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Knowing me, knowing you

(Ah-haa)

Hi All,

The last few weeks for me have been really busy. I finished (and survived Ramadan - Whoop Whoop!) and have been settling back into eating during the day, working and sex (lol). I recently wrote an article for TheGayUK regarding my experiences of reconciling my religion and sexuality (https://www.thegayuk.com/comment-can-you-be-muslim-and-gay/). Reading the comments for this got me thinking about an aspect of the article where I say that I was born gay and knew this from when I was young. This got me thinking back to the exact moments in my life where it was cemented in my mind that I was gay.

Let me take you back to primary school (for those not in the UK this is elementary school). I was 8/9 years old and didn't really know what my sexuality was. We had done some health classes in school and talked about aspects of puberty, but sexuality wasn't really discussed in any form. This was in the mid 90's (before you say or think anything I'm still young! At least that is what I tell myself), and there weren't many adaptations of gay people in the media or in my everyday life. I didn't meet my first gay person until high school. I remember back in primary school that I wouldn't look at girls the same way as my male classmates. I did ask a few out, as I thought this was the 'normal' thing to do, but I found it easier to be friends with the girls than anything else. That isn't to say I didn't have any male friends, it was pretty much a 50:50 split between the two. But there weren't any feelings for the girls other than friendship. I mean we were young, nothing was going to happen anyway. That is until one day when I was sitting in the reading area of the classroom. I had finished my work and was allowed to read until the next class.

As I was doing so a male classmate of mine, Ash (not his real name - but the colour of his hair) sat next to me. We were friends at the time (I haven't seen my primary schoolmates in literally decades) and the subject got on to his judo practices after school. Our school had judo on Wednesdays and this was the day he would go after classes and practice. He mentioned that he had learnt a lot of moves and could use them as self-defence etc. He then said he could probably pin me down as he was an 'expert.' Now a bit of description of me and him back then, I was nearly half a foot taller, bigger in terms of size and from what I could tell, and later prove, stronger than him. I took on the challenge, he got behind me and tried to get my hands behind my back so I couldn't use them. I instinctively grabbed his arm and flung him over my shoulder onto my outstretched legs. I was just as shocked as the expression on his face as he lay there stunned. I couldn't believe I had flung him so easily. As I sat there shocked I has this feeling that I wanted to kiss him on the lips. I didn't of course as I was confused as to why I was thinking this. Ash was a good looking boy, he had all the girls interested, and from these feelings I had, he had me interested too. Now a lot of you may say 'you're too young', 'how can you feel like that at 8/9?' etc, but I definitely had the desire to kiss him. He got up off my legs and we joked that he needed more practice and that was that.

Fast-forward a few years and we were in our last year of primary school ready to be shipped off to high school in September. Before this however we went on the annual trip for year 6 to the Isle of Wight. This was my first trip away from family but I wasn't daunted in any way as I was with my friends and teachers. I was sharing a room with my best friend, Red, at the time and another close friend. Red slept only in his underwear, and I didn't know this until the trip. This didn't bother me at all, until at night time when he would try to moon us for fun. It was odd as I didn't expect to see his bum, and it was weird to think of him as anything other than my friend. At this point I kind of knew that I wasn't like the other guys, but still asked a girl from my class who I thought I liked to the dance at the end of the week. We stayed as friends after, which was fine as I still thought of girls as my friends and nothing more.

Fast-forward a few more years and I was in the middle of high school. This is when the internet became more available to me, and with it porn. Porn was, and still is, great. It allowed me to delve into my sexual desires without having to leave home. I started with the generic straight porn, but found myself more drawn to the guys than anything else. This invariably lead to gay porn and the rest is history as they say. I would fantasise about the guys in the videos, as well as actors on TV and from there I realised that I was gay. I toyed with the idea that I was bi, but I see nothing but a ham sandwich down there (and as a Muslim, ham is a no go). This lead me to the realisation that I was gay, but also Muslim, and those don't go hand-in-hand at all. As a result I tried not to focus on my sexuality and just focus on my education, was I valued that a lot and put it first.

I went through university with the same feelings, which by then I realised were natural as I was born this way (thank you Lady Gaga for the soundtrack to my life - and many other LGBTQ+ people around the world). However for some reason still thought I could become straight and asked out a girl on the last day of uni. She said no (not the first time I heard that from a girl) and we remained as friends (again not the first time with a girl). I don't know why I asked her out. I mean we got on very well, she is pretty, very intelligent and challenged me, which I liked. But I had no sexual desire for her, but thought maybe that would grow over time. It didn't, and now I realise it never will (or at least won't overtake my gay feelings in any way).

So there I was, in my early twenties and fully aware that I was gay and that would never change. So what did I do? I kept it a secret and put it secondary to everything else in my life for the next 4/5 years until I was ready to accept it flat out. Over that time I battled constantly between my feelings, my religion family and everything else life threw at me. There were nights I cried in desperation as I formed the idea that I wanted a life I could never have. I overthought everything, from relationships and how I could keep them hidden, to remaining celibate (I was still a virgin at the time) for the rest of my life and living like a pseudo-monk. Until that fateful day in which I simply looked at myself in the mirror and said 'FUCK IT! YOUR'E GAY! JUST ACCEPT IT AND MOVE ON!'

That's exactly what I did and I couldn't be happier for it. There is still a ways to go, but I know myself more than anyone else. I am sure of who I am, and actually that surety hasn't changed much since I had those first feelings when I was 8/9. It just goes to show you, you can know when you are young, and that is a good thing. You should be comfortable with yourself. You can only be you, everyone else is already taken, and the earlier you realise that the better it is for your own growth and development. Each day becomes easier, and although I know the future will have tough times in terms of relationships, mainly family, I know I can get through it. I would say wish me luck, but honestly I know I won't need it, I am resilient, strong and gaining confidence all the time. I will be fine, and I hope everyone in similar situations are too.

A
x


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