This is not an attack on the Muslim community. Rather a constructive criticism that helps us to improve.
Dear Muslim, dear
I am an American Muslim teen and gay. I’ve been in pain for so much of my life. Every time I hear someone from our community talking about people like me, the weight in my heart grows. The constant feeling of being unsure of how to live my life as a Muslim and gay is unbearable, and I know that I have reached my breaking point.
Ever since I realized my sexuality, I’ve had to sneak around and hide my feelings. If LGBTQ + ever comes up with my family or Muslim friends, I tend not to judge others, but I hide a lot of what I feel. Many of the things they say often hurt me so much, but they have no idea. I have Muslim friends who described gay people as disgusting and said they wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who is gay, and I just have to think about how they – sometimes very close friends – would react if they knew it . Once I was with my aunt and she said, “I’m so thankful that you weren’t gay. When you were a kid, you liked Dora and the color pink, so we were worried that you would be. But Alhamdullilah you are not. “I stood in this room with a pain in my heart and wanted to be alone and cry, but I smiled and said,” Of course, Alhamdullilah. ” These experiences, together with my inner struggle with these desires and the longing for companionship, have triggered so much pain that has built up in me without me being able to break away from it.
Over the years, this has put so much strain on my faith and relationship with God. So many times I’ve walked back and forth between giving up my belief and pushing back fear of the reality of hell. I don’t want to leave Islam – I feel connected to my religion and believe in God. However, I rarely feel supported enough to maintain a strong relationship with God.
The constant feeling of being unsure of how to live my life as a Muslim and gay is unbearable, and I know that I have reached my breaking point.
In circles with other young Muslims, mentors always comfort them when they talk about how difficult it is to wait for marriage by declaring that they only have to wait a few more years. You promise young people that you should just wait and soon you can get married and have no limits with your spouse. However, this advice does not apply to me. Sheikhs have told me that I have to live my whole life to avoid this deep desire – but I am never told how.
I was once in a lecture when someone said and I quote, “Marriage completes half a man’s deed.” Then he explained that family life is so central to Islam and a necessary part of life as a Muslim. A person needs to get married and have children to complete their beliefs. But where is that? There are so many unanswered questions about how I and people like me should live my life, but there are no people who can answer them. Mosques have no lectures on homosexuality. There are no support groups that can help deal with these feelings. Discussions about life and family don’t mention gay people. Most importantly, Muslims do not present our religion as applicable to gay people’s lives.
There is so much that the Muslim community could do or stop doing to better support its gay brothers and sisters. The life we live as Muslims is difficult and often painful. I think gay people have a place among us – we just need our community to support us better.
Thank you for reading about my experience. I hope that in the future you will take into account that there are so many gay people hidden in our community who are deeply affected by the words you say and the measures you take and that you ensure that you do better can defend and support us.
A gay Muslim
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