LGBTQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app. (Ninth in a series)
By Mike Daemon
Qtalk users’ names have been changed in the following writeups, which were contributed by the counselors who provide advice to LGBTQ+ Nigerians via the free Qtalk app:
Gay man struggles to move on after relationship ends
Jay, a 26-year-old gay man, says he feels stuck and completely unable to move on after a failed relationship with his ex. In his support request, he wrote: “I cannot find love again. It’s been over 6 months since my previous relationship ended, and I have struggled to find love again. I feel completely numb and uninterested in romance like I used to.”
In response to Jay’s support request, the counselor acknowledged that dealing with breakups can be indeed very hard. However, he emphasized that though not easy and healing cannot be rushed, it was possible to get over a painful breakup with professional help to deal with the trauma.
The counselor suggested several helpful things, most of which involved making some lifestyle changes and a bit of cognitive restructuring, which helped Jay to deal with all the negative emotions that clouded him.
Lesbian couple fights over finances, at the brink of a breakup
Temi, a lesbian, is frustrated in a relationship with her lover. She complained that her lover is misusing funds.
In a support request, she wrote: “I think that my relationship with my girlfriend will not progress because she has been mismanaging funds. Imagine, just last week, she used up rent money on jewelries without even letting me know, now they are about to chase us out. What will I do?”
In response to her request, the counselor who responded acknowledged that her feelings of disappointment were valid and then suggested that they both needed to have conversations about their future and how money should be managed in the relationship.
The counselor also asked her to explore the option of setting up a joint account so that both of them can make financial decisions and come to a resolution before funds can be disbursed.
The counselor also mentioned to Femi that if the issues that they are having had anything to do with trust, then it would be a good idea to give their relationship some more thoughts before making any decision.
Classmates threaten gay man after finding out he’s gay
Chidi, a 20-year old university student, is scared after four of his course mates read through his chats and found out he’s gay. In a support request, he wrote: “So 4 of my course mates in school went through my phone and discovered that I am queer. They have been threatening to set me up if I do not give them 40,000.00. Now I feel kind of restless and disturbed. Don’t know what to do.”
In response to his request, the counselor who responded stated that they were absolutely wrong to have accessed his phone without his permission. The counselor further suggested and encouraged him to report the issue to an LGBT organization in his state for further assistance.
Schoolteacher sacked after school finds out about his sexual orientation
An Enugu-based secondary school teacher is now unemployed after school relieves him of his job because of his sexual orientation. In his support request, he wrote:
“I am just so sad. I was just sacked from my teaching job here in Enugu after one of the parents who knew about my sexuality told the school management. I am now jobless with a huge debt on my head. Where do I start from now after months of searching for a job?”
In response to his support request, the counselor who responded sympathized with his situation and made him understand that it wasn’t his fault that people are ignorant about homosexuality, thus the reason they are discriminatory. He was also encouraged to hunt for jobs elsewhere.
Trans woman gets evicted after landlord finds out she’s trans
Mabel, a 26-year-old trans woman, struggles to deal with the fact that her landlord just asked her to move out from her rented apartment after discovering that she is trans. In her support request, she wrote: “My landlord is trying to frustrate me. Few months after paying for his apartment, he came to inform me that he knew that I am not a woman and that I was a man sleeping with other men. He threatened that he would inform the police if I do not move out of the apartment within 14 days. I will be homeless soon.”
In response to her support request, the counselor stated that the landlord’s action was discriminatory and acknowledged that there’s no legal protection for LGBT people in the country, which will further make things difficult for her. However, he was able to link her up with a trans-based organization in her state.
The organization has since taken on the case and is helping to ensure that she gets back her rent to enable her to resettle in a new place.
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