Being gay means that you are sexually attracted to members of your own sex. People do not choose their sexuality but can face a lot of turmoil when coming to terms with it - fearing being disowned by their family and faith.
Faith and Sexuality
When gay Muslims 'come out' or their sexuality is disclosed accidentally, their is faith often attacked. Although homosexuality has always existed, including in all Islamic countries, most Muslims will argue that it is not possible to be gay and Muslim because homosexuality is against Islam. Such attitudes ignore the Quran's spirit of mercy and justice. There was more tolerance to homosexuals in Islamic history than there is now because they were not cast out of the folds of Islam. Gay Muslim are diverse in their dress and religiosity. For example some Muslim lesbians wear Western clothes and don't cover their heads, while others wear the hijab, jilbab and even veil their faces. There are those who are more steadfast in their 5 daily prayers than 'straight' Muslims.
Family Reaction to Sexuality
The discrimination faced from Muslim communities can add to the trauma of repercussions from families. Some gay Muslims have been beaten, forced into marriage or disowned. Others will choose to live in turmoil, leading double lives just to please their families. These situations can lead to depression, mental health issues and isolation. It is also never easy for parents to find out that their child is gay or lesbian, especially if their religion tells them homosexuality is wrong.
Talk to Someone
If you need to talk to someone about your sexuality, only confide in someone you can trust. However, you can also contact the MWN Helpline. We do not encourage nor discourage with regards to pursuing one's sexuality as we believe such personal decisions should be taken by individuals themselves. However, we do believe that gay Muslims should not be discriminated against, harassed or victimised. You can therefore call us to talk through your feelings or for advice on how to protect your mental well-being, physical safety and human rights. We can also try and identify other groups that can provide more specialist advice.