‘This closet is suffocating’, the life story of a young gay Muslim in Pakistan
A young gay Muslim in Pakistan shares his experiences of life in the staunchly conservative country with PinkNews.co.uk.
The ember in my heart might enunciate my feelings of being gay especially Gay Muslim. What is my crime being a Muslim? That I have likings towards boys and I want to spend my life with another guy?
Will a Muslim society ever provide rights to homosexuals? This perturbs me all the time. Homosexuality is often misunderstood by many Muslim societies. Although, Islam does not promote homosexuality at all. But “being gay does not mean Allah (God) hates you”. God is the creator of the whole universe, how could he hate his own creation?
A typical Muslim society does not even know what the word “gay” means? Let’s see it in a more specific aspect; in terms of a “Pakistani Muslim Society”. I am very sorry to say that Pakistanis, in fact most Pakistanis do not even know what “gay” means? It is often confused with transgender here in Pakistan. People normally call transgenders gay. I have seen many times, people in their 50’s say, “Look! A gay is coming, don’t go near him and the one who is walking by is transgender.
Second misconception here is that people think if somebody is gay, then he is a sex-aholic. In reality it is not like that, I personally think being a gay is not all about sex. We gays don’t only run after sex. We have feelings, we have hearts; it hurts us when people make fun of us. We don’t want sex all the time; we want love, peace, a life partner to spend our lives with.
I want to tell my family about me. I am afraid they will disown me. I love my Mom and Dad so much; I can’t even think to degrade them in front of the whole society. I don’t want them to be boycotted by society. I will never like it if they are subjected to funny jokes in the social circle just because their son is gay.
You know what? Typical Pakistani parents want their son to complete studies, get a job and then get married and give them grandchildren with whom they can spend their retired life.
My heart is heavy with many woes. Every time my parents discuss my marriage in front of my brothers and sisters, I just have to smile, try to change topic or leave the room silently without letting them know about the hurricane in my mind and heart.
I can’t discuss boys with friends just like straight people discuss girls. I unwillingly have to discuss girls at school and college with fellows. I don’t want to be called emasculate by announcing ‘Hey guys! I am gay.’
Each time my straight friends make fun of gay guys, I am there with them, sad and silent. I can’t say anything to support gays. I don’t want to get humiliated in front of the whole crowd and then maybe the whole college.
I am not envious of my fellow gay brothers living in an entirely different scenario from mine. They have freedom of expression, I don’t. They are open to their family and friends, I can’t even think to do so.
A John says to his father, “Hey Dad, I am going on date with my friend this valentine.”
And an Ali can’t even think to tell his father that he likes boys.
This is the difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim gay.
My life is dreadful. Let’s not discuss that now, that’s an altogether different issue. How could I have freedom of discussing sex, more specifically gay sex, when I can’t think to tell others that I am gay?
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My nights are lonely. Nights of American, Italian, Swedish gays is full of life, party, fun. And on the other side, the night of a Pakistani gay like me is virulent. I just can’t stop walking in my room thinking about my future. What am I going to do? Will I have to marry a girl as done by many other Pakistani gays due to the pressure from their family?
The time our gay fellows in London, San Francisco, Berlin plan for a gay pool party, we gays in Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Dubai spend countless hours sitting alone and thinking, ‘Will we ever have courage to come out of this closet?’
This closet is suffocating. It has made our life foggy, we can’t even look at other guys just because of the fear of being caught and then punished or boycotted.
The time Neil and Joe, Lee and Christian, Patrick and Kurt are making guest lists and deciding on the menu and venue of their weddings, The Gay Weddings, Ahmed, Saadii, Fahad are sitting in their dark rooms thinking, “Will I ever get the chance to marry a guy?” with tears in their eyes.
What is the future of gay Muslims in this society?
Write back to me. My Twitter handle is @Saaadiiii