I Knew I Was Gay At 10 – Bolu, Son Of Ex-Presidential Aide, Doyin Okupe Opens Up On Sexuality
It would be recalled that last week, Bolu shared a photo of him wearing a rainbow boxers while holding a rainbow flag on his Instagram page, with the caption, “Yes, I am gay”.
The rainbow flag (also known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag) is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) pride and LGBTQ social movements.
The revelation sparked various reactions from many Nigerians, including his father, who declared that his son’s decision to declare himself a homosexual is a spiritual challenge, rather than a physical one.
Okupe in a series of tweets revealed that he has been aware of his son’s orientation for a while but it is in variance with his faith as a Christian and an evangelist.
He expressed that he vehemently opposes homosexuality, saying it runs contrary to the avowed precepts of his Christian faith.
However, in an interview with Punch, Bolu disclosed that he never choose to be gay, same way people don’t choose to be straight.
Bolu revealed that from the age of 10, he knew he was different, just many people in LGBTQ community knew about their sexual orientation around pre-puberty years.
From the age of 10 or 11 I knew I was different, and if you speak to more people in the LGBTQ community they will tell you the same thing, it starts around pre-puberty years. We would progress more as a society if we spoke more to each other and judged less. If people take time to have conversations with people of the LGBT community and understand their point of view and perspectives, you will realise that most of us are really not trying to harm anyone and there is no “agenda.” We simply just want to exist and be entitled to the same basic human rights as everyone else.
I did not choose to be gay. No one chooses their sexual orientation. The same way people do not choose to be straight, you just know.
Reacting to his father’s stance that he (Bolu) will reconsider his sexual orientation as a gay someday, Bolu said;
Sexual orientation is not something that one can “reconsider”. This is the way I am and it is the way I have always been and will always be. I and many others in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community were born the way we are, many may not understand this but stop and think for a second, why would we intentionally choose this lifestyle when we know that we will be ridiculed and shamed by society? I do hope that one day we can, as Nigerians and Africans, get to the point where we love and accept each other regardless of things such as sexual orientation.
I will just say that I love and appreciate every one of my family members, my father inclusive, because if not for him, I definitely would not be able to live the life that I currently live. So, I will never utter anything disrespectful (to him) on any platform. With regard to homosexuality being anti-Christ, this is not incorrect, as many have pointed out to me. It is clearly forbidden in the Bible; however, I would like to also mention that there are a lot of things that are also forbidden in the Bible that many Christians partake in. So, it confuses me why people of the Christian religion feel like they can pick and choose what to be morally superior about.
On coming out at as gay even with his father’s political inclination, he said;
I do not have any regrets about coming out. Whether people like it or not, it (the law) has started a discussion on this topic within the Nigerian atmosphere that was necessary. Being gay is not “Western” or “European.” There are many gay people in Nigeria, they just do not have the ability to openly live that way due to fear of criticism and judgments similar to the reactions that I received. I hope one day homosexuality can be decriminalised in Nigeria. However, I know that we have a long way to go before we get there.
My orientation can never change. As I stated before, if I was still living in Nigeria I would likely be living the same way all the millions of gay men there live, in secrecy. What happens in Nigeria is that many gay men lead a double life and this is not a life that I want for myself. Our time on this earth is short and limited and you don’t want to waste it living a lie or pretending to be something that you are not. There are also many Nigerian women who are married to gay men and basically their whole lives and marriages are a complete sham. Some know, some don’t, but I would never be able to do that to another human.
Back in 2014, Doyin Okupe vehemently supported Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) signed by former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
The law forbids any cohabitation between same-sex sexual partners and bans any public show of same-sex amorous relationship.
SSMPA imposes a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organizations or supports the activities of such organizations.
The bill states that anyone caught in any act of homosexuality will face a jail term of between 10 to 14 years.