The Alphabet Mafia is a series dedicated to the queers of Africa. The series intends to show that the lives of queer people are just as complex as everyone else’s. Or just as basic.
What are your pronouns?
What is your sexuality?
How old are you?
Where is your location?
What would you say was the defining point for you in terms of your sexual orientation?
I had never really felt like there was anything wrong with me or my attraction to women and trans people until when I was hospitalised in a private psychiatric hospital for schizoaffective bipolar disorder and the doctor, who was a pastor, found out about my attraction to women. He told me it was one of the causes of my mental health struggles and that I needed Jesus to fix that.
How did it make you feel?
It filled me with a shame I didn’t even understand. Then I switched to my usual “you can’t shame the shameless” mode. It’s how I go through life situations that make me feel shame. After a while of approaching it that way, I stopped feeling shame. It morphed into caution. It made me want to be open about my sexuality yet hide it from people who would try to hurt me.
Can you tell me about your last relationship?
My last relationship was barely existent. When we met, he professed love to me. He asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes. We had sex and he ghosted me for a while. He would only reach out when he needed something. I got tired of seeking for his affection. I also realized I was struggling with being attracted to him or any other man, so I ended it.
What do you mean by struggling to be attracted to him?
I realised that with men, the attraction is so momentary; it never lasts. It’s like those childish brief crushes you have and move on. And for a long time, I forced myself to feel something beyond those crushes. To stick to it. To even fight for relationships I did not really believe in. But recently, it has become even more difficult for me to have that crush again for any guy.
What was your awakening moment like?
Recently, I stopped seeing my sexuality as a sin that had to be prayed away.
How did you get to this point?
The turning point for me was religious. I began to view the bible as an evolution of humans’ understanding of God and not the full picture. This allowed me to understand that many things in the bible were written from the position of human bias. So I turned my focus to Jesus and he never said my sexuality was a sin. This meant a lot to me because Jesus spoke about the things he considered sin. He said that the only commandments were to love God and to love your neighbour. I went searching for what loving God means and the scriptures I found kept saying loving God was loving people. This made me view sin from the standpoint of “does it cause harm to other people?” If the answer is no, then it isn’t a sin. My sexuality hurts no one so it is not a sin.
What did you wish you knew before that you know now?
I wish I knew that I did not have to force myself to feel attraction towards men. I wish I knew how to love myself better.
Are you in the closet?
Not exactly. Many people know I am queer.
If you could change one thing about your life as a queer person, what would it be?
The mix of fear and shyness I feel when I see a queer woman I am attracted to. I want to be able to shoot my shot without fear.
What’s one thing you’ve never done that you’d love to?
I’d love to be in a proper relationship with a woman. I have never dated a woman. I specifically tried to date only men, mostly as a shield for my queerness. But I’ve gotten to the place where I am like “fuck it, I might as well really live this life”.
One misconception about the queer community you would like to debunk?
The misconception that makes people assume that a woman is a stud because she dresses in ways people assume is masculine-presenting.