I am an Indian Muslim guy brought up in a strictly traditional family. I've had a friend since my childhood with whom I've had a relationship beyond any boundaries. I'm a deep in the closet bisexual. The problem is I really love my friend so much. And I think he, too, loves me. He lives in a different city, but we talk every day for like an hour. We talk about all sorts of stuff, even the most intimate of it, like shaving my anus and things like that. I've said, “I love you”' to him many times, and he, too, replied the same. Once he even said that I'm his soul mate.
Many people here mock that we are gay, but we never listened to them. But neither of us had ever explicitly said that we love each other like lovers, although we have said that stuff many times as if we are joking. We even have virtual sex through messaging, but we act always as if we are just kidding.
We have never had sexual activity. I used to rub him while he sleeps with me, and he doesn't mind it, but he never initiates it. I checked his underwear while he went for a bath and found semen marks on it after I was rubbing him.
I know I sound kinda really confused, but that's what I am. I can’t make it out that what shall I do? I want him to embrace me fully, but I can’t decide whether he is homosexual, or, if he is, then does he want to open up to me or not!!?
Dead Inside (age 22, New Delhi)
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Dear Dead Inside,
You say that you are a Muslim from a devout family, but you never say from what religious background your friend comes. I am going to assume that he is also a Muslim, since it is a bit more likely that you met him among other Muslims than, say, among a group of Sikhs or Buddhists or Hindus.
I’m sure you are very aware what the Qur’an says about homosexuality and that it is even more frowned upon in Muslim countries and communities than it is here in the United States. Therefore, I’m guessing that your friend’s family is not okay with his being gay (if they knew). Secondly, India is showing itself to be anti-gay as a nation. As I’m sure you’re aware, last December India’s Supreme Court ruled that gay sex is a crime punishable by 10 years in prison (what a disappointment for the largest democracy in the world to say that).
Based on what you told me, your friend is attracted to you both emotionally and sexually. However, my guess is he is terrified to let that show. He’s terrified of what his family will do and what his country’s law enforcement might do to him, so he is scared to be open about it with you.
Even though you have known him since childhood, perhaps part of the problem could be that he is afraid that you might say something to get him into trouble—however unintentionally—if he confesses love for you. In order for you to get him to relax, he must have 100% trust in you that you will keep this a secret. Perhaps you can establish a pact of some kind, entrusting him that you will in no way cause him harm or worry and that.
This is a very delicate and unenviable position you are in. It’s bad enough being gay in a place like the United States; I can’t imagine how tense it must be for a gay Muslim man in India.
I hope, at least, that my words will make you less confused. My instincts say he is, indeed, gay, but he feels he can’t open up because he is so fearful. The best you can do at this time is try to alleviate that fear as much as possible by showing yourself to be worthy of his complete and absolute trust.
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