Coming out in inverted commas because I'm unsure as to how I feel about the term. No one should feel obligated to declare their sexuality - it is a very personal thing. However, we live in a world where people are assumed heterosexual until they assert otherwise, and as such coming out is often a practical thing you have to do. How can we expect to obtain our rights, without first asserting that we exist?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Coming to Terms with My Bisexuality, Part 3


Coming to terms with my sexuality has made me a truer, more complete person. It has also been a rather long journey - acceptance only came to me seven or eight years after I first realised that I was...for lack of a better word, different.

My path to self-acceptance began while I was at university in England. England, at least in comparison to Bangladesh, turned out to be the realm of high speed Internet. Not having to wait 10 minutes for a single webpage to load made me feel like all the knowledge in the world was at my fingertips. And no, I didn't exploit this for porn, the novelty of that what worn off by now. Instead, I immersed myself in a multitude of other areas, from re-learning French to finding out more about Linux (didn't make much headway there unfortunately). Over time, out of curiosity more than anything, I found myself exposed to non-erotic gay material. This led me to the concept of healthy, romantic same-sex relationships and the greater discourse that existed around rights and equality. For the first time, being attracted to the same-sex was cast in a positive light, albeit a secular one. 

The other aspects of my life were going pretty well. I was capable of balancing my studies, social life and even a part time job without too much trouble. I remained as closeted as ever, but this was so integrated into my identity by now that I didn't really notice it. I didn't think much of my situation, except when I was alone with my thoughts at night. This was the time when I would let my mind roam free and consider all of my options, even the scarier, more outrageous ones. I would entertain thoughts of exploring my sexuality someday when I was independent, and far away from everyone I knew. Even though I got an opportunity like this when I came to university, I just didn't know where to start - with my new life around me, it just didn't seem like a priority. And to top it all off, I met my ex-girlfriend, fell in love for the first time and my bisexuality took a definite back seat. We had a long, turbulent and very emotional relationship that lasted in various forms right up to my final year at university. I hid my bisexuality from her up until we broke up, a fact that I'm not proud of. I hope I'll write more on this subject one day, but I'm not sure. 

While I was with my ex, I really felt that this was it - this was confirmation that I could stay in the closet forever. I could have a completely fulfilling relationship with a woman, without having to worry about men. But towards the end of our time together we hit yet another rocky patch, and this created an opening for introspection. We went on a break, and I left for a summer internship in a new city. Being alone let me gather my thoughts, and by the end of summer when we broke up I was determined to face my bisexuality. To anyone hoping for an Islamic vindication of my sexuality, I apologise. The main component of my self-acceptance was an internal epiphany not necessarily related to Islam - and I suppose this may not help anyone looking for a religious answer. Expressing this in words is difficult - basically, I took a good look at myself and the state of my mind. On a practical level, I knew by now that I couldn't keep this bottled up forever. Being closeted didn't bother me all of the time, but when it did, it ate away at my brain. I knew over so many years that my bisexuality was an inherent part of me and it wasn't going to change. Maybe I could suppress my attraction to men and concentrate more on my attraction to women, but my bisexuality wasn't going away. However, it didn't somehow hinder me being a fully functioning member of society, and it didn't harm anyone. There was nothing wrong with the way I was, and there was nothing in it that could be considered morally wrong. It felt like I had reached a major milestone in my life, and that a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

From there, everything got a little easier and, honestly, maybe even a little exciting. I felt like was being honest with myself and God in a way I hadn't for quite a while. I tested the waters by telling random people I'd met over the summer that I was bisexual, and the lack of negative reactions helped my confidence. I made plans to tell my friends, starting with the ones closest to me and the ones who would most likely take the news well. I looked into Muslim sources both for and against homosexuality to understand where criticism came from so that I could assess it myself. The people of Lut came up frequently, and I wasn't at all surprised at how much the sin of homosexuality was down to interpretation. It was after this that I found other more affirmative sources of information from various places (for me, most notably Irshad Manji), all listed on my Links & Resources page. I signed up for an LGB support group at university, hoping that it would mean finding other people in similar situations and that sharing experiences would help me deal with the obstacles in my own life. 

Since then, everything has been going very well. Many of my friends and even some family know of and are perfectly fine with my bisexuality. I want to move on to writing more about them, and as such I'm done with this series of posts. I hope they've been insightful and informative. Over the next few days, look out for a post describing my plans for the next series of articles on the blog, and a Bangla translation of this post!


  1. Its been a long read but certainly worth it. Im glad you learned your own way of accepting yourself. For me in a way, It was much easier to accept that I am bi. Given the fact that i told my older brother right away and though he was surprised he has been there for me and im sure will continue to do so.

