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I’m Attracted to the Same-Sex

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 13, 2018

Question

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum. I'm a single young man in my late 20s. I somehow feel uncomfortable when I come across a group of young men of my age or younger. I sometimes feel sort of attractive. I swear this feeling made me so uncomfortable sometimes to the extent that I used to avoid shaking hands with my age mates, but it didn't work. Please help me because I know this isn't normal. I'm not a gay then why this feeling? May Allah bless you and I am waiting for your reply.

Counselor

Answer


I'm Attracted to the Same-Sex

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

Thank you for writing us. This is a situation that occurs more often than one would think. Sometimes it is a passing phase while at other times it is not. While you did not say which country you live in, being exposed to stimuli, images, and certain behaviors which are openly accepted or done in secret may have an impact on how you are reacting. But it is my feeling that you may be having some misplaced sexual urges based on your concern and “uncomfortableness”.

While you did not specify whether you feel the same attraction/feelings towards girls, I am wondering if you do. Have you been in a college or at a workplace wherein you were around girls whom may have stimulated your sexual interest? If so, how did you feel emotionally? Have you thought about marriage, and if so, what were your thoughts?

While homosexuality is haram in Islam, a lot of parents do not worry about that aspect of growth and development as much as their children committing haram acts with the opposite sex. Therefore, relationships and friendships with the same sex may develop into something more intimate. However, there are many other things that may be in place as well to direct this energy towards the same sex, but again brother, you did not provide a lot of information.

Often times, when going through the teen years into young adulthood, we can internalize the messages we grew up with a degree of obsessiveness. For instance, as a young Muslim, you were taught that it was haram for you to have sexual relations without marriage. Possibly, you were raised very strict concerning female contact, conversations, and so forth. At this point in your life (and probably much earlier), your body/emotions are looking for an outlet. It is possible that if you were around males all of your life and not females, then this could be misguided and misdirected energy based off of social constructs as well as isolation.

Most children are sexually oriented by the middle childhood or early teens, and their sexual identity begins to emerge. Meaning, an attraction starts to develop as well as sexual urges. I ask brother that you look back into your childhood and determine which direction did your sexual attraction go.

While you did not provide much information about your childhood and your early ideas about sex, whether you desired girls or boys, and how your relationship was with your parents, particularly your father, it is difficult to answer your question definitively. There are some very good points concerning this situation.

What was the nature of your childhood?

  • Was your father present in your life when you were growing up?
  • Was he always too busy with work and others?
  • Did he ever give you the affection, attention, consideration, and guidance that a son needs from his father?
  • If your father was not present in your life as you were growing up, were there other father-like figures who you could rely on?
  • Were there same-sex relationships happening around you while you were growing up?
  • If there were same-sex relationships around you while you were growing up, how did this affect you?

I ask, dear brother, that you reflect upon the above questions, and if you are willing, please write us again with more information so we can get a better view of your experiences, how was your family life and childhood, did you ever experience any abuse, what are your feelings and experiences with girls as well as what is your involvement now with your Islamic community.

I suggest, dear brother, that you engage in positive Islamic activities, read Qur’an, draw closer to Allah (swt) in prayer/du’aa’, reading Qur’an as well as really examining your inner self for answers. I suggest, brother, that you make a list of the things you fear, things you like about yourself, things you would like to change as well as things that make you happy. Often seeing these items on paper in front of us gives us insight and direction in who we are, where we have been, and where we are going in sha’ Allah. It may also help you identify where your feelings for other males are coming from. Knowing where something started is a good place to begin. Remember, Allah (swt) is Most Merciful and Most Loving.

Please feel free to write us with further information and questions; you are in our prayers.

Salam, 

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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