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Thu Jun 24, 2021, 12:56 PM

'How I Lost And Found My Muslim Faith--And Accepted My Queerness Along The Way'

Sex has always been on my mind. As a child, I thought of it constantly and abstractly, not fully understanding what it was.

By age 10, I had breasts and a robust a**. As a South Asian, Muslim child raised in a predominantly white neighborhood in Sydney, I felt like I stuck out. Adults commented on my figure. Children I played with touched me inappropriately—one even pinched my nipple through my shirt.

At the time, I was also being sexually abused by a woman who I trusted—though I didn’t realize the inappropriateness of those encounters until much later in life. Whether at home, or on the street, my body experienced constant harassment.

Because I was raised Muslim, I knew the importance of modesty. I felt extreme shame about not being modest and thinking about sex. I was too young to connect the abuse I was suffering to my state of confusion about my own body, or my desires. I felt like I had a flaw and that I needed to ask for penance. So, in private moments, I asked Allah not to punish me for being so sexual.

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