Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I’m a secretly gay woman but my parents want me to marry

Muslim woman in hijabSalaam all,

I have been looking everywhere for a solid answer to this but could not find any. To cut a long story short, I am gay, but my parents want me to marry a good man of their choosing. I would prefer to stay celibate. I don't think there is any safe way to avoid being married, without leaving home and cutting off ties with my family.

To clarify, they are not the types who had promised me to someone as a child and now can't break their word. They are not 100% insistent on a particular man, but they have some idea of what constitutes an eligible bachelor - and whenever such a bachelor's mother asks after me, they do everything they can to avoid letting the opportunity go. All of the typical things like "this is your last chance" and "we want to be finished with our responsibility" are said. My parents tell me these things not to persuade me to accept the proposal - my opinion on the matter is neither here nor there - but to get me to make more effort and to try harder to impress the potential and his family. Bring tea, look happy but not too happy, ashamed but not too ashamed, wear makeup but don't make it look like you're wearing makeup, seem educated but not too career-oriented. Etc. I get into a lot of trouble if I mess up, and the proposal is seen to have failed because of me.

I cannot say "no" because I think that would put me in a more difficult position and would make them use more force. They regularly hit me for more minor things, and I think straight-up saying "no" to their faces would be pretty major.

I see no benefit in "coming out", as my parents would really feel that I deserve to be killed for being in such a mindset, even if I am an ordinary practising Muslim and nobody would be able to guess that I am gay unless I told them. I don't think my parents would literally kill me, but I do think that they would take some drastic actions if they knew, like marrying me off even to an un-eligible bachelor or a married/divorced man.

I have looked at Western advice on the general theme of toxic and controlling parents, and the usual answer is to leave and cut off all ties - but that is not usually allowed in Islam. It is a big deal!

I can generally see two options:
- Get married and take birth control in secret and do whatever it takes to mentally numb myself to the fact that I find marriage repulsive.
- Lose my parents forever, spend the rest of my life feeling guilty that my mother will never forgive me, and venture into a world of financial insecurity and fear that my family will find me.

I can't see a way forward.

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33 Responses »

  1. Walaikum asalaam were you always non practicing? Have you ever been or feel inclined to be?

    • I did not mention anything about being non practicing. I wear hijab and I pray my fard and fast ramadan, and I have done that for many years starting when I was a teen. I am an average muslim.

  2. You need to talk to big scholors on your situation because we need to know this reason of feeling gay and it can be solved.Some people had were raised unislamically so phycologically the we're effected either physically or mentally not to mention black magic.There some women who take certain kind of pills to balance there harmones and they are married....So contact a sunni mufti..There is mufti MENK. other sites. Get as much as advice as possible.Remember this is your test .There is no room for homosexuality and you will loose your Iman. The prophet Muhammad has clearly stated in Hadith as well as the quran.For your parents it said that jannah is at the foot of your mom.You must serve and take care of them.But if they stop from practising Islam then you do not listen .otherwise obey them..In islam arrange marriage is not allowed this is culture.A women has the right to see and ask question about everything that you would like to ask.Remember the best among you have taqwa fear of Allah .that person is like gold . He will love and respect you and definately will not treat you as a sex object...So that's why we look for one that has Deen ..he is soft in words and kind !!

    • I will try to find more knowledgeable scholars to ask, but for now I am asking on here. It doesn't matter what is the reason for me being gay, only that I am not interested in any of the men my parents want. You cannot persuade me or give me "treatment" to make me become interested in a particular man.

      I didn't question that homosexuality is haram. I am only asking if I should live with the marriage or leave my parents. I didn't understand your advice. Are you saying that I should marry someone my parents choose as long as he is religious?

  3. Asslamualaikum,

    Dear Sister, I have read your post just now and this is a quick response. It might seem not serious. But just hear me out.

    I have read a recent post by a guy who says that he is gay and is scared. Do you think it would be ok for you to marry a muslim gay guy and live with him as friends. It will be good for both of you.

    I would suggest you to avoid marriage until you sort out your feelings. If you are gay you will not be able to take care of your husband emotionally and sexually. It will be sin for you. And then there will be arguments between you both because you couldn't satisfy him. And it will spoil both of your life.

    Once you will get married it will be your responsibility to satisfy your husband sexually and if you are gay then you will feel disgusted everytime he comes close to you.

    So I would advise to stay away from marriage until you are ready to marry.

    Another would be to marry a guy for the sake of your parents and then get divorced, then after that your parents wont force you much to get married again, or you can refuse marriage the next time. But I guess this would be unIslamic because you cannot marry with the intention of getting a divorce.

    Also, don't think of cutting of ties with your parents. It will affect your life after death. So try to handle the situation without cutting off ties from your family.

    May Allah make it easy for you.

    • wa alaikum assalaam

      Ameen to your duaa and may the same be for you. Thank you for taking the time to write back. You have some good ideas.

