{Or a recipe for ungaying yourself—while living in Nigeria}

By: Ola W. Halim


Dear Gaydarwosky,

I hope this finds you well.

I’m well too, just that I’ve been ruminating over what you said the last time we talked: “I’m on WikiHow reading an article on straight-acting.” I vowed not to reply until I found you some help. To make this happen, I had to examine the trail of ash you’re leaving behind for people to see, and browsing your Facebook profile and your Medium articles on self-discovery, the bells started to ring: “This boy is CLEARLY gay! This boy is clearly GAY!”

So I came up with these, to help you tone down some colours: seven suggestions on how to act straight in Nigeria.

Caveat: Walls have ears, remember. And anything that has ears surely has a mind. Therefore, I recommend you read this only in your toilet. Your toilet is tiled, not walled—don’t argue; walls are strictly mud and cement and terracotta—and the last time I checked, tiles didn’t have ears yet. The priority is acting safe, Gaydarwosky. Yes, I know I should have used ‘playing safe’, but man, this is a matter between life and death, so we won’t play with it! Therefore, I advise you put your erudition aside for now, balance your butt on the toilet seat, and we’re good to go.

1. Change Your Name: First, it’s not just about Gaydarwosky, a mere username; it’s about every feminine name out there. Christening your boychild Mercy, for instance, could make him gay.

Now, let’s imagine you’re male and Mercy, and you’re introducing yourself at a bar: “Hi, I’m Mercy. And you?”

If giant bells don’t immediately chime, if maroon lights don’t immediately flicker on 3D screens, if robotic voices don’t immediately purr, “Gay alert! Gay alert! Gay alert!” please unfollow me on Twitter.

And for all the troubles in the world, your username is Gaydarwosky??? Man, you’re offering your balls to tigers!

Look for tough, manly names, man. Here are some: BritRock. LivingStud. BedlamHunter. Try pronouncing them. Don’t they obstruct something in your vocal cavity? Isn’t that why you’re a Nigerian man, to stir chaos and erect obstacles?

2. Unlike Radical Groups: You don’t want to be tagged gay, yet you like feminist and humanist and atheist and gamophobic groups on Facebook. What the heaven is wrong with you, Gaydarwosky?

Gays are womanish, so they support feminism: the ideology that men should be castrated while women establish a feminiverse. Gays always play the victim, so they meow for representation under the facade of humanism: justice for child abusers hinged on the fact that they themselves were molested as children. Gays don’t believe in God, because God rightfully argues he didn’t make them gay.

This was what happened: they woke up one morning and Satan whispered into their ears: “I hereby declare you gay.” That was just it. How could God, maker of Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve or Eve and Maeve, make you gay?

Satan avoids other men because they squirt stronger anointing, and thus able to resist ‘gayism’. Do you even have anointing as tiny as a mustard seed? No. Tell me why you wouldn’t remain gay to people.

For a start, I recommend you start liking patriarchal and misogynist groups. Also, consider plastering your walls with Christiano Ronaldo, and screaming the world to its apocalypse whenever Ronaldo hits the goalpost. You need some Nicki Minaj too. I’m sure even your mother, who abhors immorality, will be ecstatic. You could transform your house into a brothel; she’ll gyrate to it, as long as she’s convinced you’re now liking girls and not—gosh, she even hates pronouncing it!

3. Get a Girlfriend: Don’t you know any guy with ebony skin and hanger-shaped shoulders and six packs and a lustrous Charlie Chaplin moustache who has no girlfriend is indubitably gay?

Oh, be scrunching your face there. Don’t hurry and get a girlfriend. There are girls willing to play fire for a fine boy like you. Pay one of them to fake it. Start visiting ogogoro joints and talking about how you fuck her in the bathtub and behind the guava trees. To objectify your stories, grab her shoulders while you click on your camera. Remember, with Photoshop, the things you can do to an innocent picture are endless.

Chatter about how hollow women are, especially the ones who wear skimpy blouses and leer at Yahoo boys and huddle in boys’ hostels only to whimper afterwards on Twitter that they’ve been raped. Ensure there’s a bespectacled girl at a corner, tucked in a houndstooth suit and stilettos, a pink comb sticking out of her permed hair. Identify her as feminist already, and have your friends hurl vocal jabs at her. And when she coughs, threaten to burst into her and plunge and plunge until her squirt ripples at your feet. Flex your bulbous biceps when you splutter these words. Let her feel the veins if need be. Even if your friends catch you sucking a guy’s dick behind a soakaway pit, they’ll shrug it off because you at least exhibit manliness (see guide seven).