    On the topic of Islam and Homosexuality, I may not pray five times a day But i believe strongly in Islam and im afraid Islam doesnt view homosexuality very nicely. But with my limited knowledge im not sure as to how unforgivable a sin it is. But so far no one has been able to answer my question ''If i marry someone of the same sex, and then live my life as a good human being, Loyal to my lord and kind to his creations, why would i still deserve hell?'' People tend to answer it with ''but it is wrong and Allah killed a whole society once because they were homosexuals.'' . But i wonder if they were killed ONLY because they were homosexuals, or because they were evil and beyond repair.
    If you ever wanna have a chat Feel free to email me on

    Wish you the best of luck with things, Bro

    1. After writing my first post, publishing and viewing the page I was like o_O if that's how long it is no one's gonna read it all! So I'm glad you did :)

      I'm also glad your brother was there for you - I have a younger sibling who didn't even flinch when I told them. Young kids these days :P But younger means too young for me to ask for support. But I know that if I tell my parents and they cut their ties with me, I'll still have some family left!

      I don't know too much about the Quran - and I don't trust other people's interpretations and translations to be frank, where so much meaning can be lost. I personally feel that we should employ our own sense of right and wrong along with Islam. I mean Allah did give us a brain to use right? :P

      I've never approached many Muslims (who aren't close friends already) and talked to them in detail about homosexuality, but maybe I'll try. There's a UK based Muslim public speaker on Twitter who asserts that the overarching sin of the people of Lut was the total corruption of society, not homosexuality as such (@MoAnsar - although it'll be a huge pain to find those tweets as they were a few weeks back). Furthermore, people argue that Lut was about male homosexual rape/lust, not love and marriage. Aaand finally, some people talk about how the wording of the nikah itself doesn't mention gender. But I don't know much about any of this personally - but it leads me to believe things aren't set in stone as far as Islam is concerned, it's just that people always approach the issue in a prejudiced manner *rolls eyes*

    2. Lol i totally agree with you there bro, Allah gave us a brain to use. I dont know about others or what people say is right, But I personally believe, Allah is the kindest of all so he wouldnt banish us to hell forever just for the 'crime' of loving another person, no matter the gender.

  2. Hey,
    Wow, your journey to self-acceptance was a long, and a relatively harder one. I'm gay, and I came out when I was in the 9th grade. The internet is of great help. But the big push and help came from this friend who happened to be lesbian. We both confided in each other about sexuality. If we weren't there for each other back then, we'd be completely different people right now. My homosexuality, to me, was a supposed secret I thought I'd carry to my grave, but it turned out to be totally different thanks to that friend of mine. If we have the slightest bit of help from any one of our friends to support, advice and guide us through, then it becomes really easy. I even came out to my elder sister, who is extremely religious (she wears the hijab), and her love for me outranked her devotion to religion. But coming out to my parents is something I really fear- they're not as open minded as my sister is. They wouldn't even WANT to process it through their heads. I know I sound silly- but it's true.

    We don't really have many Bangladeshi people in my school, but the one we do is my best friend- and he's THE ideal friend every gay guy should have. It's incredible how friends can change your perception of life.

    And like you, even when I was 12- I was aware of my attraction towards men- I seriously doubted if same sex couples could have a deep romantic dept. But I did when I was 16. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. The guy sadly moved to Australia later on.

    Anyways, it was amazing to read how you have evolved with your sexuality. I'm in my final year of A levels, and I hope my life works out as gracefully as yours did. :)

    Good luck!:)

    1. There are so many things you say that I recognise. Like I also used to think I'd take this to my grave...and I get the impression that my parents will refuse to process this too. To be a bit more clear - they'll just go it's unnatural, dirty etc. etc. without considering that you can have a loving, fulfilling relationship with someone from the same sex, if that is how it turns out for me. I also wonder if I'm a bit luckier than you that way - there's a chance I'll end up with a woman and everything will just be easier then.

      I plan to tell a pretty religious cousin of mine too (less religious than your sister though), and I'll post that experience definitely :) I'm glad your friends and your sister are there for you - they'll likely be your support system if anything goes wrong, you need to come out to the parents and so on. Of course, we the people of the Internets are here too if you wanna talk! :P

      What country do you live in, can I ask? Of course I understand if you don't want to be specific. But I can click on your name/see you Google+ profile aren't you a bit worried someone will find this post? Just thought I'd give you a heads up on that :S

      But thank you for reading :) Good luck to you too, especially with A levels and university. It's important to get those done properly. Great loves will come again. Well I'm still waiting for my 2nd chance but I'm a firm believer in it happening! :P