Queer Social Anxiety

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve blogged… I would check the date of the last post but I may lose my train of thought and it’s not that important. I’ve been mulling over whether or not to write this post for a while and yesterday I was approached by an initiative asking me to write a blog for them. Now, this initiative is one I’ve been following since last year and it’s such an awesome idea. I can’t say what at the moment because I want to leave it a surprise and give it that momento for the right time of the year. That’s the only clue I’m going to give you. I know it’s not much but I’m useless at clues and end up giving too much away.

So this initiative is following my blog and have been interested in it for a while. People seem to be really digging the whole being open about my sexuality, religion and culture. There certainly is welcomed curiosity particularly from people of my own culture and religion and it’s great because it means we can have conversations that they may never have had before generally I am the first Muslim who’s part of the LGBTQI community they’ve ever met.

So this initiative, one of the suggestions they questions out because it will give away who the initiative is and what the blog series is gonna be around. My umming and ahhing of whether to write my long awaited post fits into this perfectly.

[If the initiative is reading this, don’t worry, I have an excellent part 2 blog post to follow up – or maybe something completely different!]

I feel like I’m having to brace myself to write this which is my intro is 3 paragraphs long… You know what? Let’s just do this.

*deeply inhales*

I have mental health. We all have a state of mental health, whether that’s good, bad or just there, we have it. For readers of my blog you may have read previous posts of my past struggles of reconciling my sexuality and religion. Recently, I’ve begun to realise just how much anxiety I have in certain spaces. Before I came out, in certain spaces I would have to judge each and every situation, event, groups of people to ascertain whether or not it would be safe to come out. When you’re doing this for years it quickly gets very tiring and you always feel like you’re en-garde all of the fricking time. Nowadays, I’ve dealt with my internalised racism and homophobia and I don’t do this as much as I used to. Whether I like to admit this or not I feel like there’s always gonna be a sense of heightened awareness for my own safety.

These thoughts have turned from ‘shit, do they know I’m gay?’ into ‘I wonder if the people in my life who claim to care for me and love me would still do so if they found out that I’m queer.’

I’m not really sure what triggered me into thinking this but yeah, there you go. I feel like it’s some messed up self-hate loathing type of thing. I mean, I know it’s not – I am proud of the things I have accomplished and the person who I am but I still can’t shake the feeling that this recent thinking fits into that self-loathing/self-hate cycle. The people whom I think this of, we have fairly close relationships and can have a laugh and a joke but I still find myself wondering. It’s almost as if I’m wondering in this sort of way – ‘would they still love me even though I’m doing this huge sin? Or rather, what they deem to be as sinful?’ That said, we’ve never had a conversation around religion and sexual orientation so I don’t really know how they feel. I’m making assumptions and this upsets me too.

I feel like my anxiety has shifted from worrying if people find out about my sexual orientation to wondering if they would still feel the same about m if they knew. What sucks more is that my therapist has gone on holiday for a couple of weeks. It’s interesting that I’ve turned to blogging though as my first port of call.

Any would-be therapists out there? Okay, joking aside, have you ever felt like this? Maybe not in terms of religion and sexuality but with something else? Wondering if people who are close to you would still love you if they knew the ‘real’ you? It’s not to say that displaying my sexuality with a tattoo on my forehead is the ‘real’ me but rather the whole me, if that makes sense?



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