My name is Nadim, I am Gay and Muslim. Growing up as a GAY man it was very difficult for me. Coming out as gay was also very difficult for me. Because of my sexuality I lost everyone from my family. I am 30 years old. Back home I was a closeted GAY man, I was unable to speak to anyone about my sexuality, I cried many nights on my own because I had no one to speak to about my sexuality or the unbearable pain I went through. When I reached adolescence I realised I was emotionally and sexually attracted only to men. I did not desire a single women. I knew I was different but I was scared, alone, depressed, zero self-esteem, terrified of being find out about my sexuality by other people.
I was told that being homosexual was dirty and sinful. I believed it. I was raised Muslim and in our religion there is Imam who teaches that if you are a practising homosexual or even the parents of a homosexual you will go to hell. With this mix messages bubbling in my head I started to become depressed without even realising it. I would be there with my friends and family but I would feel so fake. At this time I told myself that if I just smile everything would be fine. It is scary how much a smile can hide. I was bullied for being different. The bullying was not only from complete strangers but people I trusted most including friends, class mates and my neighbours. Over the course of school year I got called so many hateful and hurtful words. As a kids some of these words went over my head. After this I never had the courage to come out to anyone. I decided to stay in a closet and hide my sexuality.
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 school yard I was bullied all the time and at the same time I was ignored all the time. The only time people talked to me is to bully me. I remember one day looking at everyone while they were hanging out together and I thought to myself: I am the loneliest boy the whole world.
I grew up with that mentality. I grew up feeling that I am disconnected from everyone in my country.
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 wish I was straight, If I were straight I would have lived in my country with the people I love and I could be happy. I grew up thinking homosexuality is a mental disease. Because that’s what I heard in mosque by Imam. During my teen years I really hated myself. Back home as a LGBT person there is not much to do you end up getting depressed, stressed, it will destroy you mentally. It’s not life. To grow up gay and Muslim is basically living with 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 preference. This is how I was born and this is how GOD has made me.
I had to move away from this culture to survive. The United Kingdom is my new home. For me, home is where I feel secure, where I feel loved, and where I can live the life I want to without any fear.
When I arrived in the UK It is here that for the first time in the UK I realise that being GAY is a gift not a curse. It is here in the UK I realise that for the first time it is okay to love a men, it was a rebirth. Until coming to UK I was seeing the world black and white and now, for the first time, I was experiencing all its colours.
When I participated in the London LGBT pride walk, I knew there was no going back. For someone born and brought up in cage I was experiencing freedom for the first time. I walked proudly in London LGBT pride walk freely proud of my sexuality.
Today, I have a new family. I have lost most of my biological family members. Right now I have my chosen family, my partner, my friends, and my LGBTQI+ community. This is the family with whom I feel safe, loved and secure.
My message to all the closeted LGBT people: please take courage to come out, so that closeted Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex people can experience the same freedom that I experienced. If you possess enough courage to speak out what you are, you will find you are not alone. Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out.
As far my message to all homophobic people you can at least try take baby step
- Stop making jokes about us.
- Stop harassing us.
- Stop teasing us.
- Stop discriminating against us.
- Stop showing us as scary creature on film.
- Stop killing us.
- Stop sexually abusing us.
Is that too much to ask for to be treated as human being with dignity and respect?
For centuries we warriors have fought this battle first as sinner, then as deviant and now as criminal. I am proud of all my struggle for being gay first with myself then with society. I am proud of every tear I have shared. 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 off. There is nothing that I should hide. This is how I stand, this is how I will stand.
I will live my life as open gay with my freedom. I am out and proud, no more hiding my sexuality.
WHO I LOVE IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM OR YOUR CHOICE
Now I am older I have advice for the others who are currently going through tourture and pain from others: IGNORE them. Their opinion cannot change who you are. This is 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 of 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 that 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.
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 to put more equality and equitable future for all LGBTQI+ members. I want to help others realise that religion can indeed coexist with different sexuality and gender identities.
LGBTQI+ people shouldn’t be viewed as unnatural. I would like to increase visibility for bisexual, transgender, pan sexual family members so they feel more seen and included.
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