Nigerian lesbian and LGBT rights campaigner, Biwom Pamela Adie has fixed the date of her wedding to sweetheart and partner.
In 2011 Pamela Adie left her family and friends shocked, when she came out to declare openly that she’s a lesbian. She used to be married to a man.
Pamela’s sexual orientation had been hidden from her family for years, she hadn’t discussed it with either her family or fiancé—even before she walked down the aisle with him. She thought:
“It would be nice to keep mum about it, forget about my sexual orientation as lesbian and move on with marriage”: to seek change.
But it didn’t turn out as planned for Pamela.
For 24 months, Pamela says she was living in pain but with grit and courage, she realized straight relationships (and marriage) were not meant for her and the best way to salvage the situation was to wipe the slate clean.
“My pain became more than my fear. I came out because I needed to be free from pain, from telling my loved ones lies, from living a double life (as lesbian and a married woman). The burden was just too heavy to bear,” she said with a serious look that mirrors nothing but sincerity.
“When I came out, I came out to free myself. I didn’t come out because I wanted to be an activist or because I wanted to prove a point. It was really about me.”
Pamela Adie was born in a Christian home; raised by staunch Catholic parents in the serene city of Calabar, Nigeria. She’s from Obudu in Cross River state.
When she was seventeen year old, she left for the United States where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a Minor in Personal and Professional Communication.
She says she had her first same-sex relationship even before she travelled abroad and having been in a same-sex relationship for years—she thought her marriage would save her from being lesbian.
It never did.
“Even before I came out, I was already in a same-sex relationship but I never saw myself as lesbian. I hadn’t come out to myself and I always thought that when I get married it will somehow go away. That’s one of the reasons I eventually got married.”
“At the end of the day, it didn’t go away because it’s not something that goes away. Your sexual orientation is part of who you are and it’s not a choice”.
After struggling to fit in for two years she couldn’t continue acting straight, she couldn’t put her sexual orientation behind her despite her marriage to a wonderful man.
“My ex-husband is a great guy. He didn’t deserve to be lied to. I felt really bad. For me coming out, and leaving the marriage was really for him so that he can move on and find someone that can give him what he really wants,” she said.
“My parents didn’t like that I am lesbian. They were angry. My mum was more vocal than my dad, though. My dad was more loving but the tension between my mum and I was thick. She was of the opinion that I was possessed and that there was something wrong with me. So it created a tension in the house,” she told YNaija in a past interview earlier this year.
“I don’t have that issue with my father. It’s still the same till today. He’s still the one I talk to the most. My mum hasn’t come to a place of acceptance as of this point. She’s still struggling with my sexual orientation.”