Heidi Dietrich writes:
Gay Muslims, unable to turn to religious leaders, look for alternative support networks. Messages posted on Al-fatija, a support group and web site for gay Muslims, reveal the complexities of being gay and Muslim. ... Muslims feel obligated to marry and produce children. The traditional family structure emphasizes extended family, and Islam advocates populating the world with more Muslims. “The pressure builds because you’re supposed to extend this family,” said Ghalib Dhalla, a gay Muslim and author. “There’s a lot of cherished hopes that I can’t consummate.”
Some gays remain skeptical that Islam will ever accept homosexuality. Oakland resident A. Khan believes that gay Muslims are a bunch of hypocrites. Khan is gay, and while he was raised as a Muslim, he has denounced his faith. “Where in the Quoran does it say that it’s okay to suck dick but wrong to eat pork?” Khan said. “It’s just the usual bullshit you get from people trying to reconcile their homosexuality with spirituality.”
Khan grew up in Pakistan and came to the United States at age 22. He says that in Pakistan, sex among men is common, but they don’t label themselves as gay. As long as the men marry and have children -- fulfilling their duties -- they can sleep around on the side. ... Khan hasn’t told his parents that he’s gay or that he’s an atheist. He has no immediate plans to do so. When he confessed his sexual orientation to two educated friends in Pakistan, they were horrified. [AlterNet]
Both gays and atheists in the Muslim world must remain in the closet except to all but a few close friends, if they are lucky. Not even close family members can be entirely trusted to remain loving and respectful. Few people think that it’s worth the risk and hassle to “come out” to others about their sexuality or their thoughts on religion.