And If I Were Straight

FRAME_INFORMANTS_1.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeI clenched my teeth in anger, feeling the darts of his preaching pierce every part of me. I wanted so badly to scream and shut him up, to tackle him with my own arguments against his (and our collective) religious dogma. A dew of sweat trickled down my armpit, a testament to the uneasiness I felt as I sat on the rug in the mosque, sandwiched between two heavily-bearded and obvious Islamic radicals who nodded in agreement to all the imam was preaching, occasionally whispering “Allahu Akbar” and “Adhusubillahi” respectively to whenever God’s grace and blessings and abominable actions were mentioned by the imam. It was as though that elderly man at the front had me in mind when he chose the topic for the day’s jum’at service sermon.

“THE HORRIBLE ABOMINATION CALLED HOMOSEXUALS…”

My hands intermittently and instinctively clenched into fists, itching so badly to smash the jaws holding the thousand strands of long facial hair on the imam’s chin.

“Homosexuals would on the day of judgement be lined at the very bottom of the pit of hell,” he railed. “Right there, they shall suffer a very great torment, my brothers and sisters in Islam.”

I shook slightly on the rug where I sat, feeling uncomfortable, muttering “I’m sorry” to the men who sat beside me, who I supposed I was disturbing. They probably felt I was shaking in annoyance and disgust of the Islamic “infidels” the imam was preaching against, and merely smiled understandingly in response, muttering that it was okay.

But to me, it felt as though everyone could see right through me, that I was gay, and as much as I felt like getting up and stalking out of the mosque, it felt hard to do so, because I feared I’d attract the collective gaze of the congregation, which would follow this suspicious, queer-looking, ‘pretty’ boy in a flowing, gold-coloured jalamia. So, I stayed put, enduring the sermon and wanting to cry. Oh, how I wanted to cry!

“It’s beyond me how a man – a full-blooded man – will choose to lie with his fellow man! Ah! Adhusubillahi mina shaytani rajim!” the imam declared.

Choose? Seriously? I thought wrathfully. You think I woke up one day and felt, oh how amazing it would be for me to have sex with a guy. How stupidly-ignorant can you get!  

“Fear the day of recompense!” he continued, shaking a fist at the worshippers. “If anyone you know indulges in this act of abomination, please urge them to stop for their own sake!”

Oh yeah! Like it is a fashion accessory that I can drop when it’s no longer in vogue, I groused inwardly.

Finally, after some more preaching that made me feel as though I was being skinned alive, the imam called for us to pray.

I felt relieved when the jum’at service was over. However, the imam’s preaching kept playing on repeat in my mind as I walked back home. In truth, I couldn’t blame him much; he was simply relaying what is in the holy books. The issue left me feeling confused, guilt-stricken and wanting answers to a lot of questions. If religion didn’t have answers to genuine issues and questions pondered on by people like me who didn’t choose their sexuality but simply happened to be fated with, it would only be a matter of time before religion would become old-fashioned, not just to gays, but a lot of others whose need for love and affection isn’t covered by the holy books.

When I got home, I went straight to my room, undressed and went into the shower to cool off. I took the stereo remote with me, and I turned it on from the bathroom, shivering in instinctive delight when Beyoncé’s ‘If I Were A Boy’ sailed through the speakers. I hummed along, smiling as I unconsciously remixed the title in my head, given the situation I was in. As Beyoncé sang about gender, I thought about sexuality, wondering what ‘If I Were Straight’, as the water sluiced down over my body.

I pondered what my life would have been like if I were a straight guy. Would I be a homophobe? What would it feel like to dip my penis into that thing called the vagina? Would the sight of gays disgust me? Or would I be tolerant? As a gay guy, am I just being humane and tolerant of people who are ‘inadequate’, not discriminating against them because I know what it feels like to be discriminated against?

All this I muttered to myself as I subconsciously remixed the Beyoncé song in my mind:

If I were a straight / I think I could understand / How it feels to love a man / I swear I’d be a better bro / I’d listen to him / ‘Cause I know how it hurts / When you lose the one you wanted / ‘Cause he’s taken you for granted / And everything you had got destroyed

And with the chorus playing out in my mind came the tears from my eyes, a steady stream that intermingled with watercourse flowing down my body, a series of sobs that shook my body as I thought about the life I might have had if I were a straight man.

