Lina & Hazar: A Story of Family, Faith and #Pride

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Lina: So for me my initial reaction… was, “Well, she thinks she’s a lesbian,
but she’s not really a lesbian.” And… I also felt that she was very selfish
because it was… something that definitely hurts my mom
a lot, and so I blamed her for being selfish a lot and
I wasn’t okay with it at all. And as I started leaving Islam it wasn’t
an overnight change, like I was still– even though I was accepting and loving
towards other gays, like whatever you can do
whatever you want, it doesn’t bother me. Your life is your life. But this was my sister, and so it was
different. And it took me a couple of years to
become more okay with it and realize that actually I was the one
who was being selfish. Once I started understanding it more from
her side and talking to her about her experience I realized how much internal struggle she
was going through and I really regretted not being there
for her and I really regretted pushing her away,
and… you know, blaming her for a lot of our
family situation, I guess. Hazar: Later on, as early as one realizes that
they like other people I knew I was attracted to girls. At first, um… I mean it just made me feel like there
was something wrong with me. And from a young age I thought, you
know, I’m a bad person. I’m going to go to hell. Growing up I experienced the most amount
of depression I had ever experienced. Sometime before the age of 10 I went
through a suicidal phase. I was terrified of actually being too
serious about it so I never really attempted anything but that’s how depressed and lonely I was
because I knew… implicitly that those are things I can’t talk
about. It’s interesting, but once I found love and I for the first time I felt like… that’s what I want my life
to be about. And that’s when I was like… you know I’m done feeling like… I’m a bad person and I’m going to go to
hell because this is more spiritual than anything
I’ve ever experienced before. So I remember thinking about, uh, well
where did God come from? If God created the universe where did
God come from? It seems like… it’s redundant. If you don’t need anything for God to
exist then why do we need for the universe
to exist? And I remember asking mom that,
and she said… “Thinking about stuff like that is fitna
because it gives a chance for the shaitan- for the devil to kind of, uh… Lina: play with your head. Hazar: Yeah, play with your head. and those are not things that you
should think about. Lina: It was actually– It’s difficult
for both sides. It’s difficult for the person leaving
Islam. but it’s also difficult for the family
members. I was on the other side, I… you know, would comfort my mom. We
would cry together, and… talk about it together and whatever, so
it was It’s definitely not easy, it’s just… unfortunate that not enough communication
goes on between the two parties because at the end of the day we all want
the same thing. We all love each other and we all want to be there for each other and support each
other. Hazar: when my parents did find out that I
was gay they became even more controlling. And, uh, I was definitely, at that point
I wasn’t going to deal with that. So I moved out. It was kind of sudden… but my mom loves me so much, so a couple
weeks later we reconnected. It’s been a rocky road in terms of my
relationship with my families. Everyone once in awhile… you know, someone will stop talking to
me as a result of being ‘too out.’ Lina: we’re still trying to push
boundaries little-by-little but we’ve come a long way, and… as a result our mom has evolved a lot like I have to give her credit, you know,
the person she was 15 years ago is completely different than the person
she is today. She’s really opened up a lot and accepted
us a lot more than she ever would have. The quality of my life definitely has
changed drastically from the time I was a Muslim to today. I feel like the phase of my life where I
left Islam was when my life truly started. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of freedom
and independence, and I… am so grateful that I get to make the
decisions I get to make and live the life that I currently live. The quality definitely improved and I feel
a lot more fulfilled as a person in the past 8 years that I’ve been an
atheist vs. the time when I was– Hazar: I just realized how important it
is to not be a follower because… accepting what others tell you makes
you a sheep, and we were given– You know that was the biggest conflict
for me. We were taught that God gave us a brain
to think but yet I was constantly told to believe
what I was told. So I was like, okay, if God gave me a
brain to think then I should be able to explore my own
beliefs. Lina: And that kind of paved the way for
me. It was– I mean obviously I’m easier, I’m
only an atheist, not also gay, which is… She’s all over the place, uh… but it definitely… It definitely paved the way for me because
it made me realize that, hey if you set your foot down and actually
demand what you want… you’re more likely to get it than if you
don’t ask for it at all.


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