I guess this is hard, writing this. Im not really much of an ‘open’ person. but Im tired of hiding from who I am and so this is my story…im 17 years old and from England. Im from a very large, Muslim family and although I wouldn’t say we’re particularly “religious”, having strong faith is very important to my family. Since I can remember, I’ve always known, deep down, that I wasn’t entirely ‘straight’ and even when I was as little as 7, I did used to get attracted to other girls in my class although I used to brush this to the back of my mind and ‘pretend’ I didn’t like them. Up until even now, I’ve always told myself ‘no monica you only like boys and that’s it’ and I told myself this so many times that for a while I even convinced myself that I was heterosexual. Whenever I used to fantasise about girls I used to quickly move on and not think about it, believing that if I didn’t think about it, I wouldn’t be attracted to girls. This sounds silly I know but I used to actually believe this or at least I wanted to believe this…but it was only a couple of months ago , that I was lying in bed at 1 am and I said to myself ‘ok now is the time to be honest with yourself, stop fighting your feelings like you have done for so many years’ and whilst thinking about it, something just clicked in my head and I just knew it. I am bisexual. Now I did cry that night and not because I ‘hated’ this revelation but because it was such a relief to finally admit the truth to myself. Something I had been running away from since childhood. I have to admit I did struggle a couple of weeks after that night. As wrong as it might sound, I didn’t want to be bisexual. Not that I thought it was wrong, believe me I don’t think it is, but because it’s just such a huge revelation for myself and is a part of my identity. I guess I found it hard because I’ve been lying to myself all these years and to finally say to myself yes you are bisexual was tough. At that point, I hadn’t told anyone. I just wanted to come to terms with it myself first and to be honest I was terrified of telling anyone, afraid of how they’d react. But it wasn’t helping me, bottling this when I so wanted to speak to someone so I eventually, one lunchtime, met up with my class teacher in college and told her. Now at this moment it seemed like fate happened. It just so happened that my teacher is actually bisexual too and lectures at a university on equality in the LGBTQ community. She immediately told me how proud she was of me to come to her and reassured me that im not alone. She told me her experiences of coming out and I couldn’t help smiling. Just knowing that she also has felt exactly what I was feeling in that moment. She gave me many resources and helped me so much. It was hard admitting out loud the words I am bisexual for the first time but im so glad I decided to tell her. A couple of days later and I told 2 of my best friends. Now I have a lot of best friends (16 in fact, crazy I know haha) and I wasn’t sure who to tell. All I knew was I wanted to tell at least one. I have to say, my friends aren’t homophobic but I do know that they do struggle with understanding ‘how’ someone could be LGBT. So I told two of my friends who I knew wouldn’t question my identify and just accept it so I told two of my friends and they were so supportive. One of the two just hugged me and said it doesn’t change anything, she still loves me and the other did at first ask me how I ‘knew’ I was bisexual and all I said was ‘I just do’. She accepted this and also told me it doesn’t change a thing. I was so happy and proud to call them my best friends and was so glad I decided to come out to them. my family still don’t know and neither do the rest of my friends currently apart from the 2 I told. I think it will still be this way, for now at least. I hope to tell the rest of my friends one day in shaa Allah but if im honest, I don’t think I will ever tell my family. I know they would definitely struggle with it and won’t accept it. I know maybe I shouldn’t but I care too much about what they think. And I think I will be happy with at least some people knowing like my friends but I wouldn’t ever tell my family. I commend those brave brave LGBTQ Muslims who do come out to their family and I wish I had your courage but my family are already going through enough without knowing this. I just wanted to share with you my experience and to say that im proud to be a young woman who’s also Muslim and bisexual. It shows that not only are we not afraid to be who we are but also to be proud to say you know what yes I am Muslim and yes I am bisexual too but that doesn’t give anyone the right to undermine my faith or say im not “Muslim”. I have so much trust in Allah (swt) and cannot wait to discover his path for me in shaa Allah.I do not believe that this is a choice, I do believe that I was born like this and I am proud of that. To hear anyone say ‘oh you can’t be Muslim and bisexual’ makes me angry because I still have faith in my religion and in Allah (swt), just because I identify myself as bisexual doesn’t diminish my faith, I am not haraam. We can choose to call ourselves Muslim and Bisexual without all this prejudice and hate. We are who we are and we are in no way haraam.
This is in response to a question we recieved, about whether or not a person’s sexuality can change over time. The person didn’t want their information published, so it seems relevant to address the larger point. Can sexuality change if it’s something Allah gave us?
