Book Title: Behind Closed Doors

Author: K. A. Banks

Publisher: Independently Published

Format: E-copy

Category: LGBT+ Fiction.

Source: Gifted

Pages: 343 pages


Lagos playboy, son of an ex-beauty Queen; and sole heir to the Johnson fortune, Henry Johnson, is facing a stunning controversy because of his sexual orientation . . . He loves men, yet the thought disgusts him and throws him into turmoil, that is, until he encounters Phoenix, a bisexual male stripper and prostitute who is wildly ambitious and will do anything to climb the social ladder. Phoenix is the one man that opens his eyes to the taste of the forbidden fruit, to what it feels like to hold another man, to kiss another man, and to bed another man.

One taste of the forbidden gay fruit and Henry knows he’s trapped. Trapped between Society’s expectations, his duty to his family, and his hidden love of men. Set against the backdrop of a sprawling, decadent Lagos City, and from there to the outer edges of Eastern Nigeria, where being gay is unimaginable, a gay romance unthinkable, the consequences of being caught frighteningly debilitating and cripplingly suicidal, Behind Closed Doors is a story of hidden passions that take hold in the dark where same sex love thrives.

Henry will be forced to look deep within himself to unearth the man beneath, to make the toughest decisions of his life as it concerns Phoenix, a young man whose destiny becomes irremovable entwined in his. He will have to question everything he holds dear, everything Society has taught him. He will be forced to question his very existence.

Homosexuality is not a disease, neither is it a disorder; that much any researcher can tell you of. For you to wish to cure yourself of it is something you may find very hard to do; in fact, it is impossible. -Excerpt from Behind Closed Doors

Book Review

This is a book that takes you on the story about the lives of two Nigerian men, caught up in a country which frowns on sexual orientations outside heterosexuality while navigating their way through life, love, self-denial, ambition, rejection and the burden of guilt.

One of the main reasons I got interested in reading this book was because of its primary theme, which centers on LGBT+ issues being faced in a country like Nigeria. Outside that theme on sexism, patriarchy was spotted too. Although, I must confess I wasn’t much hooked by the read.

This read served as an enlightenment on the issue of stereotyping effeminate men due to the misconception and myths relating to homosexuality, of which the society in general tend to hold on to rather than unlearn and relearn.

Behind Closed Doors points out that being effeminate and being gay are two different terms: a straight cis man can be effeminate and not every gay man is effeminate while a stereotypical effeminate guy can be straight or bi.
PS: I’m open to conversation with queer guys relating to their experiences with men the society considers to be straight.

The assumption that other sexual orientations aside from heterosexuality is an act, is a misconception.
You get to wonder why someone would consider to act in a way that makes him a prey to the society.
Well, looking back to where the awareness was and now, I hope for more awareness and acceptability.

Relating to the sexual aspect in thbook, I felt enough light wasn’t thrown on that due to the incident that happened with one of the main protagonists. In relation to infection and diseases, there is more to than just manually checking of sores. There are infections that doesn’t appear on the skin. Banks didn’t dwell on it.

On the main protagonists (Henry and Phoenix):

Phoenix was a character I ended up disliking. I loved that he was ambitious and highly driven, but he felt hypocritic to me regarding his sexual preference and orientation.
The descriptive figure of speech used on him wasn’t settling because it felt like he was perfection.

Behind Closed Doors is a book that reminds you: being gay doesn’t come in a particular type of way or appearance, and the society shouldn’t feel sorry for the opposite gender all in the name of (what a waste of man), due to the preference of a gay man.

About The Author

Kingsley Adrian Banks was born in Onitsha, Nigeria. He is an avid reader and a firm believer in social justice. His debut novel is Behind Closed Doors, a LGBT-themed novel set in Lagos Nigeria in the late Nineties. He is also the author of The Women of Eternity book series that centers around a central character named Adamma.

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