LGBTQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app, which is supported by this site and by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.
Effiong, a 20-year-old Nigerian man, reached out on the Qtalk app to discuss the profound sense of abandonment he feels from his family due to his sexual orientation. In the session, Effiong courageously opened up about the emotional turmoil he experiences as a gay person in a society where acceptance is often elusive.
In this article, Effiong’s real name is replaced with a pseudonym for his protection.
The session began with Effiong expressing his deep sense of loss and isolation.
“Oh no, the only family I have has abandoned me. What a life without family or anyone to call your own,” he said.
This poignant statement set the tone for a session that explored the complex emotions surrounding familial acceptance and rejection.
Effiong shared his struggles with cultural expectations and societal norms, emphasizing the difficulty of being true to himself while feeling disowned by those he considered his closest support system. The counselor provided a safe space for Effiong to voice his feelings, validating his experiences and offering empathy.
Throughout the session, Effiong discussed the internal conflict between his authentic self and societal expectations. The counselor guided him through a process of self-reflection, encouraging him to explore his identity and acknowledge the strength required to embrace his true self in the face of adversity.
Effiong’s journey towards self-acceptance unfolded as the counselor introduced coping strategies and resilience-building techniques. They discussed the importance of forming connections within the LGBTQ+ community, both locally and online, to find understanding and support.
The counselor also addressed the potential for reconciliation with Effiong’s family, emphasizing the importance of patience and education in fostering understanding. Effiong expressed a newfound determination to live authentically and work towards building a support network that celebrates and accepts him for who he is.
The session concluded with a sense of hope and empowerment, as Effiong expressed gratitude for the counseling experience. The counselor reinforced the idea that, despite the challenges, Effiong has the strength to navigate his journey toward self-discovery and acceptance.
Effiong’s story serves as a testament to the resilience of individuals facing adversity, highlighting the crucial role that online counseling can play in providing support and guidance during challenging times.
Source: African Human Rights Media Network member Erasing 76 Crimes.