Before you come for my head, let me clearly state that I have no problems or any business with where a grown man chooses to stick his penis. By all means, do you boo.
Now what I am on about?
For their highly hyped Fashion Weekend, GTBank brought popular model coach J. Alexander (also known as Miss Jay) to speak at a masterclass.
First, a quick background on Miss Jay: The 59-year-old American runway coach has been modelling since he was a teenager. Some of the biggest models the world has ever seen including Naomi Campbell, Kimora Lee and Tyra Banks owe their catwalk strut (or at least some of it) to him. When Tyra created her hit VH1 reality show, America’s Next Top Model, she brought him on board to coach the aspiring models. He went on to become a judge on the show and has taken his expertise to some of the international versions of the show.
There is therefore no doubt of Miss Jay’s craftsmanship. He knows his stuff and has decades of experience to back it up so yeah, it would make sense that GTB would deem him the perfect person for a masterclass on “how to build a successful modelling career and create Africa’s next Supermodel.”
But here is the thing, Miss Jay is gay, openly so. And while in other parts of the world, this doesn’t matter so much, in our country Nigeria, it is a problem – a huge one.
The country, her laws, her institutions and a majority of her people neither accommodate nor recognise LGBT rights. Folks who by their mannerisms or sense of style give off an air that is perceived as homosexual, are alienated by the society and downright treated like outcasts.
Brands and institutions, the likes of GTB wouldn’t be caught dead associating or engaging (openly) with an openly gay Nigerian like Bisi Alimi or a perceived one like Bobrisky.
But you see, it is a Nigerian thing. These same institutions have no problem embracing and openly frolicking with “foreign” gay men like Miss Jay and Richard Quest.
Again, it’s a Nigerian thing. Anything that has a foreign connotation, from accents down to the shoes we wear, is superior. The average Nigerian believes that because a shoe has a “Made in Italy” label on it, it is somehow of a better quality than the ones made in Ariaria.
This explains why Miss Jay would get flown into the country, treated like a VIP, proudly strut around Lagos and have people clamour to get a photo with him and Bisi Alimi on the other hand, would sneak in and out like a thief, lest he be stoned to death by his own people.
It is why our politicians would hang on to Quest’s every word and laugh at his jollof jokes but gladly lock up our own in jails and throw away the keys.
Indeed, it is a Nigerian thing.