Written by Omar

56 thoughts on “And If I Were Straight

  1. [R. Kelly:]

    But you’re not straight

    So you don’t have a clue

    How to work and do the p***y

    How everything is… #OkBye

    PS: Be careful what ya wish for!

  2. awwwww, this was brief but passionate. I often felt the same way when I go to church. I often felt so transparent and unsafe whenever the preaching heads towards that direction. But not anymore, its all about conditioning your mind.
    same thing I was talking about the other day with a friend, what if I was straight?
    I’d be a bland boring homophobic bigot.

  3. That part about the mosque just got me in tears…
    I already knew I was different from a very young age, and even then whenever we would go to the mosque it always seemed as if the sermon about homosexuality being one of the signs of the end times was aimed at me. I spent many a day like what was described here. Crying and begging God to help me be ‘normal’ and asking him why he made me this way and them told his people to hate and detest me.

    I never got the resolution that I craved, so i made a pledge to be the best human i could possibly be, to be kind, humble, selfless and decided that if God really decided that i was hell bound based on something i had no control over, then I wouldn’t make it an easy decision for Him.

    After some time I just stopped caring about the mosque as much and attended less Juma’at services,i still pray and I believe in God. Religion on the other hand that is a whole different issue.

    I’d like to think i would be as open-minded and tolerant about life in general as I am now if I was straight, but Who am I kidding, i would probably be a homophobic jerk making statements like ‘gays will die out eventually because they don’t reproduce ‘ or ‘I am not gay so my son cant be gay’.

    As weird as this may sound, being gay has definitely made me a better human being. Tolerance, open mindedness, And of course being fabulous are qualities i may not have had If i was some straight, religious person. Its like they say every dark cloud has got a silver lining. Nice work Omar.

    • ‘…if God really decided that i was hell bound based on something i had no control over, then I wouldn’t make it an easy decision for Him.’

      This part got to me. In the end, it is best to be the best human being you can be in spite of this ‘sinful’ part of you.

    • Nicely said Deola! Being gay has made me a better person… tolerant and open minded! I couldn’t agree any more with you!

    • You are not alone in ur struggles as a gay Muslim. Other Muslims and Xtian gays faced the same challenges.Some has been defeated and conseQuently gave up on God by self delusion on the non-existence of God. One thing most people miss is the failure to see that the condemnation of homosexuality by religious leaders contradicts God’s nature. I on my part has sought answers through research and have arrived @ a conclusion. I said sometime here that God frowns @ homosexuality when engaged in ritualitically but I was made jest of by people who obviously were ignorant on this subject. Dear friend, God loves you and has no issues with your sexuality.I plan to post my discovery here one day if it’s ok by the Editor in chief.

      • Gad,i have always loved your matured take on issues here. Do u know there’s a difference between giving up on God & giving up on organized religion. Like I said before, religion should be a personal issue between you & the Supreme Being. Most religious folks are dumb(i apologize) as they keep on regurgitating what they hear in their place of worship. I’ll leave you with an example; when I was young,people frown at girls who wear trousers & see them as loose, fast forward to now & girls even wear it to church & nobody blinks except the ones still stuck in their ancient ways

  4. If your religion doesn’t fulfill spiritual needs,you should do something about it. Religion is a personal issue & should be between you & your maker organized religion has so many flaws

  5. I sure died and came back to life(pun intended).omar ur not alone there.@kdians I don’t kw whether this is a selfish WISH but I want my first son to be gay so that I can lavish 50% of fatherly love on him.I will support him and guide him in every life’s decision towards being a better man and to tell him that he is the finest of all God’s creature.I will treat him like a Prince and give him anything he ever wanted in such a way that ppl will be wondering and saying”that man doesn’t use his first son Ugochukwu to play oooooo!*Yes that’s the name I will give him and his English name will be ROMEO.

