“When I came out, no one threw stones, and no one tried to convert me as I had expected. However, there were some worried voices around how it may impact on my happiness and life. Am glad I have had a positive experience up to now.
However, there is still no dialogue about being an LGBTI and Muslim – it’s more of a don’t ask don’t tell policy. A lot of people say you can't be gay and Muslim like it is a choice. Islam is a very accepting religion and its foundations are based on peace, befriending and supporting each other centrally to the World perception out there but that’s a topic for another day.
My dream and hope is to be one voice, a role model, someone who other LGBT and ally Muslims can look to and say it is OK: the world has not ended and that we are all stronger together. I want to give young people the chance to grow and achieve their fullest potential.
Having come out to my sheikh and family, without any outburst, I believe I am 100 miles ahead within the journey of 1000 miles. My encouragement to the LGBTI Muslims who would wish to come out is to start with people who they trust, can confide in and build asocial network. Don't worry about doing it all once. Your family will always come around, but you will need to support them in getting there as it’s not easy for anyone. You also have to come out gradually and ensure you fill safe while doing so. Share your stories and introduce them to your life as much as you can. It can be super difficult but you are who you are and you will be happier, fulfilled and achieve more in life if you can just be yourself. Don't let anyone take that away from you.
I thank NYARWEK Network for having sensitized my sheikh within the religious consortium. He has proven so supportive and helped my parents who stay within Manyatta Arabs in Kisumu come to terms with the reality and accept me as I am.
I am not there yet but I believe I am somewhere, headed to where I want to be.