that laid scattered on my bed while at the same thinking of how to tell my mother this innate difference of mine that do not make me different from other people, I pondered on my feelings as a homosexual.After this day I finally realized that I have got decision to make about how I am going to leave the rest of my life.Life it as a homosexual.I said if I have any dreams to fulfill I better get at them.Life's is going to be very quickly and there may not be much of it left.

So I began to think about hoe people like might do when we realize that is life is going by and that we are afraid to try the dreams that we have.Realistically, how do we risk changing our lives in mid course and coming to grips with our hopes, fears admist our sexuality.But this are the inner problems we as homosexual face.So it seems imperative that to effectively reach out to our community we need learn from each other stories and also learn to express our sexuality in relation to the real questions as to why we are living.What's the basic storyline of our lives and where are we in it as homosexuals as we pull open a doorway and look into the citadel of our soul-at what we are as homosexuals.

How do we live together,love and help each other find meaning to life as homosexual.Ultimately,how do we give to other people irrespective of sexuality the life we ourselves want as homosexuals.

2 comments:

teju9999 said...

I appreciate this bold move Rashid. The write up itself is a testament of the quality of what it means to be gay, deep sense of awareness of one's vulnerability and the boldness to move toward intergrity no matter what. I look at your picture giving press conference and say to myself, "there is my hero". I hope to see you post more enlightening and inspirational messages like this.

Sydney said...

Rashidi my thoughts are with you as you continue your bold steps out of the African closet as an open proud gay man living as a citizen of Nigeria. Obviously this path you have chosen to be open about your life is a challenge, and life-threatning but you are inspiring many, you can't know the true depth of who you will encourage to take similar steps and the more we step out of the closet and stop hiding our true lives, the more we enlighten ourselves and everyone around us.

As a gay American we certainly have our share of anti-gay problems and while recently losing our right to same sex marriage in California has been a blow to our community the more we reach out and de-mystify our lives the more our families, friends, and neighbours come to know us simply as human beings, not as stereotypes they have been taught to fear and to hate.

Bless you and remember as one of America's eminent gay politicians said decades ago, "Hope will never be silent." Keeping on hoping, keep on dreaming, love is our religion. Whatever I can do to help the Queer Alliance of Nigeria please let me know.