I am Gay and Muslim. Growing up as a gay man, it was very difficult for me. Coming out as gay, was even more difficult for me. Unfortunately, because of my sexuality, I lost everyone from my family.
Below I have added a summary of my life, struggle, and the problem I have been through. I took some decisions that affected my life forever, but now I am living my life as open GAY. And I am happy.
I can’t explain how good is this FREEDOM tastes. I want to share my stories to inspire all the closeted and hiding LGBTQI+ individuals to come out and taste the FREEDOM I have experienced. I hope LGBT100.com will help me share my story through this open platform to inspire other LGBTQI+ people to come out of the closet.
My name is Nadim and I am 30 years old. Back home, I was a closeted gay man, unable to speak to anyone about my sexuality, I cried several nights in my own because I had no one to speak to about my sexuality, the unbearable pain I went through. When I reached adolescence, I realized I was emotionally and sexually attracted only to men. I did not desire a single woman so I knew I was different, but I was scared, alone, and depressed, with zero self-esteem, terrified of people finding out about my sexuality.
I was told being homosexual is dirty, sinful and I believed it. I was raised as a Muslim. In our religion there is Imam stating that if you are practicing homosexuality, the parents of homosexuals will go to hell. With these mixed messages bubbling in my head, I started to become depressed without even realizing it. I would be there with my friends and family but I felt fake. At this time I will tell myself if I just smile everything would be fine. It is scary how much a smile can hide.
I was bullied for being different in person. It was not only from complete strangers but even people I trusted most including friends, classmates, and neighbors. Over the course of school year, I got called so many hateful and hurtful words. As a kid, some of those words went over my head. But I do know what they mean now. After this, I never had the courage to come out to anyone. I decided to stay in a closet and hide my sexuality. What could I do, after all!
I grew up in fear where I honestly didn’t feel very connected to anybody. Even in school, I didn’t feel connected to anybody. I remember perfectly sitting in the schoolyard without anyone to support me. I was bullied all the time, and at the same time, I was Ignored by everyone. I don’t really know if you can understand the feeling, but the words can only explain so much. So, the only time people talked to me is to bully me. I would often feel the loneliest person in the whole world and grew up with that mentality. So, you see things were wrong from the very beginning.
What a pathetic, sad, suffocating and lonely life I had growing up in my own home country where I was born. Many nights I had suicidal thoughts of ending my life because I couldn’t take it anymore. I wished I was straight. If I were straight I would have lived in my country with people I loved and be happy. I grew up thinking homosexuality is a mental diesease. Because that’s what I heard in the mosque by Imam.
I do not want to mention the country I am from because that would lead to people generalizing, but’s that how things usually are there. Back home as an LGBT person there is not much to do – you end up getting depressed, stressed, and it will destroy you mentally. So, basically you end up becoming a DEAD SOUL in a live body. Some people say that homosexuality is a choice or a preference. No, it’s neither a choice nor a preference.
This is how I was born and this is how God has made me.
The UK is my new home.
For me, home is where I feel secure. Where I feel loved. Where I can live the life I want to without any fear.
When I arrived in the UK, for the first time I realized that being GAY is a gift, not a curse. It is here in the UK I realized that for the first time it is okay to love a man. It was a rebirth. Until I came to the UK, I was seeing the world black and white. For the first time, I experienced all its colors.
When I participated in the London LGBT pride walk, for the first time in my life I knew there was no going back. For someone born and broad up in a cage, I was experiencing freedom for the first time. I walked proudly in London LGBT pride walk — Freely. Proud of My Sexuality.
This was a Big Deal!
I have lost most of my biological family members. I have a new family now – people I have chosen for myself: my partner, my friends, my LGBTQI+ community. This is my family with whom I feel safe, loved and secure.
My message is to all closeted LGBT people, please take charge to come out of it, so that closeted Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex can experience the freedom that I experienced. If you possess enough courage to speak out what you are, you will find you are not alone.
You are alone only when you choose to stay quiet.
Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out.
My message to all homophobic people: you can at least try to take baby steps:
- Stop making jokes about us
- Stop harassing us
- Stop teasing us
- Stop discriminating against us
- Stop showing us as scary creatures in movies and TV shows
- Stop killing us
- Stop sexually abusing us
Is that too much to ask for to be treated as a human being with dignity and respect? For centuries, we warriors have fought this battle first as sinners, then as deviants and now as criminals.
I am proud of all my struggles for being gay first with myself and with the society. I am proud of every tear I have shed. I am proud of the wounds I have received. I am proud of every scar I have received. There is nothing I should be ashamed of. There is nothing that I should hide. This is how I stand, this is how I will stand. Live my life as open gay with my freedom out and proud.
No more hiding my sexuality.
Now I am older I have advice for the others who are currently going through all this IGNORE them. There opinion cannot change who you are it’s your life to live only you know what’s that truly means. There is nothing wrong with you, you are beautiful, wanted, perfect just the way you are. To this I am still afraid people not accepting me or my fellow LGBTQ+ friends that I would not even consider my family. But if you have family members and friends they don’t accept you I hope you know that the LGBTQ+ community will accept you, LGBTQ+ community is here to support you and love you. I am here for you, we are here to hold you to keep your head held high and help you getting confident who you are.
“WHOM I LOVE IS
I hope we can all work together to overcome this suicidal conflict and help change the world for better. I hope we can all get further involved and build a more equal and equitable future for all LGBTQI+ members. I want to help others realize that religion can indeed coexist with different sexuality and gender identity. That LGBTQI+ people shouldn’t be view as unnatural. I would like to increase visibility for bisexual, transgender, pansexual family members so they feel more seen and included.
BY NOT CHANGING WHO YOU ARE,
YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE WORLD,
BE PROUD OF YOUR SEXUALITY.
STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!
— Story Contributed by Nadim Ullah and photos shared upon request by the user
This story was submitted by the user in free will. None of the thoughts presented or shared reflect our opinion.