Book Quotes from SHE CALLED ME WOMAN which taught me Life Lessons.
This book is trail blazing and necessary. Edited by Azeenarh Mohammed, Rafeeat Aliyu, Chitra Nagarajan, She Called Me Woman is an intimate collection of 25 first-hand accounts of queer female Nigerian experiences.
I’ve learnt a lot about freedom, resistance, importance of self acceptance, supportive family and community, financial independence, intimacy, sex and love, emotional abuse by partners, hope, abuse against women, homophobia and safety.
Glimpse my emotional reading journey here. I lent it to my anticipating Bestie, Biggie in Lagos, to read before I travelled to Abuja for my NLS Externship.
Below are quotes from many narratives I enjoyed reading. Under each piece are more than one quote.
She Called Me ‘Woman’
‘Patience is the most important lesson I have learned in life. You will get what you want. Never lose focus. No matter what, never lose focus, ever.’
I Want To Be Myself Around People I Care About
‘For young people, be yourself. If you know you are queer, be yourself, do it. Do not let anyone restrict you.’
‘I think I can pray to God on my bed in my house without having to listen to someone interpret the Bible for me. I can read my Bible and understand it.’
Focusing On Joy
‘For me, a relationship should be free in terms of gender roles. I have not found this with the men and queer women I’ve been with. People have not worked through their own perceptions or a gender-free relationship isn’t what they want. And maybe I haven’t worked through my own..Everyone has their own stuff to come to terms with. Everyone wants to be affirmed in different ways and sometimes in very gendered ways.’
‘In all that you do, do not lose the practice of experiencing joy and creating it.’
My Sexuality Is Just The Icing On the Cake
‘She asks, ‘You are the dude, right?’ I reply, ‘No, there is no dude. I’m the girl and she’s the girl’.
‘There is a lot of preaching against homosexuality in the churches..It makes me feel like they are preaching hate. They are speaking on God’s behalf, but you cannot tell me this is what God is saying when you’re not God.’
‘The moment you do somethings with your life, nobody cares about your sexuality. I tell people that my sexuality is just the icing on the cake. First of all. I’m human..my sexuality doesn’t define who I am.’
‘There are so many attacks on homosexual societies because a lot of us are jobless and don’t have stuff going on with our lives.’
Everybody in J Town is Now a Lola
‘But I’ve got to the point where you can’t make me feel convicted by the colour of your heart.’
There is No One Way to be a Woman
‘I like relationships because they are an opportunity to know who you are and what you can tolerate from others.’
‘I dont have time for people I dont agree with.’
I am a Proud Lesbian
‘Everybody has his or her own way of living. That is what they dont understand.’
‘Don’t try to be something people want you to be or do things to impress somebody by being fake.’
Remember, Love is love is love. Let’s be accepting of queer people in Nigeria Nigerians! Let’s not limit women or their choices. Let’s not use religion as a reason for inhumane treatment or injustice. I recommend this book published by Cassava Republic with 4 fireworks. You can buy it in Nigeria from The Book Dealer, Alaroro Books and RovingHeights.