Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:21 PM
dlwickham (1,403 posts)
Gay Muslims: The Elephant in the (Prayer) Room
Muslims, I find, tend to be quite good at avoiding open discussions about deeply personal matters affecting our communities. The problem is that this attitude leads to the circulation of myths and thus unhelpful solutions and the subsequent worsening of the original matter. Muslim communities tend to treat such deeply personal matters as elephants in the room. Of course, one such elephant is homosexuality, specifically the idea that someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can also be a devout Muslim.
I'm a student at a British university. I have not come out as gay (I know: shock and horror!), and I happen to be quite active in the Islamic Society (ISoc) on campus. When I'm in the company of other students in the ISoc, I hear a few "gay jokes" (although this is a wider societal problem, too). Do you think I enjoy that these so-called jokes come at the expense of people like me? Given that no one has their sexual orientation stamped on their forehead, those who make these jokes have probably already prayed alongside LGBT people without realizing it. Was there anything "lesser" about these people then? And given the homophobic rhetoric, attacks and social exclusion that LGBT people often have to put up with, do those who hold conservative attitudes toward homosexuality genuinely believe that someone like me would have actively chosen to be gay rather than straight? I can't count the number of times I've wished that I weren't gay. One simply cannot choose to be gay. How many of you actively chose to be straight?
Now that we've established, I hope, that sexual orientation isn't a choice, Muslim communities need to stop sweeping the topic under the carpet and start providing the right kind of support and advice. For starters, does your local mosque provide a confidential online or drop-in advice service -- and not a service run by an old, traditional-minded scholar who can barely speak English but one run by someone who is fully aware of the contemporary environment and is a good communicator and someone young people can relate to? Does the Islamic Society at your university only ever discuss topics such as perfecting prayers and how to do charity, or does it openly acknowledge that students may be dealing with a range of personal issues and therefore advertise suitable services? Do our community leaders shun discussion of very personal problems, or do they lead the way in acknowledging that personal problems do exist, and subsequently create initiatives to tackle these problems in an effective and Islamically compatible way? When you ask yourself each of these questions, you will see that as a community, we Muslims need to be doing far more to support the LGBT individuals among us.
5 replies, 787 views
Gay Muslims: The Elephant in the (Prayer) Room (Original post)
|La Lioness Priyanka||Dec 2012||#2|
|La Lioness Priyanka||Dec 2012||#4|
Response to dlwickham (Original post)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:49 PM
closeupready (24,250 posts)
1. This topic always brings out the worst members of DU
Or rather, any topic relating to Islam does.
Thank you for posting it, though, for those who were where he was and want to build a better life.
Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #2)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:02 PM
closeupready (24,250 posts)
3. Thank you for that, hon!
I miss not seeing you around here more. And William.
I hope that means good things for both of you - that you are both halfway to your first million!