Why My Mom Didn’t Say ‘I Love You’ For 11 Years

Earlier this year on my 40th birthday, my mother sent me a text that said, "I love you."

This was the first time she said this to me since I publicly came out as gay on Nigerian television in 2004.

A few months before my birthday, my father called me. We had not spoken in almost ten years. He had tried to pressure me into an arranged marriage with a woman. When I refused, he said he never wanted to speak to me again and cut me out of his life. He called after a near-death experience. He cried as he apologized for misunderstanding me, for hating me for something he knows I can't help and for failing to remember the bigger picture: I am his son.

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