Honestly, if you were in love with someone, you wouldn’t need to ask. You’d know.
Edit: The thing is, there is no specific criterion on what makes ‘love’. It’s something personal for everyone (sidenote: a big part of relationships is navigating you and your partner’s expectations of love). At some point, you decide that what you feel is love. Go at your own pace, and don’t over think it. Crossing the line and saying “I’m in love”, that’s not something you think about. It just happens.
Also, don’t worry about needing to label yourself, or needing to conform to a label. You can figure that out at a slow pace.
Also also, from doctormemelordmd:
It could also simply be the case that you are attracted to men and women. Whatever the case, you are not unusual :)
Ramadan can be difficult and strenuous and anxiety-causing for many of us even if we’re looking forward to it. But this year, I have found some things about it that really really had me looking forward to it. Excited even. Overall, I’m trying to consciously be a Muslim, one who submits to God’s will
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeven when it pertains to me
and eeeeeeeeeeeeeven when we have 15 hour days
I would like to share 3 of them with y’all.
1. Fasting, like every single other aspect of our religio-spiritual existence, is something we as individuals do for our Lord/Creator.
No matter how many times people try to C their way into this A-B relationship, they simply have no place. And while some people feel the need to do so to others based on rainbow identity, that is not their sole justification. There is a laundry list of reasons they will come up with simply because they don’t have anything better to do than worry bout you..
So.. you must be doing something right.
2. The month before Ramadan, Sha’aban, ALWAYS SUCKS…
for me at least. One year my brother got mugged at gunpoint. Another year, my ex crashed my sister’s car. This year, Mercury was in retrograde, too. So I was good and ready to get past that mess.
3. Ramadan is a month where we get to see ourselves without any filter… if we dare to look.
Mannnnnnnnnnnnnn, one year I prayed extra, fasted extra, read Qur’an extra, dhikred extra, loosened up my clothing extra… I even drank some Zamzam water. (I was trying to get the gay removed from my being for once and for all.)
Do you know I was still gay after all that? Queer as a 3 sided square!!! And that year, I just gave in. I just stopped fighting it. I thought I was crazy fa sho. I did get tested for crazy tho … that only showed I had PTSD.
It took me a minute to figure out how to say those things. I’ve spent a lot of time fighting myself as God saw fit to make me instead of accepting and honoring that same self. This year, I am making a conscious decision to not do that. I’m still me at the end of the day. I’ll still be me at the end of this life.. .and the next.. and the next. (May Allah give us peace and light in every stage and plane of existence.)
HAPPY I AM NOT HARAMADAN!!!!
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"
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.
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.
joy. It feels very complicated and hard and difficult to explain to myself and to others at times. How do I figure this out? How do I, as a queer muslim woman of color, live my life and not leave Islam?
The first command given to Prophet Muhammad was to read. If you question your religion, then read and discover the answers you seek.
For any Muslim, not just those under the queer umbrella, there is a constant struggle to hold onto our imaan. Some let it slip away without noticing, some fight and cry over it. Since we are queer, we are constantly asked to validate our religious existence, and through that, I have always found a bittersweet blessing. Because in being faced with spiritual existentialism, we are forced to search; to read.
And in this way, I find myself going back to Islam again and again. Imaan is not always forged through comfort and conformity, after all.
Read the Qur’an, read different interpretations, study the history of our religion and how it has endured and how it has been misconstrued. Perhaps you will find your way back to Allah, and perhaps you will leave.
No matter the choice, you will be making an educated decision that best suits your life.
Whether you decide to stay or leave, may Allah bless you on your journey and beyond.