My different way of loving
A testimony from Benson, a choir member in one of the evangelical churches in Nairobi, Kenya.
I and Jack met in 2016, and we have been together for 3 years and we love each other so much. I am a Christian and choir member, Jack is not religious but it has never bothered him. He sometimes escorts me to church, he knows my family and they know him and like him so too. Even though we are in love, we are aware of our limits, society is not ready to celebrate our love story with us. For example, I know I cannot hold his hand in public or express my affection and my feelings in front of others. For the rest of the world, he is my friend and indeed he is. Beyond being my partner, he understands me and makes me feel understood. When I tell him that I am going to sing at church or in any church activity, he is so supportive and understanding. I am happy to have him in my life and I could not desire more. He is that friend I can be totally myself to and understands me. He is not Christian but he treasures my faith the way I treasure his. The biggest value he could ever add to my life is him being himself. There is no other value he can bring to my life more than that.
My relationship is a secret to others even to most of my friends. I don’t want my relationship to be known by everyone. I don’t think my family and my friends would not understand. And to be honest I am not willing to come out to them and I don’t know if one day I will. What makes me feel comfortable is that we see it at the same angle with Jack. Even him, he is not ready to come out. He doesn’t want to tell his family about his sexuality for many reasons. That makes us live our love in our own waves, but we still love each other with intensity, and we are so happy that way. There are and will always be a shadow in our relationship, that is the price we are paying but it doesn’t make us less happy.
I appreciate courageous people who come out and live their love and sexuality openly, not everyone can do that in the society I live in. Sometimes the consequences of your coming out might be too much to deal with and end up taking away from you more than you thought it could bring. Most of the time it is a huge risk to take while silence would be the best move. I think everyone, especially in African countries, needs to study his or her own environment before making that step-in life. Silence may not give the best comfort, but it may give you a shelter to live your love in a calm and safe place like me and Jack. Here if you respect your family and you are productive no one will come to ask you about your love story or sexual life. They will respect your private life and even if they suspect you of being gay no one will ask you anything. They will ignore it and you will live your life normally.
I prefer to remain in the closet but being in the closet doesn’t make me a hypocrite or a homophobic person, for me being in the closet means I am free to tell who I trust, or I feel comfortable with about my sexual orientation. Not everyone is ready to welcome my different way of loving for that reason I try to be careful to whom I share my private life.