Qtalk: Gay man navigates pressure to marry and dependence on family

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.

Wisdom, a 29-year-old gay man from Nigeria, bravely sought guidance from a Qtalk counsellor as a faced a difficult decision: Give in to family pressure to marry a woman or refuse to marry, which could risk losing their support for his education abroad?

Wisdom (a pseudonym) grappled with the conflict between his own identity and the expectations imposed upon him by his family and culture.

The session began with Wisdom expressing his distress and confusion.

“I feel trapped between my family’s expectations and my own truth. I don’t know what to do,” he said. “I’ve spent so long hiding who I really am, but I can’t keep living a lie. Yet, I’m terrified of losing my family and the opportunities they’ve provided for me.”

His words reflected the inner turmoil he faces, torn between honoring his authentic self and maintaining familial relationships.

The counselor, employing empathy and active listening, created a supportive environment for Wisdom to explore his feelings and concerns. Through open-ended questions and reflective prompts, the counselor helped Wisdom identify his values, desires, and fears surrounding the situation.

Acknowledging the complexity of Wisdom’s predicament, the counselor validated his emotions and encourages him to prioritize his mental and emotional well-being. Together, they explored potential coping strategies and avenues for asserting boundaries with his family while still pursuing his educational and personal goals.

As the session progressed, Wisdom gained clarity and a sense of empowerment, declaring, “I realize that I deserve to live authentically, even if it means facing difficult consequences. I’m ready to start advocating for myself and building a life that aligns with my true self.”

The counselor affirmed Wisdom’s courage and resilience, emphasizing the importance of self-compassion and community support. They discussed ongoing resources and support networks available to Wisdom as he continues on his journey of self-acceptance and empowerment.

The counseling session served as a testament to Wisdom’s strength and determination in navigating the intersection of cultural expectations and personal identity. Through introspection and guidance, he now embarks on a path toward living authentically and reclaiming his agency in shaping his own future.

Source: African Human Rights Media Network member Erasing 76 Crimes.

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