Are There Resources For Gay Muslims Online?

Living in rural Maine, in a town of 9,000 , graduating high school with 9 of my relatives (cousins and second cousins), and being raised in a Roman Catholic household, coming out and finding resources to deal with my sexuality was interesting.  Needless to say, I didn't.  There were dark times, but life went on.  That was the early '90s.  Things were much different back then.  I remember having to sign up in the library to use the new thing called The World Wide Web and Mosaic. Soon, dial-up internet access was fresh and new.  AOL was the king of email. 

Flash forward to a time where people hardly use their phone as a phone, but instead search for dates, recipes, directions, etc.  As a simple gay non practicing Christian male living in the gayest city in the country, life is great! 

One of my first dates with a guy in Wilton Manors / Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was with a sexy fun guy.  We chatted about our past, coming out, family, etc. He shared with me that he was Muslim, unwanted by his family once he came out and moved to Fort Lauderdale to live and to feel safe.  There's much more that he shared about his family, religion, and i was amazed and saddened at it all.  I feel my youthful issues of being gay paled in comparison to what he went through and what he had to give up. It was an eye opener.

What could have made his life better?  What is out there to help people like him come out, deal with, and survive being a young man, a gay man, and a Muslim?  In an article by Khalid El Khatib titled "Why Are There So Few Resources For Gay Muslims Online?

Over a year ago, I told my coming out story on a popular LGBTQ YouTube channel called I'm from Driftwood. In the video, I talked about how difficult it was for me, at age 26, to come out to my Muslim, Palestinian father, despite the fact that I'm not Muslim, was born in Iowa, and came out to most family and friends by age 20.

I was surprised by how many people reached out after the video was posted, relating to what I felt was a wholly unique—almost isolating—experience. But what struck me most were two specific emails I received from viewers: one from a closeted Palestinian-American who said my video was the first time he heard the words "gay", "Muslim", and "Palestinian" from the same mouth, and another from a gay Middle Eastern man who called me "a role model for gay people from Muslim backgrounds."

My relationship with Islam has always been limited to my relationship with my father; I've never practiced. To suggest I am a role model for young Muslims due to a mere YouTube video wasn't just surprising, it was a reality check: Few role models exist for gay Muslims searching for answers about their identity online. That's why these two had turned to me.

Google results for "young, gay, Muslim" or "gay Muslim" show it's both easier and harder to be gay and Muslim today than ever before. Great headway has been made in efforts to bring visibility to the gay Muslim community over the past decade, but what becomes clear after surveying the articles and media you'll find is that homophobia remains nearly as entrenched in Muslim communities as ever. – vice.com

Head over to Vice.com to find out what resources Khalid El Khatib did find on his search, like films like I Am Gay and Muslim, A Jihad for Love, Naz & Maalik, the documentary series Gay Muslims and see what he says about the Trevor Project or It Gets Better.

Where do youth and even adults learn about being gay and a Muslim? Khalid El Khatib also shares the story and thoughts of Samer and Tareq, how they deal with religion and sexuality, and what resources they wish existed both online and in person.  There's also discussion of MOCs or Marriages Of Convenience within the Muslim community, sought out by both gay men and lesbians pairing up in a single marriage to live as Muslims but without the family disgrace of being gay. 

 

What resources have you found out there as supportive when coming out as a gay Muslim? 

How do you compare your coming out to those that follow the Christian faith?

 

Follow Khalid El Khatib on Twitter.

 

What do you think?