You run into another Muslim woman who says she’s for progression like you. Talks about liberalism and things being outdated-which is of course a hot topic since it’s pride month and all you can think of is the increase in your local mosque’s sermons about dealing with a Muslim who says they’re gay; how did that man phrase it again? Something about “treating homosexuals fairly because they are also human” and “remember that feelings are permissible as long as one doesn’t act on them“. You think it amusing, the concept that your God-sent feelings are now in danger of being unholy. Prohibited. Filthy, in fact. How could you even feel them.
This Sister of course, she’s different (she says).
She actually totally accepts the homosexuals (she says). ” They’re still Muslim. I mean, it doesn’t bother me, you know? And it’s okay as long as they’re not acting upon their desires.”
You burn inside. And not with desire, no. You are engulfed by an ugly grief that opens its mouth to remind you of the times you condemned yourself for even finding another woman charming. (How dare you find a home in her voice. How silly, you could’ve just built houses in men instead. What will they say about you? “Darling girl, must’ve been confused. Maybe she didn’t pray enough.” ) You burn for all the times your love is painted with rumoured lust by people who wouldn’t be able to bear the weight of your heart if you poured its contents into their hands.
You once told your stories to a woman in the dark of night and you both cried joyous tears and if light ever existed in metaphors it was to be found between you both. You were too shy to touch her. You sang so she could fall asleep.
You stay silent as this Sister speaks about unity and community. Let the fire burn all the words you swallow, leave them to settle as a bundle of ash in your throat. Feel tears, but only briefly.
The Sister’s boyfriend finds her finally. They walk off into the evening. Feel each other a little, he kisses her or she kisses him. We’re progressive Muslims, you know. No one is one is judging, you know. You think perhaps you should also kiss a man. That if your sin was socially acceptable here, the community would gladly welcome you. Maybe you wouldn’t ache during the sermons and the mosque would, just like in your childhood, feel safe to you.
Maybe if the people accepted you-all of you, they would believe that God must be accepting of you, too.
Don’t forget to visit the GUA Shop:GUA SHOP