  6. well have sorta isolated myself from religious gathering, it is just so depressing when this kind of topic comes up and watch morons agree.
    But one funny thing is that some of this religious leaders are battling with their sexuality (check out Eddie long, Albert Odulele, Ted Haggard e tc), That’s why most of them will rant ‘its a choice’. It’s either that or they are plain stupid

  7. I seriously know the feeling. At least in Nigeria, they believe it is a western vice imported to destroy us. Imagine being in a country where it is allowed but the church you attend makes sure they drop a bomb or two on every service day to ensure their members don’t get “possessed” . The recent one was ” they are putting gay people everywhere, making them in control so they can promote their abominable act”. Oh well, i just take it as just another day in church.

  8. Straight ppl have issues too. They have their problems and challenges. If you were straight, life would find a way to f**k you up.

    The difference is you not having to deal with homophobic bigots who make you feel less.. Truth be told, I’m not sure if I even want to be ever “straight”

  9. How would you treat homosexuals if your were straight? Its easy to know. How do you treat people whose beliefs and actions are different from yours? How do you react when you come across the odd ones in society, who flow against the norm? How do you treat persons who firmly hold on to ideas you find repulsive and even disgusting, even when they bring no harm to your person? Answer these honestly and you will know if you’d have been homophobic. The intolerance among us is simply unbelievable. Homosexuality, as far as I’m concerned is a gift from God. Why? Because it places on you a severe stigma and forces you to experience first hand the marginalization that the scorned and oppressed feel. Then you begin to identify with the rejects of society, and then your mind opens up, like the morning rose to the gentle caress of dawn, and then you gain the gift of vison; an ability to see the true hellish state of this world we live in. Dear brothers, your sexuality is a gift. If from it you do not learn tolerance and compassion, then this gift would have been wasted on you. They call you dung of the earth; but from dung, flowers may grow. I love you guyz!

    • Sensei wow! Ur just a sweethrt.how many of u knw that homosexuals have many spiritual gifts here viz:nice voice for choir,prophecy,vision,descernment,divine and extreme knowledge,they are priests(almost 80%),pastors almost 90%,Acadenias,wise thinkers, leadership,humility,crafmanship,best of cooks and many more.I went to seminary school so when I tell u about priests and homosexuality never doubt me.I still believe that the worst of homophobes out there are fighting homosexuals who are still in the closet,confused and denial stage,while most of them are so trapped in their occupations in such a way that they nolonger have a choice example Bishops,Priests,pastors and so on.This may come as a shock but the parts in the BIBLE condemning hoosexuality were added.Bible Translators have destroyed the world.Believe in the holyspirit who is the Main Bible Himself and He will teach you the secrets of God.Sodom and Gomorrah was never destroyed due to homosexuality but due to extreme wickedness and oppression of the poor and extortions of visitors.Note:their are many things in the bible that were added and not instructed by the Holyspirit while their are maaaaany more things that are not even in the bible that are supposed to be in it But only the Holyspirit has the key to those higher knowledges.You can be gay and a christian tooo! I wish I can arrange a conference and teach you all many hidden truths.let the bible not define ur life cos the greatests of God’s truth are not. Even inside of it.

  10. Lol! I’m gonna admit, acting straight is exhausting for me. No one! And I mean no one KNOWS I’m gay! Would just love to stand in the middle of Shoprite (preferrably the one in Lekki) one day and shout ‘I’M GAY’……

    LOL! But that’s just a Day Dream

    #ReverendHotOut

  11. Awwwww omar so touched by ur piece… and sensei I totally get ur grind… 1000 likes ….. when such messages comes up in church, I simply just roll my eyes nd stare @ d pastor… when ever they wanna shout hallelujah mine would be the loudest… lol those things no longer bother me jawe…. I just cant deal. Life is too short… #lol @ ur remix though

  12. @kassy…hmmm how do you know all that you just ranted there….dont just write things for people to feel good about please evidence it!!!! PLEASE.

    @sensei…I so loved your comment and just like the Omar’s write up did me…I sobered up big time after reading yours. But…..how I would love to just believe and live with all what you just penned oh how I really would love dat!

    @pinky hmmm finally big ups to you as this blog seems to be more faith tolerant with this episode.

    • Lord you know nothing about spirituality.Assuming God talks to u it would have been easier.So let’us take it this way;God hates Homosexuality and probably destroyed sodom and Gomorrah for it and he still created us abi?why?? To also destroy us???think bro spirituality is not physics and chemistry or PH.D or by research only the spirit of the living God can reveal these truths to u,only when he discovers that u can be trusworthy about divine secrets.After so many tests .I was once like u CONFUSED until….Nevermind.

