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Identity after coming out

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For us who already came out to their family/friends/colleagues, how do you see your (religious) identity afterwards?

Let's say you were brought up as an observant muslim/christian/bahai etc., do you still consider yourself to be part of that religion? Or does it morph into something else?
Do you still observe your religious laws?

I mean it can be quite difficult, for me it definiely is, to see yourself as a proud gay and an observant muslim etc.
How do you deal with it?

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  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    I haven't exactly 'come out', but I identify as a Cultural Muslim. I don't believe in, or follow, the religious tenets, but I value feeling connected to the wider Muslim community.

    • 17-24_m_b_h3_f1
      Comment

      I am out to friends from high school, and a few from university. I'm not observant. Faith might be there to some extent, but practice has lost its meaning to me, not because of my being gay, but rather because it's a symbol that died out for me. Maybe I'll find something I'm more comfortable with at some point in my life, or I'll manage to revive that dead symbol. (I'm trying that be keeping away from the current religious trends :P Take a look at the older stuff which are far more abstract than what they are now. They might not be satisfying in their entirety, but they do bring about some bit of clarity.)

      I'm like Kawdess, it's nice to be part of the wider community, even if you're at odds with it at times. But not everything works out well, I can't stand going to the mosque anymore, not because of not being observant but rather because of the ignorance of the imams there of all that philosophical heritage that they could draw upon during their sermons.

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    • 25-34_f_w_h3_f2
      Experience

      I feel the same way. It's odd because I don't consider myself to be a practicing Muslim and I don't feel too attached to the religious teachings, but I still manage to somehow be overly defensive about the faith. But maybe I am just protective of the community it represents.

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    • 12-16_m_b_h3_f4
      Experience

      Me too, I still identify myself as a Muslim but I don't practice it daily and my relationship with Allah is very spiritually based. I believe in Him, but not in what many others make Him out to be.

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    • 17-24_f_w_h3_f1
      Comment

      I choose to be an atheist although i come from a muslim family, Islam Denies who i am and it is As they say HARAM to be a homosexual and I refuse to be a part of the muslim community if ill have to hide who i am or be ashamed of it, im proud of what i was born to be

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  • Default-avatar
    Comment

    While I am not myself a homosexual, I hope you will not mind if I share my perspective on this issue:

    What you believe, truly, is your religion. If you truly believe homosexual sex is right and moral, then you do not believe a religion that says otherwise. You may agree with certain things that religion says, but that religion is not your religion.

    As Kawdess put it, there's a difference between your religion and your cultural identity, to a point: if your cultural identity is given precedence over the morals you ascribe to, then your belief in your religion is not affirmed with action, but merely the religion of your words and observations.

    This is why it is important to know what you truly believe, rather than merely what you feel, or what you ascribe to. I may feel like something is the right thing to do at a given time, but I may not truly believe that, and I may ascribe to a teaching which I consider true, but if my actions are to the contrary then my belief is lacking in sincerity and firmness.

    Reply to Peter
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  • 17-24_m_w_h2_f1
    Comment

    Hello Maro,

    If you really believe/interested in what you're doing, then why do not you think outside the box for a while? I mean, if you'll put new rules for yourself, which only concern you and nobody else, so why don't you just do what it's relevant to you? Let me put it that way: Feeling obliged to do something, because it's just written in the scriptures isn't very healthy for your individual identity! I think that you're completely free, as long as you don't hurt the other.

    This is my opinion really!

    • Default-avatar
      Comment

      Zidan,

      The "just because it is written in the scriptures" thing is only valid to a point, as such: is there a legitimate, independently discovered reason one believes in said scripture?

      As human beings we must be discerning and just, and the investigation of truth and making choices based on our conclusions is the fabric of our existence. Identity, not based on truth, is self-delusion. This is a big part of the debate, as many LGBTQ individuals have been 'in the closet' about their reality, and any of them can tell you that deciding who you choose to be is not the same thing as deluding yourself that you're something that you're not.

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  • 17-24_f_b_h2_f4
    Comment

    Right now, I'm slightly unsure. My religion is important to me and I've started looking up Homosexuality in Islam, tentatively because I am a bit afraid of finding out something that says homosexuality is a sin for sure like murder is. But till now I haven't come across anything like that and I'm grateful. I think what assures me most is that since I didn't choose to be gay then how can it be punishable?

