I was speaking with a dopey young Muslim called Mo[hammed] a few weeks ago about women - he instigated the discussion, not me. He was asking me the sort of questions you might expect from a sex maniac; what kind of women I was attracted to, what I look for in women, etc. I am loath to tell anybody about my suffering from sexual perversion; it is my wont neither to confirm nor deny. (Of course, there are people aware of my being queer - usually people who ask). I was telling him such things as "women are the ruin of young men," and "I don't particularly care for women," but he wasn't getting it. Well it transpired that he found out from somebody else about my being queer. He apologised unreservedly if he had offended me. You see, after the discussion about women he moved onto homosexuality and how, in Islam, homosexuality is a damnable sin (much like Christianity) and that if he had a homosexual son he would probably kill him.
I didn't particularly care for his apology because of his confusion. He seemed to think that being homosexual was in the mind, that you "believe in it." What on earth does that mean? In reality, you can only speak of actions as being homosexual and repeated, habitual actions lead to a homosexual lifestyle - a lifestyle which I do not live. As for his comment that my "belief" in homosexuality had no bearing on our "friendship," that was probably his fear that I might have him disciplined for homophobia coming out. Of course now that he knows about it he avoids me like a leper - how sad. Equally sad, and distasteful, is people's obsession with knowing. It starts with "do you have a girlfriend?" or "are you married?" Then, after more questions, to put their minds at rest one is perforce to admit "I'm actually gay..." This is by no means a gratifying admission. Then comes the assumption that you regularly visit gay bars, that you are in a civil partnership, that you are politically liberal, that you don't practise any religion, etc. Later, from people with no qualms at all, comes questions about what rôle you take in bed! To a young man who asked me that recently I said: "I will not tell you that. For as long as you know me that will be an unsolved riddle in your mind."
I guess this is one reason I get along with the elderly much more than I do so with my own generation.