my mom frowns upon LGBTQ* ‘lifestyle’ stuff, too. i could have given her an ultimatum on the premise that if she doesn’t come to grips w/ and be 100% supportive of my queerness, then she can have 0 part of my life ever.
that doesn’t work for me because 1. my family is pretty small and 2. she’s my ummie and i am very much a momma’s girl.
i have shed many tears about things i want to talk to her about, advise i want to accept from her, counsel i want to seek at her feet, and so on. what i have had to do is reach out and find that support and that love outside of my relationship w/ my mother while maintaining at least a working/small talk relationship w/ my mom.
mom will need time.
time and prayer so if you’re the praying type, then pray, inshaAllah. one thing about being human and honest with ourselves and with others is that we have to allow others to be human and open with us. this includes mothers.
coming out is over rated and pretty unnecessary if you haven’t come into yourself. if you are struggling to accept and love yourself, it can be hard for others to accept and love you.
now, you’re 16.
and you’re at a point where you are rapidly learning about yourself; you’re constantly evolving and changing. i don’t say that to say i think this is a phase or a fad. i say that because there are other things that will come up that will make it hard for you to feel like you can maintain any level of connedctedness w/ your mother, or with any adult, or even w/ any friend. inshaAllah you’ll pull thru it stronger and clearer.
i feel like i’m rambling so let me restate: do what you can/hit us up whenever as you work to accept and love yourself.
your mom is a person just like you are. it will take both of you time to heal and process. it probably feels like you’re alone but trust me you’er not.
“Like Allah the Samad, same-sex couples do not procreate, but they love, they create, and they nurture relationships that are tied together not by an earthly womb but by Divine Compassion.”
-GHAZALA ANWAR: "Elements of a Samadiyyah Shariah"
I am asexual, aromantic, non-libidoist (no sex drive), and sex-repulsed. I have no attraction of any kind to men except rare instances of aesthetic attraction. I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship with a man, I do not want one, and I would not know how to navigate one. I am not willing or even able to have sex with a man and I do not believe I ever will be able. This is not something I can compromise on. This means that a romantic/sexual relationship with a man would be a site of oppression for me. Marriage is out of the question.
This is what it’s like being asexual and Muslim.
Marriage is not actually religiously obligatory in Islam. If you dig into enough detailed texts of jurisprudence, you’ll eventually find statements that it’s merely neutral and not even considered as recommended for people who do not experience desire. Marriage in Islam is understood largely as a way of regulating sexual desire and giving it a lawful outlet. If you don’t experience desire, you don’t have anything to regulate or need a lawful outlet for, thus the exhortation towards marriage is not really directed at you. Moreover, the “goes away from my way” saying was actually addressed to a married man who had turned away from his wife out of a misguided sense of piety. It was actually meant to say, “Your wife has a right on you, and it is part of the religion to give her her rights.” In another instance, the Prophet told a man who said he was unable to marry that it was OK to not marry and to follow a course of lifelong celibacy (the phrase translated as “castrate yourself” (!) could mean figuratively “live as a eunuch”) because God had written out that fate of inability for him (yes, I believe that God created me to be asexual).
In my searches, I also found this quote from an early mystic:
God has decreed neither marriage nor celibacy… But he has decreed integrity of heart, preservation of faith, a soul at peace, and the execution of commands needed for these… And if one’s healthful condition, integrity of heart, and peace of soul reside in celibacy, then that is better for him, since these are the things that are desired of marriage. If one can reach these without marriage, then celibacy causes no harm.
That’s talking to me right there. I could not find a healthful condition, integrity of heart, or peace of soul in marriage to a man. I take this quote as explaining the meaning of Quran 57:27, which says in part:
We [God] did not prescribe it [monasticism] for them except for seeking the good-pleasure of God.
I believe that through not subjecting myself to what would be a kind of psychic violence on me, but through pursuing a life of health, integrity and peace in celibacy, I am seeking the good-pleasure of God.
