I’m 20 year old Muslim gay man, and I’ve lived most my life in the UK. I grew up in very ordinary and stable conservative family, and both my parent were great role models. I’ve never been molested, had father-less upbringing or ‘introduced’ into homosexuality like some might believe. Naturally, from the environment I grew up, I knew that homosexuality was wrong, long before I even knew how to spell it. As a gay child, I had resilient hopefulness that it was a phase and that I’ll grow up, marry a woman and live happily after. I soon came to my senses and realised that living happily ever was improbable for straight people let alone homosexuals, especially Muslim ones.
High school came a-knocking, with its fair share of cute boys, hormones and random erections in class. It was a whirlwind of emotions and lies; lies to myself and everyone around me. But luckily high school was over before I knew it and I finally admitted to myself that I was a gay man. There I was in my room at my first year of university and I said it. ‘I am gay’. ‘I’m gay’. ‘I’m GAY’. For the first time in 18 years I finally said it. The words I was too mortified to say all my life. I laughed to myself; I was surprised at how long I’ve fooled myself. But then it hit me; and I cried. I cried like I’ve never cried before.
Finally admitting that I was gay made me realise that not only am I gay, but I’m gay forever. I can never change that, no matter how long I pray to god, no matter how long I cry myself to bed every night. My religion is important to me and I can never imagine abandoning my faith and god. I believe in an afterlife, I believe in justice, I believe in good and evil. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place; I can either lead a dismal and disheartening life with a wife or lead an amazing and enriching life with a husband; It’s either abandoning my faith or leading a false life; two things that will essentially result in a loss of some kind. God gives everyone a struggle, and this is certainly mine.
My life now involves moments of hopefulness that maybe I can find a Muslim man and lead an affectionate life as companions without being ‘sodomites’ like my eldest brother prefers to say . But at other times I find myself in a pit of self-pity and severe depression. I lose my appetite entirely and go to bed ardently hoping to never wake up. If suicide was permitted in Islam, I certainly would have succeeded by now, since I first experience depression two years ago.
My mother is the person that I most love in this world, and therefore it’s sad to also say that she is also perhaps one of the most homophobic people I know. Some say mothers know, and I believe that my mother knows but she’s in complete denial. There were moments when I was 13 or 14 and mother would purposefully and randomly remind me that homosexuality is in fact one the major sins of Islam, shortly followed with murder and adultery. What your mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her and I truly believe that if I tell her, I’d bring a huge weight of sadness into her life. I want my mother to be happy.
It is exasperatingly difficult leading a good Muslim life, especially in the environment that I am at university, with the drinking, boys and lack of discipline to practice my faith. But it is something that I’m working on, even though I did have an ephemeral period in my life where I was very bitter about my religion and thought what’s the point if my very own god hates me for what I am.
The scariest thing about my life is that my future seems so bleak. I truly despise how my sexuality plays such a big deal in my life. But believe or not I am an optimist. I try to find the good in my life; my family, friends, education, health and the fact that I’, warm in this horrid winter as I am writing this. I sometimes can’t help to think of other gay people around the world and how they deal with their strife of being gay; whenever I pray for god to help me, I not only pray for myself but everyone that is in a similar position. I just hope there’s something out there for me in the future, because now it’s only a fantasy.