So I’ve always been one to search for what exactly I am. From a young age I began to have a feeling of being a girl, i always felt wrong the way that I was being conditioned to live as a child. I knew from the first time i could think to myself that I was a girl, but I couldn’t understand why no one would let be be who I was.
As I progressed into teenage years, I threw that identity of being a transwoman to the back. I had always been told by my family that transgender people were really just Gay people in such denial that they have reverted to deluding themselves into thinking they are another sex. But, I knew to my self I was not a gay man, I had no interest in men, I was only interested in Women. What was I then, a transgender lesbian? Is that even a real thing? I thought i was just a stupid delusional kid, so i went on to live reluctantly as a man.
Later in my teen year, while searching I came across Islam. I had been raised by an agnostic Family, so I did not have a preconception as to what an Islamic family would say. My family however was very much transphobic and i was very much reluctant to let that information out. Meanwhile, I was struggling to justify my entry into Islam. All i had ever heard and gathered was that people like me where not welcome, and I immediately felt alienated. I struggled with it, often leaving only to come back. No matter the negative lash backs i got from fellow Muslims i tried to contact, I always felt like my place and my heart was with Islam.
I’ve looked, i’ve prayed to help myself through these problems. Now I’m 18, and ready to begin a medical transition, and through it all, i feel like Allah has been watching over me. My experiences with Islam, at it’s core with myself, i feel good with it, i feel like this is what is right for me. I have never felt rejected by the Almighty, but always felt hopeful.
“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"
When I was 17 years old I was a senior in high school. I was wearing hijab and I went on everyday with my life with the idea that one day I am going to have a huge fancy wedding with prince charming. That my hijab is part of my identity and who i am, but is that true? It most definitely is not.
I have been wearing hijab since I was 4 years old. Yes 4. How ridiculous does that sound? To be honest that’s not really the problem. I have never identified as gay and I still don’t but that one relationship with a girl that I had turned my perspective around, a 360 degree turn.
My dad used to tell me that gay people are sick, my mom was repulsed at the idea of two men or two women kissing because it was “haram”. Is it haram? Only Allah knows. Anyway, back to being 17 and meeting the most amazing girl in the entire world. Meeting this girl, her name is Nalani. She was the most beautiful, exquisite, free-spirited person I had ever met. There was a problem at the time in my head though, she was still a GIRL. I was so confused at the time that she was a girl that because I had cared about her so much I was actually mean to her because I couldn’t comprehend that I actually had feelings for another woman, it was just so abnormal to me.
Meanwhile, a lot of time passed and I continued to struggle with my relationship because I loved her so much but we were hiding from the entire world. I mainly struggled with the idea of simultaneously accepting my hijab any my sexuality. We hid our relationship from the world for three years. I had been engaged to a man while Nalani and I were together because I thought that it would help mask my feelings for her, that obviously didn’t work. We both struggled for years trying to make sense of the hiding and that no one would ever accept us, it drained our relationship to the point where there was nothing left. On december 16th, 2013 my only girlfriend that I had fought to be with and suffered for years at a time for left me. The hiding was an external factor undoubtedly, but there were other internal factors that aided in her decision to end it.
Everyday for those 3 years i lived in constant fear of someone finding out. After my g/f broke up with me, I decided to take off my hijab and come out. Let me tell you, that this was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. I took my hijab off because I realized that I had no idea who I was, that I was only wearing hijab because I was afraid what people would say about me taking it off. I only stayed in the closet about my relationship because I didn’t want people to stop talking to me and my family to disown me. Now, the whole world knows about the relationship with this phenomenal young woman that I had in my life. Although we are no longer together I will never be ashamed to say that she was my girlfriend. I always struggled with the idea of being Muslim and being in a same-sex relationship, only to realize that those are two completely different things. I still have no idea what to identify myself as, but I ‘d like to keep it that way for now. My family was shocked and so were my friends. I used to introduce Nalani as my “friend” for years and to come to realize that she was my gf they couldn’t believe it. Many people distanced themselves, and many people actually became closer to me. My family still can’t accept it, I don’t think they ever will. That’s alright though, because they are my family. It’s a struggle everyday to say that I am Muslim and that I may like women too. It’s something many Muslims in the LGBTQ community struggle with. I just want you all to know though that it’s not the end of the world. Do not fight what feels right to you. If you are a man and love a man, if you are a woman and love a woman, do not fight it. Allah will judge you and only you. Allah swt is the most compassionate and forgiving, he is the all-knowing so don’t fear, go with what feels right. I wish I would have done this a long time ago. Stay strong.
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story with us.
May Allah continue to bless you and your family <3