So, yes, there actually is a place for me as an asexual in Islam and I don’t need to fear that I’m somehow failing in my religion by not being able to marry.
It took me years to find the handful of texts I’ve mentioned here, to find these interpretations. Many Muslims might not know about them or agree with the way I understand them. Even if they did, that’s an awful lot of explaining to do just to justify my being 40, single, and not planning to ever marry.
And then I have to explain that stuff in the first paragraph of this post. That, yes, it is possible for some people to innately have no interest whatsoever for sex. Even a lot of Western liberals seem to have trouble with that concept, judging from some of the reactions to asexuality. That I’m not just not interested in sex but that it would actually harm me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to have to engage in it. That it’s because I am not straight, that God created some people to not be straight.
When your sexual orientation cuts you off from how your community or your society expects you to experience and express your sexuality, when you have to search for alternative interpretations and obscure texts to justify the existence of your sexual orientation and its validity within the religion, when you have to tell people that your sexual orientation is not “normal”, is not how they believe God created everybody to be, you’re queer.
I’m queer. As an asexual Muslim, I’m queer.
I’m still trying to figure out how to even have that conversation with anybody but LGBT Muslims, or if I ever will.
In the meantime, my not being married and not seeking marriage isolates me. Converts to Islam who don’t have a larger community they already belong to are often very marginalized in Muslim communities in America. Many can find a way in by marrying. But I can’t do that.
Being asexual and Muslim has often meant a profound loneliness and a silence about everything that made that loneliness. That’s a queer experience too, to be isolated and alone because of where your sexual orientation puts you, and to not be able to explain why.
And another thing is, strawberreli is pretty much the only other asexual Muslim I’ve come across even on Tumblr, except for a couple of blogs that have long since gone inactive. I’m glad I’m not the only one, but that’s really freaking lonely. I’m guessing that most of the other asexual Muslims (and yes, they exist and are out there) are like me, isolated and alone. Part of my motivation in finally writing this post is in case an asexual Muslim finds it and realizes they are not broken and not alone, not failing at the religion. There are a lot of answers I still don’t have, but I hope I can give someone that, at least.
1. Know that you have been conditioned to hate every fiber of your being through a history that has demonized your spirit but before times like these you were celebrated and honored. Your spirit was seen as something beautifully created by a higher power.
2.You will be sexualized as a person and because of it you will be thrown into a scene where hyper sexuality will be something highly promoted so remember to not get lost in all the noise and lights because once the music dies you will be forced to listen to the beat in your heart in absolute darkness.
3. Don’t act on insecurities. Oppression will lead you to believe that we are men and because of it predatory and patriarchal sex is something that we embody. This is False. Violence comes in many forms and often times we are the perpetuators of our own demise.
4.Shit is bigger then sex and sexuality. You will be forced to examine life through a multi dimensional consciousness and come to an understanding that you are an intersection of things, a complex being that embodies many struggles beyond borders and gay marriage.
5. Find your purpose and know that it is not your duty to educate folks about your being but to stand your ground and command the respect you deserve. After all you are in this earth for a reason and granted a voice to speak your truth. No one can tell you what path to walk because only you see what lies ahead.
* In the end love yourself and know that just by doing that you are creating a revolution and writing a new narrative ♥
A lil something fabulous for you today.
The most important thing here is to pace yourself. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel rushed to come out. Some people you will feel comfortable coming out to, and others you will not. Since your safety and well-being (emotional, too) are paramount, that should always be a priority.
When you do feel ready to consider that move, we have a post that should help.
I can’t tell you what awaits any of us in the afterlife, but approaching all things in life with the best intentions is the only real advice that I can give there.
Finally, work towards building a community, if you can, of positive and supportive people even if online. That’s part of what makes Tumbler so amazing and the reason why we at IANH decided to band together.
We’re always here if you need us