From “Homosexuality is Halal – The Fatwa [Part 1 - Essay - Chapter 1]
Was I suffering from a demonic possession? Or was it the evil works of a dark spell? These were the questions that led to my exorcism-session in the Jordanian city of Aqaba in fall of 1999. The session was loosely organized by some family members and conducted by a Shiekh-exorcist. Having ventured unsuccessfully into all other possibilities in the hopes of ameliorating my predicament, the following was the most viable of explanations: either I had become possessed by demons or fallen victim to dark spells and witchcraft. The symptoms were clear: I was gaunt, desolate, sad, irritable, unable to keep up my schoolwork, and always in a state of isolation. Why else would I fail high school after having been the top student for almost all of my prior academic years?
I was born in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, in 1981 to a Muslim Palestinian family from Lifta, a small village on the north-west approaches of the Holy City of Jerusalem. From early on in my life, almost as soon as I became cognizant of my surroundings, I realized that I was intrinsically different; in particular, there seemed to be a clash between my biological male identity as a young child and what had been ingrained in me as the norm within our gender-social structure. I was attracted to feminine things regardless of being a boy and that was not “natural” and did not make sense. I remember the countless times when I “borrowed” my sister’s make-up and took it to the bathroom with me and put it on my face. I hated rough play and was not interested in aggression, streets, cars and sports. I favored tradition, it was a revelation of a latently natural and beautiful truth within my own existence that neither I nor those around me were in a position to understand. I was not able to share such behaviors with anyone either; a boy should never act like girls, talk like them, dress in their clothes, play with their dolls, or walk like they do. But the older I became the more I realized that there are serious contradictions and fallacies between what I was led to believe as “irrefutable” social truths and what I was innately feeling as a child who was different from those around me…….Continue Reading Chapter 1
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