The TLC channel in the US is planning to air a special titled “My Husband’s Not Gay,” this coming weekend. The one-hour show will be about Mormon couples in Salt Lake City where the male spouse is open about also being attracted to men. But they love their wives and are prepared to do all they can to make their marriage, happy, faithful and longlasting.
In Nigeria, these things are not so clear cut. A lot of us are Christians, we believe that homosexuality is a sin. In most local cultures, it is also taboo, while marriage and child-bearing is esteemed. One issue many people could not understand with Kenny Brandmuse's coming out post was the fact that his now ex-wife knew he was attracted to men when she agreed to go along with the wedding.
He wrote that she thought it was a childhood obsession that he would keep in the past. Unfortunately he found other men he preferred to his wife and chose to let her go than cheat on her.
The way I see it, if you're attracted to both men and women, you're probably bisexual. If you as a man or woman have no attaction whatsoever to the opposite sex and have to force yourself to be in a relationship or marriage because of societal expectations, then that is so sad and should not be.
And that is why I am totally against the anti-gay bill that seesks to push homosexuals even further underground, stigmatizing it, and criminalizing relationships. Religion and culture have already done enough harm on these individuals, people like me and you, and adding legal ramifications will only make things worse.
That said, things are not so clear cut even in America where it supposedly should be open and above board. For instance, it seems the wives and the husbands in this upcoming show actually do not see themselves as gay or bisexual. Instead, they say SSA which means same-sex attraction.
To further educate myself, I would definitely love to watch the show to hear from the women married to these men. And from the men themselves.
But many are against this upcoming special.
Some in the religious camp think it is guaranteed to inflame some people, by mixing up religion with homosexuality. Those in the LGBT camp who are against it believed it promotes the idea that being gay is a choice, and encourages younger gay people to chose to live a hetero life with wives.
In this vein, there is a petition on Change.org calling on TLC to yank the show which now has almost 100,000 signatures. The petition was begun by Josh Sanders, "a gay Christian man" who thinks the show passes the message that, "gay, bisexual and transgender people should lie to themselves and to their faith communities about who they are and who they love." Josh says he's seen first hand how this message can harm people.
Others - Christians or otherwise - who support personal freedoms, are in support of the show, hoping it will bring more of a human face to those whose sexuality are different from the norm and how they negotiate their relationships.
Check out some previews on the show below...