During Pride in Italy, many of you must have seen a Pakistani man wandering around with the rainbow sign: ”Allah Loves Equality.” That man is director Wajahat Abbas Kazmi who, after coming-out, started an awareness campaign to open up the Islamic culture toward homosexuals [to leave a donation: Produzioni dal Basso]. Obviously, not everyone appreciates this initiative. In fact, Wajahat disheartened, recently posted on social media: “How is it possible so many people challenge me by saying it is not possible to be gay and Muslim at the same time?”
I’ve heard this question so many times myself, I’ve decided to write him this short letter to explain that who receives God’s calling to make something big for his own faith, must always have the courage to swim upstream.
What caused you to be gay?
Many years ago, when one would announce being gay, the other would ask: “What caused you to be gay?” Since homosexuals didn’t have the courage to live their sexuality in a transparent manner, many people used to think it was a choice caused by some sort of perversion.
The same question was directed to me, a homosexual Catholic, many times: “How can one be Catholic and gay, at the same time?” In the course of history, many homosexual Catholics hid their sexual orientation, making people wonder how it was possible to follow a certain religion while being homosexual. Those who experienced this first hand realized that faith, just as much as homosexuality, is not the fruit of a choice, but the answer to a calling outside our power.
What should a gay person do?
With time, and with the increasing visibility of homosexual Catholics, such questions have been put aside and substituted with: “What a Catholic who find himself to be gay should do?” I usually start answering this question with the Gospel in which Jesus never speaks of homosexuality, where he rather speaks of hypocrisy, condemning it without “if” and “but.” I follow up with: “First of all, a Catholic who finds himself to be gay should put aside hypocrisy and start living in openness. Without a doubt, it will help the church to understand homosexuality better, to give answer less conditioned by a kind of history to force the church to read the revelation with homophobic glasses.”
I suppose, is the same thing that would happen to a gay Muslim when coming-out: at that very moment, his entire existence is questioned. After a while, when they will be able to discern one does not choose to be gay and Muslim, they will ask the same question that it was asked to me: “How a Muslim who find himself to be gay, should go about it?”
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