In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
Some of you — especially if you are Muslims — have concerns about my sexuality. So do I.
It’s not contagious. I’m not trying to spread it.
I spent 25 of the 30 years between 1961 and 1991 trying to not be homosexual. To this day, I am not sure what that means — “trying to not be homosexual”. For certain, it meant avoiding sex with other men. I had no sex with anyone between the day I was born (in October 1945) and two months before my 21st birthday (August 1966).
I thought I was enjoying the rare pleasure of just hanging out with one of my African American classmates, but his plan was to get me worked up, get me alone, and get busy. I was caught off guard, actually said no, but had nothing in me to resist him. After five years — since that hot August of 1961 when it had dawned on me that I actually was a faggot, a pervert, an invert, a queer, a homosexual, simply because I had sexual desires for and sexual dreams about other men — after five years of fighting it, I was tired and apathetic, and I thought, “This is it.”
But that wasn’t it. He was a friend, but I was not attracted to him. And I discovered that when I say no and mean it, what follows is less than pleasant. The entire experience was a mixture of revulsion and indifference, mixed with a bit of pleasure. I wondered, for a moment, if I was homosexual at all.
The next morning, I went out, saw an attractive man, and realized that the previous night was just a bad experience. I continued my struggle to “not be” for three more years.
I spent four-and-a-half years “in the gay life” — between November 1969 and April 1974. Then I joined Elijah Muhammad’s “Nation of Islam”. (I have, most emphatically, never been a follower of Louis Farrakhan.) I spent the next 17 years trying to have some sort of social life with my African American Muslim brothers and sisters. By August of 1991, I became convinced that that was a futile effort. And I also became convinced that my efforts to “not be” were both dangerous (to other people, if I just say “Orlando“, as a hint) and damaging (to my own psychology). So, I went back to socializing with other African American men who are homosexual.
Living in a society of unrepentant fornicators — evangelical Christians hide behind their opposition to abortion and homosexuality, without openly condemning the rampant (90%) fornication that is consuming and destroying our society — I need to emphasize that homosexuality is a condition that exists even in the absence of any sexual experience ever. I was homosexual without having had a single sexual experience before the age of 20, and I have been homosexual for the last 51 years, even when I have gone for years (and years, and years) without having sex with a man. I’ve had sex with three women — one in 1969 and two in 1971. I do not find men and women interchangeable. (Men and women are different, right?) And I am actually attracted to men. A homosexual man is not using other men to satisfy his desire for sex. That’s what other men do. (Most of them, in this society. Documented by studies done in the late 1940s. Just because most people do it, that doesn’t make it right. Right?)
Allah knows everything. And Allah is the only one who knows everything.
Allah is never mistaken. And Allah is the only one who is never mistaken.
(And I am the only witness to my life that you have.)
I avoid having sex with other men for the simple reason that it displeases Allah.
I have found it easier to avoid having sex with other men when I socialize with supportive male companions. My Muslim African American brothers have shown little interest in my piano performance or my compositions, or even in the vast amount of knowledge that Allah has blessed me with. (I have studied hard, for the last 65 years, but Allah is the source of all blessings.) The African American men that I associate with (less so, now that I live outside New York City) have shown a positive interest in whatever good things I can do — including reciting the Qur’an. Yes, they are homosexual. What are you? (Allah knows you, and will not judge you by your opinion of yourself, or judge others by your opinion of them.) I don’t go places where other homosexual men are just looking for a sexual connection.
Prophet Muhammad said, “The ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr.” And he said, “When you see your brother doing something good, help him.”
May Allah help you and guide you.