Bromance or Gay?

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Bromance is defined as an extremely close, non-sexual, friendship between two men. It is a term developed from combining the words “brother” and “romance.” It occurs when two guys have such a deep, mutual respect for each other just almost like a romance. Bromances are healthy, normal, and celebrate the male friendship.

In Hollywood, many of us have seen Ben Affleck and Matt Damon engaged in a bromance, even here in Nollywood we have had people like Uti Nwachuckwu and Alexx Ekubo; both of whom to my knowledge are engaged in bromance. But their friendship had thrown up a lot of noise especially when the media and soft sells started insinuating they were gay partners; they have both denied anything of such.

Today, I am not talking about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, or Uti and Alexx; I don’t have any information about what they are doing or what they are not doing. I am just going to try and talk about why I think Nigerians always blur the fine line between being in gay relationship and being in a bromance.

Back in the days, especially here in Nigeria, when a guy has a male friend who they go out with often; it was cool, people called them best friends. But now, when two guys are seeing together, people begin to have weird thoughts especially after the controversial anti-gay bill signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan. But truth is friendships among males are often primarily based on shared activities. This can include playing video games, sharing common objectives/work (military/police etc), playing musical instruments, shopping, watching movies, watching football and other sporting activities, gambling, and social drinking. Some guys are even involved in emotional sharing (which is common in women’s friendships) but they are as straight as an arrow.

I have very few male friends (most are just my colleagues) and I don’t like people touching me unnecessarily. And no, I am not haphephobic; I simply don’t feel comfortable when a male friend is touching me whenever they are talking to me or when we are walking on the road. I know guys who hold hands or just hold each other while taking a stroll, but are totally straight at least to the best of my knowledge; but my skin crawls whenever a guy touches me except in a handshake or in a manly hug, I believe this is a personal thing. But I believe guys could be friends and be close buddies without being gay partners contrary to what many of us believed or what the anti-gay law led many others to insinuate, especially when it states “…Any person who…directly or indirectly make a public show of same sex amorous relationship commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment…” But, we are not discussing the anti-gay law today, rather I am only going to talk about a number of things two guys would/could do together and for a number of reasons and those things will be completely fine without anyone thinking they are gay partners.

1. Working out together:

Now, in my book there is nothing wrong in working out together with your male friend, I once belonged to a gym in Lagos and I used to go there with friends most of the time because it could get boring going alone, and if you go with a girl, you might be distracted. We also know that guys like competition, and it is always a great thing when you compete with your buddy to know how much longer either of you can stay on the treadmill or whose biceps will be bigger at the end of the month.

2. Drinking, Smoking and Playing pool together:

Men are usually drinking buddies first and foremost, especially if they are colleagues and they both live in the same vicinity. It won’t be a strange sight to see just two of them going out on a drinking and smoking spree without their female friends, just boys’ night out and nothing more.

3. Hugging:

Whether your friend just got a new job or you’re simply seeing him for the first time all day, or after a long time, a manly hug is the perfect way to let your bro know he means much to you and you miss him. it is not out of place to see guys clench tight and aggressively slap each other on the back depending on how close they are or how much they have missed each other, and it would still come from a place of pure bromance.

4. Road trips and Vacationing:

Guys do road trips with friends and sometimes vacation together and it will still be alright. From booking same flights, renting same car, sharing a hotel room… people are going to talk, yes.  But two straight guys in a pure bromance can decide to travel to Obudu and catch some unlimited fun while there – not the fun that you are thinking about *perv*.

So, just know that a bromance is nothing to be threatened or worried about, and especially if you are the girlfriend; I think you should be glad that he wants to hang out with a guy not a girl who will eventually become a competitor. And to everyone else, please allow guys to be guys, let us be stupid and hang out with our friends once in a while. Let us act like a moron once a week at least, allow us to play FIFA 14 the whole weekend with our buddy once in a while and do some other things. Just know that guys too could be close friends and in a bromance without being gay.

Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on www.degreatest2.wordpress.com and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.

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