You know how sexuality is such a taboo topic to discuss in many parts around the world but it especially is one in our Middle Eastern community.
Now, sexual orientation is even a bigger taboo to come near to than sexuality in general is. Western societies have not come completely in peace with it either.
At 21 years old, I decided to tell my mother and a few other people I was gay. My mother at the time was shocked to hearing the news and did not want to admit to herself it was possible for her youngest son to be gay. She thought, like many other moms do, she had done something wrong herself for me to end up that way.
I was still the same son she knew but her realization of this “new aspect” of me made our relationship change to a more complicated one. She then not only had to deal with her own insecurities about the subject matter but also deal with what her friends were to say if they found out. What other people have to say has always been an important thing in our community.
Coming out was a choice I made after I felt the first sparks of love towards another man. Before then, I did not care much about letting those in my circle know of my sexual orientation. I did not see the need nor the significance of doing so. However, when love became present, I felt it was time for me to open up about it. It was like a burden I needed to get rid of.
I am not trying to glorify coming out as many LGBTQ individuals choose to keep it to themselves for many different reasons, and that does not change who they are. In our community, someone may put themselves at risk if they choose to come out so staying in the closet may be a wiser option for them to consider.
My experience however has been rewarding as despite the fact I had my struggles to go through with my mother and other family members, at the end of the day they have come a long way to accepting me for who I am including my sexual orientation.
I think as a community we are becoming more embracing of LGBTQ members but we still have a long way to go. My hope is that one day we won’t judge people on who they love but rather accepting them for being a unique expression of the universe.