“I was once married to a man” – Pamela Adie
It is in fact a difficult question to answer: how do you advise a young, same gender loving person to come out of the ‘closet.’ It is not just difficult because the answer cuts across multiple sharp edges – edges that are even made more difficult to navigate because of unfair law and poor societal understanding – but it is more of a personal journey, each person’s experience different from the other.
On an episode of Untold Fact, a ground breaking discussion series that focuses on sexual health and rights in Nigeria, produced by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS) and hosted by TV personality, Moses Omoghena, we learn that the most important step in embracing one’s sexuality is to love oneself first especially for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“Sometimes you cannot actually remove the fact that people need to work that journey,” says Olumide Makanjuola, a sexual health and rights advocate. He points out that for young people it is a journey of self-discovery and a move towards discovering oneself even in the midst of hate and unfairness.
Makanjuola added that “From my past experience working with people in this community and with the job I do, people have to first of all be comfortable in their own skin and they should realize that they’re okay, they are not sick, they’re not crazy.”
Omoghena also noted that for people in the LGBT community there are different closets: “the first closet is where he stays for fear of stigmatization, discrimination and even violence… where he tries to discover himself and find himself and also discover that he wasn’t a freak of nature after all. The second closet is where he finally gets to associate with like-minds, where he gets the opportunity to bind together with his friends and those who share a common sexual orientation.”
Also on the show was Pamela Adie, business strategy consultant, communication expert, social media strategist, feminist and human rights defender. Adie, in her own way, reechoed Makanjuola’s assertion, noting that “People have to work their journey. I worked mine, it took me a while but I eventually got to where I am now.”
Watch Untold Facts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSnSMJctH9I