An Open Letter To My Muslim Mother (From Her Gay Daughter)

Matthew/Flickr
Matthew/Flickr

You are a wonderful mother. And although your marriage to my father has been disastrous, you always talk about how one day I will find the prince who will give me the life I deserve. You tell me about how you hope and pray to God I get all the happiness in the world. Somehow, I don’t see my story having a happy ending.

You fell pregnant at the age of 18 in an alien country with a man 10 years your senior. It was clear from the offset you didn’t love each other. You had a hard time adjusting to life in Britain and my father’s awful demeanour. But when you were at your loneliest, you sought solace in your children. You have always loved and protected us. You lived your life as a pious Muslim woman, and always tell me how God is the only one who can save us from the hardships of life.

Your love for God is greater than the love for your children. A love like that is hard for me to understand.

I feel like I must say once again, you are a wonderful mother. I can’t help but feel the pain of guilt when I look into your eyes and blatantly lie. I never comment on the boys you deem to be marriage material or swoon over male celebrities. I have never been particularly ‘girly’ either. You have always taken this to mean I am strong and independent.

The truth is mother: I am a lesbian.

And I have known for a while, however, you are completely oblivious. It is something I would never dare confess to you.

At the end of the day, our family has an image to protect. In the community my father is respected, and my siblings are recognised with achieving greatness in both their professional lives and relationships. I can’t imagine the damage I would do to you and dad if I were to come out. A part of me believes I would come out once I am in a stable relationship with a girl that I love, and hope that you would respect and love her the same. But in reality, although things are changing for the better in the LGBTQ community, in the Muslim community things are as archaic as ever. Being a gay Muslim is the worst crime you could commit. It’s either one or the other. Never both.

A few years ago you went back home to find me a ‘good husband.’ I was angered at the fact that you didn’t think to consult me, and saddened at the fact that you didn’t know me. After a heated argument that left you very confused, you agreed to leave the subject alone until I was ready for a husband. Although you have always wanted the best for me and you wish for me to fit in your ideal world, the dreams you have for me will never come into play.

I know I can never be a part of the fairy tale you have planned.

Once again I need to reiterate, you are a wonderful mother. The way I am has nothing to do with your shortcomings as a mother, and you could not have raised me any differently. I hope you know that I love you with all of my heart, and that is the reason I will continue to lie to you.

Forever yours. TC mark

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