You Know I'm Just Joking by Ayomide Tayo: I didn't know gay people were funny

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Bisi Alimi, the face of an angelic troublemaker

In a session with Bisi Alimi, I realized that gay people can actually be funny.

On Saturday, September 16, 2017, I went to the German Consulate General in Lagos.

No, I was not looking for a visa but that doesn't mean if they give me I won't accept. Almost anywhere is better than Nigeria these days.

Honestly, I would learn how to speak German and start drinking beer if I knew it would increase my chances of getting a German visa.

 

I was at the German Consulate for an event- 'Bisi Alimi in Conversation with Gbenga Aborowo'. It was an event meant to know more about Nigeria's first publicly gay man.

 

I am sure you must have heard about Bisi Alimi. He is not only Nigeria's first publicly gay man but also the country's leading LGBT rights activist.

I was mildly surprised at the event because Bisi Alimi made me laugh. During the Q&A segment with Gbenga Aborowo who was a spectacular host, Bisi Alimi made me laugh and smile on several occasions. This was shocking to me, I didn't know gay people were funny.

Yes, I have seen a lot of gay characters on screen that is hilarious but Bisi Alimi would be the first gay man (that I know of) that has made me laugh in flesh and blood.

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When Bisi Alimi spoke about growing up gay in Mushin and the University of Lagos, he peppered his narrative with funny quips and side notes. I laughed numerous times during the event.

I sat at the back and was honestly surprised. I don't know why I expected him to be angry, bitter and sad. I expected him to hate Nigerians for not accepting his lifestyle.

A few days before this event, I had interviewed Bisi Alimi and was surprised about how thoughtful he was. On Saturday he surprised me again with how funny he is. Prior to this, I didn't know gay people (not the caricatures in Hollywood) were funny.

You might be shocked about my revelation but let me ask you, 'how many funny gay people do you know?' I am not talking about gay people on TV or fictional characters. I am talking about next door neighbour gay guy cracking you up with jokes. I bet none.

 

Obviously, you now see why I was surprised about Bisi Alimi's sense of humour especially with everything he has been through.

At the end of the day, this made me realize that gay people are human beings at the end of the day irrespective of sexual orientation. Gay people are funny too.



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