What She Said: I Thought Acting Masculine Would Make Men Leave Me Alone

October 20, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is an 18-year-old lesbian who is living her best life. She talks about wanting to be a Reverend Father when she was a child, her hatred for skirts partly because of assault, living in a glass closet, and being scared of men.

Tell me a memory from your childhood.

When I was four years old, I was very short. I’m still quite short, but then I was way shorter. In the Catholic church, there’s a time where they ring bells to raise the bread during the liturgy of the Eucharist to signal the breaking of the bread. Although we sat in front, our church was built in a way that if you knelt you’d be forced to look up. Because of this, I couldn’t see the altar boys who used to ring the bells. I thought the sounds came from heaven. When I grew older and taller, I realised that the altar boys were the ones that rang the bell. I was crushed, most especially because I wanted to be a reverend father. 

Reverend father? Why not reverend sister? 

Well, their clothes were cool. All of that layering appealed to me and I liked how they looked. My brother was an altar server, and when he got dressed for church I was always in awe. Also, I was jealous of the ability of reverend fathers to talk to God directly and relay his message to the masses. Communication has always been hard for me, and so talking to people is difficult. Imagine talking to the person that created you? I wanted to be able to do that with the ease of which Father explained in Sunday mass. The thought of being a Reverend sister was never appealing to me because they had to wear skirts, and I hate wearing skirts. 

What’s your issue with skirts?

Men. I grew up with a lot of guys around. Some were good, but there were irritating ones. The ones who used to rub their hands up my leg because I was wearing a skirt. At first, it started off as a joke, but then as I grew older the touches became more suggestive. Our house was connected to the company my dad owned and so most of the goods needed were in our house. 

It started when I was six and spanned six years. The tiler, the painter, the bricklayer, my uncle, one guy that was always around, the PHE teacher when I was in secondary school and the catechist. I had a skirt on every single time they assaulted me. My school uniform was a skirt and as the last girl, my mother said I had to wear skirts every single time. It started with them grabbing, asking me to sit on their lap, running their hands up my fucking skirt. 

It also is one of the reasons I crave attention. Growing up, I never got the good type of attention, so now it’s all I want. When people give me that type of attention, I get so attached. When they care about me, it feels nice.

Oh my God. All those men? I am so sorry. Did you ever tell anyone? 

I told my mum, but she always told me I was lying. So, I just stopped telling her and I haven’t told anyone else till this interview. If my mother wasn’t listening to me, who was going to? My only defence mechanism from the assault was to act more masculine. I thought that the more masculine I acted, the less these men would be interested in me. 

Did acting masculine work? 

Yes, it actually did. The men laid off my back, but then the problem changed. It became people constantly hounding me to “act like a girl”. I don’t know what acting like a girl meant. To me, I was a girl. What they wanted me to do was follow a strict set of rules and regulations and frame it under the guise of “being girly.”  I was not having it. 

Being masculine makes my mum disappointed, but she has always been disappointed in me. At this point, it’s normal. My elder sister is the good one that followed the rules and regulations. I think since I am the third child out of four, my mother already had the impression that third children are the unruly ones. It also didn’t help that I never listened and always wanted to do things my way. 

Sounds like you and your mum have a rocky relationship 

Yeah, we do, but it has gotten better than it was before. During COVID lockdown, we had time to be in each other’s faces and bond. Friction still comes up whenever she wants me to do something and I refuse, but we’re good. She’s there for me financially. Emotionally? She tries her best. Spiritually? She should be. I don’t know. I don’t really fuck with the whole spiritual thing anymore. 

Wait, from wanting to be a Reverend Father to this? Why?

The whole idea just seems weird. There’s supposed to be one man who we all refer to as God, and then he created us to vibe, but then he also sprinkled so many misunderstandings into our life. Is all the conflict and death necessary? Like he’s playing games with us. Is this squid game

As a child, believing was easy. It was just that you had to obey God, but as you grow older, there are things that you never bothered with as a child that are now considered sins. It’s hard. The whole idea is unnecessarily hard and I want no part of it. 

What are the things in particular that became hard? 

Everything was hard. It was like who I am is a sin. I don’t fuck with people that don’t fuck with me. I want to be a free spirit. I want to go with the flow and be spontaneous and I felt like I couldn’t do that as a Christain. You have to live life a certain way so you can make heaven and that’s so stressful. 

Also, because around the time, I thought I was bisexual. At the beginning that wasn’t a problem for me. I thought liking women was something everyone did. I had loved women since I was a child. I wanted to be their friend and protect them from everything.  Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of women around me. However, that changed when I went to an all-girls boarding school. I went from barely seeing women to seeing them all the time. 

As someone always trying to remove women from uncomfortable situations, I felt like a knight, and knights were meant to fall in love with women. It made sense to me. When I was 15-years-old, I realised I was a lesbian. Men don’t move me sexually or romantically. I could never bring myself to just touch them or let them get close to me.

When I got into my first year in university, I met a guy. He was nice to me and I don’t like hurting people’s feelings so we got closer. At this time, I had tried being feminine again. Then one day I went to visit him at his place and he tried sleeping with me. That just solidified the fact that I am not interested in men in any way and I am definitely a lesbian. I also went back to my masculine ways and that drove all the men away and brought the women closer.

Now you identify as a lesbian? 

Yes. I am gay as fuck 100%. Men don’t just do it for me and that doesn’t really sit well with God and his people. It seemed like everything on the “do not do” list is what I embody. It’s hard. 

I haven’t officially come out to anyone yet, but they know. My closet door is made of glass so people can see right through it. I avoid the whole marriage conversation, have a rainbow flag in my room and never ever talk about men in a romantic or sexual way. I openly talk about how much I think women are perfect, so anyone that asks the right questions will know. 

What’s life like for you now? 

Living life afraid of men. I am studying engineering and there are so many men in my department. They make comments about how all they need to change me is a good dick. The fact that there are so many men constantly around me just scares me. I just want to live my best life, no matter what that looks like. I want to be a happy person and just vibe.

For more stories like this, check out our #WhatSheSaid and for more women like content, click here

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

What she said: Biwom
September 29, 2021

The subject of this week’s What She Said is Marytonette ‘Biwom’ Okudare, a 26-year-old singer & songwriter. She talks about growing up as a tomboy, failing at convincing her parents to support her music career & struggling with being taken seriously because of her style.

woman with curly hair in a soapy bath
August 11, 2021

Don’t lie, you’ve probably wondered why women love bathing with scalding hot water. Do they like the heat? Do they want to cook? Questions, questions. Anyway, your time of enlightenment has come. Here are seven reasons why women prefer bathing with scalding hot water. 1. It’s not that hot  All this noise for something that […]


Now on Zikoko

November 30, 2021

As part of the anniversary celebrations in Nigeria, a month-long celebratory campaign commenced this November with activities to excite and delight consumers across the country, most recent of which is the Share A Trip With Coke campaign. This year, the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Coca-Cola and its bottling partner, Nigerian Bottling Company, celebrates its […]

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

More from Her

happy black woman
November 26, 2021

Women already have a list of things they spend their salary on and before you know it, salary don finish. How about we choose things to do for ourselves on payday to maximize enjoyment? Here’s a list of payday ideas for Nigerian women:

monochrome woman
November 25, 2021

“In 2014, I wanted to explore my sexuality. I met this girl, Janet, on Badoo. She was nice. We texted for a couple of weeks before we started dating. There were no video calls then so we were always texting. In the third month of our relationship, she said she was travelling to Dubai for work and she wasn’t sure when she’d be back. She wanted to see me before she left. I told her I didn’t have money and she said she would sponsor the trip. 


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.