In a sad, too-familiar tale, a Lagos-based Nigerian gay man in his mid-30s has been refused a promotion at work because of his perceived sexual orientation.
By Mike Daemon
Adebola (a pseudonym), who currently works with a private firm in Lagos, shared his frustration with me on Instagram. He has been under serious pressure from his boss and colleagues to marry, he said.
Narrating his experience, he said that he had ruled out marriage to a woman as he is not sexually attracted to them.
“Marriage is not for me. I am gay, and I just want to live my life that way, but the pressure from work is just too much for me. Last year, I was the joke of the whole department. It was a crazy pressure,” he said.
After Adebola lost a promotion last year, he has now come up with a plan. He wants to marry a lesbian to cover up but unfortunately he has not found someone who is suitable and ready. He stated:
“I lost a promotion last year because I wasn’t married. My boss said it was weird that I was still single at my age. He also said that there have been rumors about my sexuality. Even though I denied being gay just to protect myself and sustain my position at work, he still refused to give me that promotion.
“I want an arranged marriage with a lesbian who is serious and ready to follow through with the game plan. But she must be an independent working-class lady who is ready to pay her own bills as I don’t intend to support her financially. However, we will split the bills for rent.
“I tried getting married last year, but the lady wanted to turn the whole thing to a real marriage. I am not ready for that.”
It is sad that LGBTIQ+ people in Nigeria are being pressured to live fake lives just to fit in, but it is common in Nigeria. Gay people are often pressured by their family, friends, and colleagues to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. This is partly because many people believe that homosexuality is not a valid sexual orientation and so expect everyone to be heterosexual.