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I’m a gay Muslim. I’ve been called a walking contradiction. I’ve been called blasphemous. I’ve even been called Islamophobic. Dealing with ignorance and hate is something any minority can understand, unfortunately.
But self-identifying as a gay Muslim is extremely controversial. Aside from the general disagreement, the two parts of me that exist within me are just that — two separate parts. Parts of me that I hopelessly try to join together, but everyone around me who tells me that it isn’t possible doesn’t make sense.
“Well, you’re already gay,” I’d hear from someone trying to reassure my insecurities about not fasting as much as I can during Ramadhan.
I would hear such ignorant comments from the nicest people. I know they mean no harm at all, and their only wish is to make me comfortable, but it invalidates another vital part of my identity.
Being a Muslim has been a huge part of my life growing up. Just because I’m attracted to the same sex doesn’t mean my beliefs in Islam immediately disappear.
On the other hand, there are the Muslims that believe I am their next charity project to cash in some good deeds from Allah — how that system works, I have no idea. From various ways of being scolded about my sinful lifestyle choices, to being told the infamous story of Lut (Lot in Biblical terms), I don’t think I’ll stop hearing ignorant comments: it’s as if my very existence invokes a flame in them.
This isn’t to say that all Muslims are always unforgiving or judgemental when it comes to my sexuality. While most of them are confused, and a small amount are oddly frustrated and hostile, there are many Muslims who tell me that my religion is something between Allah and I.
They’re not sitting in between me and whoever lies in bed with me, which in my opinion is how it should be. Muslims of all kinds should have a way to coexist as that’s already a huge issue for many Muslims worldwide.
And that’s the kind of reaction I think we all need to work towards. That is my lifestyle — even though it’s not something I chose and it is nobody’s business unless I make it so.
I hate talking about this. I hate feeling the need to discuss my sexuality or which gender I sleep with just so other people can stop having problems with me. It isn’t my responsibility to educate anyone; I am only responsible for my actions, and for protecting myself against hate.
Someone once told me the reason LGBTQ+ issues are often ignored is because we talk about it, yet we don’t allow it to be normalized. Trust me, we do not want to talk about. We’re just as tired. Just worry about yourselves, and this conversation would not need to be had.