Mama Always Knows

Name: Francis

Age: 25

Country: Tanzania

If you ask me whether my mother might have suspected that his son was as queer as the best of them, I would have probably said yes. They say moms always know right!

You see, I remember a day back when puberty had not yet started to alter my anatomy. In that day that was not any different from many, my aunts and maids were putting on nail polish. Before long, my brother and I had sparkling nails.

Later as my nails were glistening in the afternoon sun, they happened to catch the attention of my mother. What ensued was the speech that rambled on with a heavy supporting statement the slipped my mother’s tongue.

“I doubt your masculinity my son,”

Do mothers always know? What makes them know? Does your mother suspect that a rainbow hallo hovers around your head?

I can attest to the fact that my sexuality has driven me away from my family by a far stretch. I tend to think of myself as the testament to what sexuality can do to someone’s relationships, as a living proof and the lab experiment of what sexuality might make you become in a country like Tanzania. It doesn’t stop with your parents or anyone who might come off as homophobic and you realize this when you become distant with even cats and dogs that you loved when young. My nickname is distance

Fast forward to present time.

I work about 800kms away from my parents’ place; an opportunity that has afforded me the distance. But time to time I go back to their town to prove my existence and my growing afro that my mother hasn’t failed to display her displeasure. And so last week I happened to visit them. I remember when I was on the phone with my mother telling her that I would be visiting.

“Please come, I need to speak with you about something,”

My mind was on the wandering mode. But it is clear to the say that, every time I go to see my parents I am always thinking, what if they ask me. It is the question that looms heavy on my mind. I am always sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the atomic bomb to drop on the Hiroshima of my life. And with that the distance widens.

So I am in the taxi heading to my parents and apart from the fleeting moments of my eyes focusing on the scenery and passing cars, I am deep in thought, already fathoming this “something” important.

I arrive and I find them sitting on the front porch like how they like to spend their Saturdays. They are ageing gracefully. I start off with an awkward hug to both of them; I was not made to hug my parents, it was not a tradition in my family so you can’t blame me.

We talk about work, politics, economics, real estate market, cows, water, cars, and every random thing that would interest them and fill my void. I am reserved eyeing both of them with suspicion.

Just before lunch, my mother takes me around to show me what they have been doing around the house.

“Sometimes in life we might feel different and that might drive us away from family,” she starts and I know the bomb will drop today and I will be deformed for life.

“If there is anything different, don’t feel you have to handle it by yourself, I am here and I am a friend,” she added.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Please universe don’t let this happen now. Not now. Why? Why?

Before I continue let me introduce you to my mother. She is your quintessential African woman, SUPER RELIGIOUS. She reeks of lines from the bible and for her GOD she would do ANYTHING. If she prays, you can sleep and wake up and she won’t be finished. If she starts speaking about why the society is in trouble as a sign of people not worshipping the true God, she can land her own radio show. Emmanuel TV is where the television is on and in fact she has gone all the way to Nigeria to see the man of God. In two words, feel comfortable to call her The Stefano.

On the other hand, I am the devil that never goes to church. When I got the courage to be true to myself and saw the bible for the stance it holds for people like me, it was clear that the church wasn’t my home. You see I made the decision to not be like those who try to justify the validity of who they are attracted to through the bible. I am not going to bend what the bible says in order to justify myself, neither am I going to go to a church for homosexuals. For me it is like trying to justify the Adolf Hitler liked the Jews or that Chinese people are not many. I am a realist.

If you are religious or happen to have encountered one you might know or have heard of something called generational curse, which pretty much is the spiritual bondage from one generation to the other. That day my mother insinuated that this thing that I might have might be that, meaning that there are a couple of rainbows back in the family tree.

My mother made the effort to stress that one doesn’t need to be distant and that family is around to help and if I feel any different, I should tell.

I didn’t say anything, but let her talk. You see my mother has the ability to monopolize a conversation to the point that one doesn’t need to open his mouth.

As I left my parents’ house that day, I felt an earthquake had cracked the earth open; I am standing on one side my parents on the other. As I took the taxi back to my hotel I knew this would push me further away from my parents.

That night my mother sent me a message with bible scriptures, one of those was the infamous Corinthian that says no fairies will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

And then I realized that the earthquake that had started earlier had created two continents.

The dilemma is this, if I tell my mom that yes I am, she would want to change me. This change will involve taking me to church for the gay spirit to be exorcised with the hope that I will move away from Joe Manageniello to Sofia Vergara. But I am pretty okay with what I am and after so many years of being in denial I am not going back there. And we all know about reparative therapy and what a lie it is.

What would you do?

Would you say your are?

Would you say your are not?

Or would you be quiet and hope the topic would die away?


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