Let me clarify this first. I believe everyone is entitled to their own decisions and choices in life. I’m not against anything or anyone.
“What do you mean he’s gay???” Boy, am I a great actor or what.
“No way!! It can’t be!! You are texting his gay partner??” I fake a gasp and hold my heart. I really deserve a Grammy for this.
“Wow!! I’m gobs smacked!!”… No I’m not. But he doesn’t need to know that.
I zone out as my cousin Isaac continues his rant about how disgusted he is in his brother. He goes on about what a shame he is and how his dad will kill him if he found out. Good thing he didn’t have the guts to talk to him. That man was something else… Shudder.
I really tried to put on a surprised face when he told me that his brother was gay. Really. And by the contented smirk plastered on Isaac’s face…. He bought it.
Am actually surprised that he figured it out 4 years later. I mean they are brothers for crying out loud. They have lived under the same roof since conception!!
I can’t blame him though. Isaac and his brother Ben (the gay one) have been at logger heads for as long as I can remember. Yes they can join forces and annoy the hell out of someone but that’s pretty much it.
My mind kept drifting off. I replayed Ben’s confession in my head. The real reason as to why he turned gay in the first place.
Ben wasn’t a misfit. Ben didn’t have any problem fitting in. I mean Ben was the most social person I have ever met. He didn’t lack in the friends department at all. He had a lot of charisma. That guy could talk you into anything. I’ve had a good share of grounding because of him talking me into crazy ideas.
Sadly, Ben wasn’t one with physical strength. He couldn’t do any heavy lifting, he couldn’t run for miles like other boys or do some crazy gymnastics… No, Ben couldn’t. Well this was too bad as physical strength was one of a man’s qualities in my community. You were literally not considered a man if you couldn’t do hard labour. Unfortunately for him he fell in this category. His charm, charisma and wit covered for him though. Well at least until he finished class eight currently eighth grade. This just before joining high school.
This period in Kenya is the time when most boys undergo their rite of passage. That is; circumcision. Other communities circumcise boys at a much younger age. This rite indicates transition from childhood to adulthood. Here is where they were to prove they were truly men by withstanding the cut without even a whimper.
The one thing he was not supposed to do. He cried so much. He cried saying he was in so much pain. The many kids out there started laughing and mocking him. He only cried the more. The men there sniggered and yelled at him to be a man. He only cried the more. Then the situation got a whole lot more worse. His father was called.
Ben’s father was called.
Ben’s father was a man not to mess with. He tough, stern and brutal. His deep, raspy voice was enough to send shivers down your spine. He had a stoic glare. So immense, it was as though he could see through your soul.
Well he came. All I know is that Ben had been sporting a nasty black eye for weeks since that day. At this point Ben had lost many of his friends. Most of them were the ones who ridiculed him. No one wanted to be associated with the cry baby, the coward.
Fortunately, he passed his exams so well and was called to one of the best schools in the country. Ben was overjoyed. Not because the school was among the best in the country. This high school was a chance to him. A chance at redemption. He would get new friends and his little accident would be a thing of the past. Everything would be back to normal!!
He was sadly mistaken.
Ben was taken to school, admitted and eventually shown to his new home for the next 4 years since it was a boarding school.
As Ben was making his bed, someone shoved him and growled. Literally.
“What do you think you are doing??” Barked the voice.
“M-mm-making my bed… “He stutters. He turns and almost chokes as he views the bulk of a man standing there.
“One last time, what do you think you are doing??”
His throat went dry. His mouth failed him and he couldn’t form any words. The next thing he knew blows and kicks were raining on him. He passed out.
He came to at the very same spot. Apparently no one had bothered with him. The big guy was still there. “If your pathetic self is still here in the next 5 seconds. You are a dead man.” He didn’t need to be told twice. Even in his state, he registered the words in a flash and quickly scampered off.
Apparently, Ben had mistook the seniors dorms for his dorm and had unfortunately settled for the school bully’s bed.
This was just but the first of the bullying. So much worse came after. He was weak so he was defenceless. Even his wits and charisma didn’t help him out. He begged his parents to switch schools but it was all a futile attempt. His pleas fell in deaf ears. He quit after several threats from his father. He didn’t care. He just told him to be a man. Be a man Ben.
It was at this point that Ben met Kenny. Kenny was so nice. He just wanted to be his friend or so he said. Fortunately for Ben, he was a senior. A very popular one for that matter. Soon the bullying stopped. All of it. Ben had never been happier.
Kenny on the other hand had other plans in mind. He introduced Ben to the world of homosexuality. Ben was wierded out but he had no alternative. Kenny had helped him out. It was the least he could do. If he didn’t the bullying would be back. No, not again. Soon this became a norm. It was part of him. He couldn’t change, he couldn’t stop.
And that sadly is how my cousin Ben became gay. Not out of will but due to lack of choice. I almost cried as he told me that. Scratch that. I cried, so much. He kept begging me not to tell his dad. I wouldn’t dare. That man would kill me before proceeding to his son.
Isaac was still blabbering. Its amazing how people jump into conclusions and go ahead to judge others without knowing the story behind.
Ben is still his charismatic self. But still living in fear of his secret coming out. Not only is he afraid of his father but also of the society. In my community homosexuality is rare if not non existent. If word happens to come out. He’s a goner.
*Names have been changed*