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Mark Tobey (1890-1976),

famous artist, dedicated and devout Baha'i, was gay. His life and work were commemorated.. More

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The Faith is my life

I was born and raised in a Baha’i family in Malaysia. I am a 3rd generation Baha’i. I realized that I was different when I was about 13 years old. When I found out that I was attracted to someone of the same sex, my whole world came crashing down. I was devastated and heartbroken because I couldn’t accept the fact. I was scared. I grew up believing that homosexuality was a disease and can be cured.

Every day I prayed and asked God to make me normal. He seemed to answer all my other prayers except this one. I became confused. I cried a lot, sometimes crying myself to sleep. I asked God “why me?” but He never told me the reason. I had nowhere to turn or talk to.

Malaysia is multiracial and multi-religious nation. Homosexuality is deemed as a sin and punishable by law. People don’t discuss about homosexuality because it’s considered a taboo. This didn’t help me. I felt alienated. I felt disgusted with myself. I became severely depressed and even thought of ending my life a couple of times. The burden was just too heavy to carry.

Whenever I felt depressed, I turned to Baha’u’llah’s writings and I found comfort and solace in them. Day by day, the thought of ending my life vanished though I still couldn’t accept the fact that I am gay. I yearned to open up to somebody, to talk about my feelings without being judged, criticized or told that my very being is a distortion of human nature, a disease which can be cured through efforts and prayers. I tried praying it away, but God didn’t take it away from me.

After being in denial for about 10 years, I decided enough was enough. All my efforts to change did not yield any results. I concluded that God created me the way I am and He loves me for who I am. I accepted myself. From that very moment of acceptance, I felt the burden in my heart ease and I felt happier after all those years.

But even after accepting myself, I was scared. I was still alone with no one to talk to. I was worried about my future. I still wept a lot. I prayed to God to send me someone to talk to and He did. Somehow, I found Sean in Facebook. I opened up myself to him and he was monumental in helping me to fully embrace myself. He helped to find the courage within me to be true to myself. And because of him, I also found the courage to come out to 3 friends. He’s still a big source of encouragement and support in my life, even though I haven’t met him in person. I thank God for bringing Sean into my life.

Now, I am in the process of mustering courage to come out to my family and friends. I am tired of pretending and living a life of lie. It kills me every day. I just want to be me. As for the Baha’i Faith, it is still dear to my heart and will always be. For I know in my heart that, Baha’u’llah will accept me for who I am. As for the Faith’s view on homosexuality, it will change as time passes by. Our Faith is only 170 years old and it is still evolving and adapting. It took Christianity more than 2000 years to finally accept homosexuality, though not the entire Christendom. I have faith that someday the Faith will accept LGBTQ people under its banner.


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