Should A Parent’s Love for Their Child Be Unconditional Regardless of Their Sexuality?

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In the Nigerian society where cultural values play an important role in the lives of families and how children are raised, it is expected that parents’ decisions, should be respected by their wards.

While training a child to become something that is acceptable by society, there is this recent trend in modernism that has been hurting the long-aged traditions of African families. There are certain ideas from the advent of civilization that are yet to be adopted by Africans, yet the recent want for change of sexuality by its youths, seems to be sweeping across the continent, especially in Nigeria.

Change of sexuality seems to be one of the “considered diseases” affecting African homes. It goes against our cultural backgrounds as a people, and so, it becomes hard to welcome it when parents notice the vibration of any child of theirs towards that direction.

Recently, the popular Nigerian cross-dresser who considers himself a transgender woman and has self-acclaimed himself to be the “Princess of Africa” – James Brown – has been in the news for snapping a studio picture with his father and posting it for the world to see. The picture came out while he was celebrating the birthday of his father, Mr. Peter Obialor.

A parent’s love towards their children should be unconditional, but most Nigerians wouldn’t accept what their eyes saw – it was an eyesore when our traditional values are put into consideration.

James Brown Obialor who was known to be male, before transforming into a Barbie, posted pictures of himself dressed as a woman, in the presence of his father. The picture has been stirring reactions across social media since he posted it. An excited James Brown had posted the picture with this caption:

“Happy Birthday To My Ever-young Radiant Dad, Thanks For Giving Me The Greatest Love Any Parents Can Give Their daughter, You Overdosed Me With All The Care And Unconditional Love. I Love you so Much Papa Your Daughter Wish \You Longest Lifetime in Good Health and Wealth”

It was a shocking revelation that got lots of Nigerians talking across the length and breadth of social media. The major question was why the father would support his rainbow lifestyle.  You could see from the comments attached, that the picture was a horrible image to many. 

An Instagram user by the name of adetutu521 said this: “Eyah… your Dad is aware too.”

Another Instagram user by the name of real_mryes had this to say: “Wetin poverty no go cause”

Another Instagram user by the name of tc_kids12 was of the opinion that James helped his poor father out. He indicated that if the man being celebrated, had money, he wouldn’t allow his child to live this type of life.

The “poverty” notion has been the major topic on the tongues of many, especially when James Brown once granted a video interview where he affirmed that his father disapproved of his lifestyle. Last year, BBC had an interview with him where he clearly spilt that his father was against him, and had tried stopping him from being a cross-dresser.

Bobrisky who is said to be one of the role models of JB, was seen respecting his own father in his pictures with him. Bob dresses like a man whenever he appears at functions with his father, and this made people liken him to someone who understands what his father wants, and what he wouldn’t tolerate from his child.

I understand the assumptions that penury on the side of JB’s father, was responsible for supposedly accepting this societal shame that his son is.

But what if Nigerians are wrong? What if his father had genuinely understood that a father’s love is meant to be unconditional? His son is yet to be convicted of rape, murder, or any other crime that could possibly make a father remove his son from his heart. 

If poverty was the major reason for his appearing in that picture, what should be said about the case of the politician Dr. Doyin Okupe?

If we recall, a high-profile man like him once slammed his son for being gay. Bolu Okupe who is a model and fitness enthusiast has been making it obvious that he’s gay. The young man had posted a picture of himself wearing rainbow boxers, with the caption “yes I am gay.”

 

His father said homosexuality is something he will never accept since it is at variance with Christian values. He made it known that he was hopeful of God’s intervention, having accepted that he was aware of his son’s sexual orientation, even before his post.  He said he believed his son was under a “spiritual challenge.”

He was even mocked by many, for being part of the government that criminalized homosexuality. A Twitter user @lifesaruse, said, “Doyin Okupe was part of the government that criminalised homosexuality. Today, his son comes out as gay. Interesting.”

The politician is the Co-founder of Royal Cross Medical Centre, National Publicity Secretary of NRC, Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan.

After the public disgrace, he was seen publicly accepting his son in what would be seen as a compassionate way of understanding that his fatherly love was still needed, his son’s choice in life notwithstanding:

“God says my ways and not your ways and he knows the end from the beginning. Mark my words, he’s on a sojourn in the gay community in other to be an instrument of God to those there eventually. That’s what is going to happen by the grace of God.”

Those were the words of a man who didn’t give up on his son – he continued loving.

Could it be that James Brown’s father has understood life the way Doyin Okupe finally saw it?  Maybe he has understood that even though he denies his child, the Instagram Cross-dresser will continue being his biological son. Maybe it’s not about penury and what he has been gaining from his son.

A father’s love for his son should be unconditional, and maybe he has decided to love his son the way he is.

Popular OAP Daddy Freeze, and a popular Nollywood Actor, have added their opinions to my summary:

“Every child needs a supporting father. The papa try make we no lie cuz me sef no fit,” Freeze said.

“Lesson for many of us… even me. His/her father still loves the child like that. Big lesson sha,” Ugezu J Ugezu said.


Written by: Edward Amah

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