[Check out my podcast “A Way Beyond the Rainbow”, which you can find here as well as on your favorite podcast apps]
I go by the pseudonym Waheed Jensen, and I am a Muslim man with exclusive same-sex attractions (SSA) who wishes to remain true to Islam and to God Almighty, in a world where same-sex relations are lauded and celebrated.
This combination of Muslim + SSA + trying to stay true to Islam and God is nowadays a turbulent journey of its own, and trying to dissect it and help other people is like treading forbidden territory.
My journey with SSA, like all men and women who experience that, has been a roller coaster ride. A turning point for me was in 2015 when I submitted an online article that was later published on three different websites. In it I was only describing my personal journey thus far, my personal understanding of the matter. It was a humble step towards spreading awareness and shedding light on our daily struggles as Muslims who are trying their best to walk this difficult path. E-mails from all over the world started pouring in, with many men and women struggling with SSA finding refuge in my words and seeking help. Since then, I have changed. I have grown. A lot of what I’d taken for granted dissolved. New knowledge replaced that. And I’m still learning and growing every day.
If you’re like me, you probably feel cornered as well. We’re battling on many fronts. We don’t open up to parents and family – whether from conservative or liberal backgrounds, we know that for many of our families, the thought of their child experiencing SSA is unacceptable. If not that then the fear of being hurt, shunned, kicked out or disgraced. There’s also another group – the LGBT lobby. They advocate for that shiny and attractive alternative that we crave. They offer acceptance, tolerance, and seem to fill the void we yearn to fill. But at the same time, if we choose to stay true to our religion, we are attacked by them for not living the life for which they advocate. Between both sides, there’s the Muslim community. They’re split nowadays. Some of them belong to the first group, and some of them started following the second one. Only a few, it seems, can truly comprehend our struggles and help us stay true to our religion.
It’s as if we are walking on a very tight rope while dodging attacks right and left. Attacks from people closest to us, from our community, from so-called progressive Muslims, and from the LGBT community. It seems like we have nowhere to turn.
I am here to help change this narrative. It’s not either extreme. It’s always been the middle ground.
This is my corner. My safe space. And I hope you find your safe space here as well, inshaAllah.
“I hope that the world turns, and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you, that even though I do not know you, and even though I may not meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you: I love you.
With all my heart. I love you.” V for Vendetta