      • Kassy,the Scriptures are the immutable word of God. the only issues we have bothers on interpretations which can be influenced by culture or other biases. Sodom and Gomorrah was NEVER destroyed for homosexual practices but for wickedness. I agree with you on that but I must register here that I believe the scripture to be infallible. I have my proofs which is a result of many years of research

  13. @kassy, pls stop saying those awful things about the bible.Yes, it might be missinterpreted to an xtent buh it isn’t forged or manipulated abeg. I love God, i love my my life and i know where to bridge the gap. You mustn’t lie or over shoot another to make people feel good. Let’s say it is as it is: Gay was one of the main factors for the destruction of Sodom n bla bla bla, but after the destruction, God still went ahead n crested ‘ me’, so am damn f**king special. I have no time hating my life no matter what, I’m too busy loving my life n my one load guy in the senate.

    • Mydear its not ur fault.I was like u some months ago until by fervent meditation these truths were revealed.How can God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality and still went ahead to create us???? To also destroy us??? Ur so still in the CONFUSED stage;admit it .

      • @kassy am sorry but there’s still something worrisome about your blatant assertion of our origin as gays being from God! I can understand the question that begs to be answered on how did we become gays….because I still ask that question…..however, let’s start from there.

        Shouldn’t we be focusing on the word rather than trying to twerk it for.our own conscience sake. I mean if we know that there was a scriptural history of sodom and gomorrah shouldn’t that try or even hint at the fact that just maybe it wasn’t God who created us this way! Hmmm.

        But one thing I know is that God sure loves me and if he said in his word that a father cannot give his son snake for fish and stone for bread then by GOD he has already made a way out where there really is (looks so like it now) no way for me!

        Am still asking and searching! Oh but that’s just me!

        But suffice to say I am NOW FOUND IN HIS LOVE and that just does it for me. I have given HIM my life and am seeing what HE will do with it and how he will change it for his own GLORY not mine and I TRUST HIM..so it’s ONE DAY at time for me!

    • Sodom & Gomorrah wasn’t destroyed cos of homosexualism. It was destroyed cos of being inhospitable to visitors. Read that part of the bible again & stop depending on what you hear a man of God saying from the pulpit. Most of them were not properly trained

    • Low shuga,i hate to break it to you but the compilation of the bible organized by emperor Constantine was political. It was done like 300 years after the death of Christ. There were so many books purported to have been written by the apostles. How do you think they decided which books will make it & the ones to be discarded? And as for the discarded books,they are kept in the Vatican archives & no scholar is given permission to see their contents

  14. I hate how people are closed minded like that. I hear all the time that what I’m doing and what I feel is evil and wrong. For how can love and happiness be evil and wrong? Love is pure and true. Not evil.

  15. @gad u say RESEARCH??? Can u research the mind of God? Or His Holyspirit?if you are so proud of your research please can you kindly research about God’s activities throughout last wEek,even last night.Don’t be deceived the knowledge of God can’t be gotten by research but through a divine exposition of truths by His Holyspirit only on a certain level of trust.

    • I didn’t research on what God thinks @ a particular moment. That’s funny. One can take a study into the mind of God on a particular subject eg homosexuality using the Scriptures,history and the Torah as points of reference. The type of revelation you are claiming to have from God is ad hoc and it has been used and is still by many to manipulate since it’s authenticity is hard to ascertain. God,s revelation to man must agree with the scriptures.God doesn’t author confusion

  16. @gad stop threading on the part of unmistakable cloud of confusion.Your crude ignorance gives off such a loud alarm that even the least sane person can conclude that you are dwelling on a plinth of unalloyed and untramelled stupidity.The knowledge which you so try to always display is far from mediocrity.Learn to think before you assert a point .*flips newspaper in utmost disdain*.

    • @Kassy,Are u well? I don’t even know what you are talking about. Next time,respond under the current comment and try as much as you can to discipline yourself to dwell on the topic and not attack persons. Rather than allow my display of knowledge to give you nightmares simply give yourself to learning and I assure you, you might surpass me but if your case is a mental disorder as I’m suspecting, our own Sensei is here. Ever willing to help

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