CHUDE: Why do you think that don’t ask don’t tell that is now defining for the queer community in Nigeria which is a flourishing Community at least on some level is there something in our cultural makeup that leads to that?
ARINZE: I think we have a culture of secrecy. Like you see someone is sick like let’s say has like an illness and they’re like ah don’t tell anybody all those kind of things. I think with queerness again just generally, we have a very whack thinking around sex. I hope that’s changing a lot now because back then when we were growing up, people were like don’t have sex, but now everybody is out with their penises on Twitter.
We also have a culture of Shame which I guess that’s what a lot of families struggle with or deal with. Because, I remember before I came out to my mom, a part of my anxiety was oh my mom who is this very sensitive woman like in a very good way. I’m saying that sensitivity is a wonderful thing but it can also be a very emotional thing as well. I’m like my mom is pretty cool but then I’m sure she’s going to be feeling sad that oh people will be judging my child or stuff like that. I was just thinking God, is there a way I can just like make her realize that that shouldn’t matter. You know, because again I had gone through this journey on my own of like coming out of that place of Shame and in coming out to my friends as well. Even when I was out to like my choir mates and all those things I had already dealt with the shame.
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