    Reply to lmirna
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  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f3
    Experience

    HAH. I'd never let those stick-up-the ass "ze women are ze tempters of ze men" imams keep Islam all to themselves. Islam is mine too. I hate the idea that Islam is incompatible with homosexuality. Coming out actually gave me a reason to reclaim Islam, made me read the Qur'an and hadith more thoroughly and question eeverything. In the end, I've come away with a a mishmash of theories and stories and such, but I am very clearly a Muslim, albeit a very "interesting" one.

    • 25-34_f_w_h3_f2
      Experience

      I share this view. The hypocrisy in how scholars interpret Islam is overwhelming.

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    • 17-24_f_w_h1_f4
      Comment

      Hello all :)
      I don't follow any religion and I was brought up in a religious house. I went through so many phases with religion but reached a point where I started believing in a higher power (you can call it God, Allah, Buddha, the universe or even your own cat that is called Leo, YES I know someone that does that :) ) but whatever this power is (he/she/they/it) it accepts us the way we are, because no matter what it is, our sexuality is our own business. I don't know all the religions but the ones I know usually preach love and acceptance. I believe that our sexuality only matters in the bedroom, which means, it's between you and your partner. We are all equal in the eyes of the God , and whatever religion you follow, it is between you and your God. I would say, if you believe in something just keep on doing it, and no one can or should judge you. Being gay is not something you chose, it's who you are and if there is a God that knows it all, he or she would know that this is not something you chose and it's not a bad thing! I don't think your sexuality should change your religion, and all the religious figures that tell you otherwise can zip it and mind their own business. Stop listening to people and follow what you believe in as long as you have a good heart.

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    • 17-24_f_b_h1_f2
      Experience

      my problem with religion is how people here don't encourage it to be personal. everything you do is judged by the words of god. that's why homosexuality is seen as the ultimate betrayal to islam. it is what people are told and no one wants to question it.

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    • i suggest you check this guy

      Pink Crescents: Being Gay and Muslim
      Meet El-Farouk Khaki, a gay Muslim who saw a need in his community, so he cofounded a growing mosque that welcomes people of all sexual orientations.
      By Amanda D. Quraishi

      El-Farouk Khaki and his partner, Troy Jackson,
      during a pilgrimage to Mecca.

      During the past decade North America has seen an emergence of politically motivated Chicken Littles running around frantically warning of an imminent takeover by Muslims and their Sharia law. Insurgent Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, for example, famously said he wouldn’t allow any Muslim to serve in his Cabinet for fear of the foreign-sounding code of laws. Religious and political scholars as well as the Muslim mainstream have effectively repudiated such nonsense. The real story, however, lies with progressive Muslims who are using the protection of secular Western laws to actively reform centuries-old interpretations of their faith.
      In May 2009 in Toronto, El-Farouk Khaki, his partner, Troy Jackson, and their mutual friend Laury Silvers founded el-Tawhid Juma Circle, the first mosque created for all gender identities and sexual orientations. And this year two sister circles formed — in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
      Khaki is a longtime activist in the Muslim world, but he knew a place for LGBT people was needed after September 11, 2001. Khaki found himself called to defend Muslims living in the West against discrimination and prejudice because of terrorism done in the name of Islam. Yet, despite his dedication in representing Muslims, he soon ran into opposition.
      “I found that there isn’t a lot of understanding for someone who is both openly Muslim and openly gay,” Khaki says. “Many queer or socially progressive Muslims give up their religion because they feel there is no space for them, and often they lose their spirituality in the process. I got tired of people saying ‘we need more inclusive spaces’; ‘we need more female imams.’ Who is stopping you from having these things? If there is no space for you, make the space!”
      Before founding el-Tawhid Juma Circle, Khaki in 2005 had helped organize the first female-led, mixed-gender Muslim congregational prayer to ever be held in a mosque.
      Khaki’s religious activism began in 1991, when he founded a social support group for LGBT Muslims, called Salaam. He also cofounded Min-Alaq, a politically progressive Muslim group. And he’s run a private law practice specializing in immigration since 1993. Most of his cases involve representing men and women who are fighting violence, discrimination, or persecution because of gender or sexual orientation.
      Born in Tanzania, Khaki is a refugee whose family fled first to Great Britain and then immigrated to Canada.
      El-Tawhid Juma Circle grew out of his sincere desire to give Muslims an opportunity to engage with one another as individuals. “Around the time el-Tawhid Juma Circle was being founded I was in a meeting with someone who told me, ‘I’d like to see a gay mosque’ and I said, ‘I wouldn’t. I’d like to see a mosque that was inclusive for everybody,“ Khaki says.
      Unlike informal Muslim LGBT-friendly groups, el-Tawhid Juma Circle strives to adhere to authentic methods of Islamic worship, including the ritual prayers and the prescribed rules for performing the khutbah (sermon). What makes the community most unusual, however, is its rule against gender segregation. All members are encouraged to participate. So rare is this egalitarian mosque environment that each week individuals from around the world join the group via Skype to share in the khutbah and pray along with el-Tawhid Juma Circle.
      Social media has been a boon to the movement that Khaki and his community are helping to spark. Until now LGBT Muslims have lived in isolation or in small, disenfranchised communities. Now they — along with other progressive-minded Muslims — have the opportunity to connect online, forming an even larger global community.
      Just knowing that they have brothers and sisters around the globe who have had to struggle with the same kind of identity issues and the same kind of discrimination within their faith communities is a huge step forward, Khaki says.
      He hopes to see more groups in different parts of the world joining el-Tawhid Juma Circle. “Let’s not pretend we don’t have an agenda,” he laughed. “After all, if Facebook can help organize revolutions in freedom squares around the world, surely it can organize revolutions of the heart.”
      Amanda Quraishi is a writer, blogger, interfaith activist, and technology professional living in Austin. She blogs about politics, religion, and tacos at http://www.muslimahMERICAN.com.

