“It was my first time. It didn’t hurt although I expected it to.
I think that helps, doesn’t it? You expect the worst and then it never really meets up to expectations. Plus, all my friends were doing it.
It was time to see what all the fuss was about.
I guess I should get to it, to stop beating about the bush–no pun intended. It wasn’t as hard as I expected. I made up my mind that morning after a sleepless night of anticipation. I showered, got ready, and I left the house knowing that today was the day. The day I was going to do it.
I don’t know what your first time was like, but I didn’t talk to my mum before, or even after. I imagined it would be a very awkward conversation, even more awkward because I was planning to do it in a very public place with many other people.
When I left the house that morning, I started imagining worst-case scenarios like, would I get arrested? Would there be cameras? Would I have to spend the rest of my life explaining why my first time had to be so public?
That morning I arrived at the meeting point early. I got on the bus with the seasoned activist and we went to the House of Assembly to advocate for LGBT rights, to protest against the same-sex prohibition bill at the first reading by the senators proposing it.
I wasn’t brave, I was afraid, but I didn’t change my mind. I didn’t get caught on camera, I didn’t get arrested, I turned up and I was counted. A year and a half later, the same-sex prohibition law did get signed into law. We are still here, we haven’t given up. The fight isn’t over yet.”
Michelle is a member of Women’s Health and Equal Rights Initiative, FRIDA’s grantee partner in Nigeria, that aims to provide a platform for the promotion of the well-being and protection of the rights of women and girls through advocacy, education and empowerment.