Other men who squat beside women to condemn rape are the real gay guys. Or how do you rationalise your continued support for a specie God ‘fashioned’ from your rib?

4. Repent: Let your pastor baptise you, douse you in water and fetch you out a new being, scrubbed off your sins. Attend both weekly and Sunday services. Double your offerings to affirm your straightness, and ensure your pastor notices you while you do. Later he’ll invite you to his office. He’ll offer you the post of a treasurer. “My wife can’t cope with the job anymore because of our baby,” he’ll tell you. But do you even believe anyone can twerk out on such a lucrative job? (Fact: he never made her treasurer, because you can’t trust your spouse with money.) With all humility, tell him you’d like to be choir master. I know you croak like a thirsty frog when you sing, but remember God only discriminates against gays, not voices.

Another thing, cry to God often. Ensure your mother hears you. You’re hungry and there’s jollof rice in the kitchen? Cry out: “Jesus! Let jollof rice locate me now!” A religious person can never be gay, unless he’s not baptised yet. Once he’s baptised, God says to Satan: “That man’s mine now. I declare your gay declaration upon him void!”

5. Reconsider Your Fashion Sense: You like bright Adidas polos. You nurture cornrows. You keep beak-long fingernails. And you don’t want your balls torched? Fact: every man who dresses womanish is gay. Start wearing mainly jeans: black and grey, bereft of BenTenesque pockets and an intetmesh of chains. Wear white or blue polos. Cut your hair; wear an afro instead. Trim those nails and sell them to your sisters.

And for God’s sake, stop pouting and raising your left leg like a wounded billy goat when you take pictures! Stop caring so much about your face too. Let the pimples invade without bounds; let them lay eggs in your nostrils if they want. Stop reshaping portions of your eyebrows too. It’s a red light: gay alert!!!

6. Re-examine The Way You Walk: Real guys stride, slide on the balls of their feet. They keep their heads straight. They don’t swing their arms unless their hands are tired of being interred in pockets.

Gay guys don’t even walk; they slither, like shadows moving on a wall. They twist their bodies like a woman squirming to an electric man’s touch. They heave their shoulders as if they wouldn’t care if God unhinges the sky and it collapses on them. They walk in short, too calculated steps, like they’re renewing consent to keep walking every second.

Gaydarwosky, we both know that’s how you walk. It’s like a brand: Satan’s graffiti on your forehead. So why won’t people tick you gay? 

Sing about the evils of backsliding in the church so passionately even the pastor crumbles into tears. I recommend this song: Master Jesus, Don’t Leave Me Alone. Then let’s see if God won’t overturn things in a month.

7. Be Manly: Here are some helpful synonyms of ‘manly’: harmoniously aggressive, romantically domineering, supremely egotistical, coordinatingly self-centred. Reel off your belt and whomp your younger sister for sizing up your mother. Pocket a switchblade. And when someone claims to stan Messi over Ronaldo at the viewing centre, yank out your switchblade and stab the motherfucker.

Virility is also a necessity for political rallies. The tough guys are the ones politicians baptise in oil dough, not fidgeting scarecrows posing as men. You’re kneading an American dream over and over again, but you don’t have a job, yet you don’t want to bulldoze your way into the political limelight? Fact: all thugs, especially the semi-literate ones, are potential presidents and governors. Graduates like you are clerks and butt-wipers in the making.

That’s it, Gaydarwosky. Read and reread until my words sink. Any questions? You know I’m just a pen away. Write me.

I wish you happy straight-acting!

Yours,

Baddosky.

(P. S. Stop posting birthday pics of muscular guys captioned: Happy birthday, dear. I love you so much. 💕💕💕Try: Happy birthday, bro. More dough! 👌👌👌)


Ola W. Halim writes fiction and reflections somewhere in Edo State, Nigeria. He’s recently been longlisted for the 2020 Punocracy Prize. In 2019, he was a finalist for the Sevhage Short Story Prize. He tweets @olaposiH

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