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    • 25-34_f_w_h3_f2
      Comment

      Have you seen this?
      Gay Pastor Meets Gay Imam in Cape Town South Africa:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X9OcFJ6HHY

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  • 17-24_m_b_h2_f4
    Comment

    im christian and i believe im gay for a reason , first of all i know god loves me cuz the bible clearly demonstrated and it was repeated over and over again that "god is love" , so basically god can't be sth and the opposite , he cant be love and then hate me for the sole reason that im not going to have sex with a woman and just have babies !
    i believe that even though every person is unique , alot of ppl have common grounds that they can build their relationship at , so i know that god wants me to use that gift of being gay to reach all those troubled gays out there , make them feel that god doesnt hate them and they shouldnt abandon their faith (whatever it is) just because some "icons" tell them that they r the spawn of satan, i have helped one or 2 ppl before with their 'god hates me' issues, and i rly want to reach out for the heteros too telling them that even though im gay , i can still go to church and participate in prayers and, can u believe it , i don't incinerate when i enter church or scream and squeal like a demon when holy water touches me .
    i think everyone needs to believe that god loves him , and not think that is just some cheesy statement , cuz he rly does :D

    Reply to pi-chan
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  • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
    Comment

    Excuse me if I sound like a hypocrite, okay? but this is me trying to show you my point of view.

    I believe in Alalh, a infinity% okay? I find it weird that I feel like this, I can't change, yet I'm stuck with it, but yes, I tried to change, and until now I didn't fall for a girl but once (and that's over) but yes.. I'm dating someone now, I think in the future we might kiss.. and yes that's wrong, but why does it make it less wrong for a girl and a guy to do it? it's just religious rules, so yea I'm not going "all the way" with anyone.. Imma guess for.. now? but yes I'm still a Muslim, I still pray, and I feel bad for missing prayers, I do my Duaa, and a lot of stuff I'm supposed to do, but on the side too I'm being me, and I hope I'm forgiven for that. (Sorry if I come across as a hypocrite but what I'm doing is tryna give my point of view, no hate.) peace.

    • 17-24_m_b_h3_f3
      Comment

      If I am understanding correctly are you dating a girl or a guy? And if a girl I strongly recommend you marry her and then go on to all the physical crap you do. I am saying this because not to judge you but to point out the fact that if indeed you desire women, then consider yourself lucky to have clear guidance from Allah(Swt).

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  • 17-24_f_w_h3_f3
    Comment

    it's not easy to be dealing with this "religion" issue, but you just keep putting faith in god and never lose faith. and i'm sure that god understands how we feel deep inside ourselves.

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  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    There are lots of resources out there. Check out Scott Kugle, Amina Wadud, and the imam from a Jihad for Love. All religious scholars that have provided new light on homosexuality and Islam.

    But even before you research, keep this in mind. How many times does the Qur'an mention good works, feeding orphans, being kind to your neighbor? Almost every chapter, if not every chapter. How often does it mention homosexuality? Once (maybe, if you interpret Lut the traditional way.) What does that say about Allah's priorities here?

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  • 17-24_m_b_h3_f3
    Comment

    Arabset....the story is used to condemn homosexuality. Tge ppl of lot werent homosexual but used the act. U need to look into the wider context

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