I won’t begin by telling you how horrible it is when you do come out, but I will start telling you this…. I am happy. I am Naufal Khan, Muslim by birth, black by roots, Indian by culture and I am gay. I am living my life to the fullest with no regret with being a homosexual individual.
Quran 4, 135: “Believers, conduct yourselves with justice and bear true witness before God, even though it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kinsfolk.”
I was dogged by members of the Indian and Muslim community for my stance on being gay and wanting to live my life freely, I was beaten up on many occasions by gay bashers but I still stood up and always thought – “this too shall pass”. I battled a few good years with my orientation and to top it off being Muslim. I owed myself the individual, Naufal Khan a right to live happily for myself and not others.
Here’s what Bobby Kennedy said about moral courage. He was speaking to South African students in 1966 — the heydey of apartheid:
“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”
This is what we as individuals need to remind ourselves each time we take a step forward as censured individuals. It has been 9 months (at time of writing this) since I came out of the closet to my family and the world. I also cried because I finally did it! I was free from being “straight”. It was hard for me, very hard. To this day – on one hand – I can still count the number of family members that speak to me and those that do still have caution in their voice.
Days, weeks, months passed and I was slowly re-adjusting to my identity as being gay and Muslim. I found life different, isolated, the change had begun. I waged a war within myself to change for the better. Most friends, colleagues estranged themselves from me, I found that most friends kept their distance. I was unfazed. I let this stage re-evaluate who are my priorities in life. I focussed my day to day living to seeking my long-term happiness for me.
The concept that two homosexual individuals cannot build a home together is a myth. All one needs to do is believe in yourself and anything that comes your way can be overcome. We as gay desi’s are not anything unique to the rest of the world. We are made so by that of homophobia.
In the past, the forced silence among homosexuals has led many to forgo coming out and opt for unhappy marriages instead. But the newer generation have been less silent and more proactive about their identity. I challenge you the gay desi to awaken yourself and free yourself from societal conformity and be who you are destined to be. If we as adults do not display this maturity to tolerate, should and will a death/suicide of a mothers/father son nudge one into this direction? We live in hope that this will not be the case.
Naufal Khan, is a radical free-thinking individual seeking reform & equality for all homosexual individuals around the world.