This Muslim man came out to his family by telling them he married a man, even though he hadn’t
A gay Muslim man living in Australia was forced into telling his family that he had married a man, even though he had not, so that they would understand his sexuality.
Mohamed Al Abri grew up in Abu Dhabi in a strict Muslim family.
When he was 16, he moved to Australia to study and he has been in the country ever since.
Talking to Radio Australia, Al Abri explained that he always knew he was attracted to men.
However, he had not planned to come out because of persecution of homosexuality in the United Arab Emirates.
In fact, for a long time, he thought he would marry a woman despite his sexuality.
“I thought one day I’ll grow older, my parents will arrange my marriage and I’ll get married to a woman,” he quipped.
Since then, he met his partner Matt Gough in 2009 and the two have been together since.
Al Abri realised that as their relationship became more serious, he would have to come out to his family but he couldn’t find the words to do so without using homophobic slurs, especially when speaking in Arabic.
He said: “I was really finding it hard not [to] use derogatory terms.
“She [his mother] wouldn’t understand, so that’s when I told her, ‘I married a man’ — that’s how she understood.”
Al Abri resorted to telling his mother he had married a man, even though he had not because Australia is yet to have marriage equality because the concept was impossible for his family to grasp.
Talking about the upcoming postal survey on same-sex marriage, Al Abri said he was glad that people could have a say despite the hefty cost.
“It’s such an important statement to make — that the Government could say, ‘We believe you are equal citizens’.”
However, he hopes that the country votes in favour of marriage equality so he can actually marry his partner and no longer lie to his family.
He added that he understands why people might vote no, but that they should be allowed a platform on the issue.
He said: “There are plenty of people that don’t want it to go ahead.
“As much as I disagree with that, their voice is allowed to be heard just as much as mine.”