      I have considered the idea of having a marriage of convenience. I also think this is the best solution. I saw the question you are talking about. If I remember correctly, he said he is from India and as I said I am Arab. I have tried to find some groups online for LGBT muslims but unfortunately they have all been very bad environments with explicit things being spoken so I did not want to associate with those people. Even in a marriage of convenience, I have to trust the other person to have good morals and to fear Allah. Unfortunately, LGBT Muslims who behave Islamically are rare. It is even more difficult to find one from the same race and culture who may parents could ever consider. I also tried to go on muslim matchmaking websites and explain exactly what I was looking for, but every time I was banned by the Admins and my ad was deleted. I don't know why. The other issue with this idea is that my parents are looking for a very specific type of match, they want him to be from the same area back home and to have a good job etc. And it is not acceptable for a girl to suggest a match. So, for me to find one and then talk to him in secret and get him to speak to my parents, it's all very complicated and risky and the chances are very low. I will not give up - I will keep trying, but I have to keep my hopes realistic. I cannot sit and wait for a miracle, while my parents are setting me up with someone else.

      I know you advised me to stay away from marriage, and I have not done anything to come closer to marriage. I just don't have the physical strength or the money or resources to confront my parents if they do go ahead with a match. Even before I wrote this, I was engaged to someone my parents found but alhamdulillah the engagement was ended because of a simple problem with the man's visa.

      I don't know how I can get divorced. If I get married, then just ask the man to divorce me for no reason, is he likely to do that? I don't know many divorced women so I am not sure.

  4. You should get married and slowly develop interest in men. It may sound difficult to you but when you are determined , everything is possible. Get your thoughts off of gay etc, There's no such things as gay.

    • To the commenter: This is a bad idea. It will only end up hurting the man she marries.

      To the OP: I would suggest getting involved in heavy school studies or heavy job involvement or heavily involved in something neutral that would make it easier to avoid such marraige conversations until you are ready. The commenter was right on one thing though, there is NO such thing as "gay", so just wait out these feelings and turn off the media sources that have influenced you into this mindset. You are a good Muslimah alhamdulilah, so just get back to the basics of Islam and focus on yourself and Allah. Take it slow. Don't over-analyze people versus yourself. Then when you feel comfortable with yourself and men, either scope out a potential candidate for yourself or go to your parents for help. And don't rush it. Going from the "gay" mindset to straight is a touchy item, so don't let your parents pick just any stupid guy who won't understand you. Pick someone you can tell these thoughts to and joke about it with. Pick someone who will make you feel ultimatly stronger. Trust me it works 😉 same situation.

      • Salaam

        I don't have the option of "waiting it out", as I explained in my question. My parents have already found someone and if he rejects me, they will probably find another as soon as they can.

        Also, how does one go from being gay to straight? Do you have any methods that have any proven success?

        • No sister, you just have to be confident that gay is not who you are. Find some other strength and focus on making it your title, your moto, like being an excellent employee or an excellent Muslimah. You can always use Islam as the pure basis to pick men, and it will narrow down your parents' list of random men to very very select few.

          • I'm sorry but I prefer to call a spade a spade. I am not sure it is perfectly logical to pretend something doesn't exist just because it makes you uncomfortable. I've never claimed that "gay" is my title or motto, it is not written on my forehead... it is just one of many features like having black hair or blood type AB.

            My parents do not have a "list of random men", it's not eBay. There is only ever one potential husband at a time and I have no role in choosing who he is.

  5. Salam,

    The good news is that eventually your problem is going to be solved. If you delay marriage long enough you'll be left with guys that are impotent and you can only really be friends with them. In fact, right now you're an impotent guy's dream wife. You won't ask for services, you're not interested in giving services, just you know, have him be there and bring in some money and some small talk :).

    Hey if you want to get started now you might as well start having one on one talks with your suitors and let them you're not interested in a marriage with services nor will you provide any. See what happens, maybe some of them will say I'm interested in a girl that just cooks and lets me play video games/soccer/movies in peace.

    • Very strange advice.

      Wael Editor

      • I know, but I thought of multiple solutions and this one seemed most Islamic.

        If she comes out to her family and lets them know, some of them will think she's possessed and others will not believe her and think she can be cured. Worst case is what she said.

        She could lie about herself and claim she got aids through donating blood, or some other disease that doesn't sit well with prospective suitors and remain single that way. But with this solution she would have to lie.

        She could get married to a girl, but that doesn't work in Islam at all. Her test in this life is that she's gay and she can't be with the same gender.

        There's not a lot of options if her parents keep pushing while she's trying to be as honest as possible other than letting prospective suitors know she's not interested in the physical aspect of the relationship. Now, what kind of suitor would be ok with her not wanting a physical relationship? That's like a primary reason for a guy to get married, if he wanted to be friends with a girl he'd do that without paying a dowry. So that just leaves one set of guys that go for that, and they themselves do not want a physical relationship but want companionship.

        I forgot to say, if anyone has a better solution for her please write in.

        • The AIDs idea is not a crazy one. I have never thought of that. Perhaps there could be a way of leading the guy to suspect that I could have a disease, without me openly lying? I will have to think.

    • Salam

      This actually made me laugh, on an otherwise miserable topic. An MOC probably is the best option and someone who is impotent or LGBTA would be ideal. I have put up as many adverts online as I can for an MOC and haven't had much response yet. But I am involved now with someone that my parents have found, and I don't think I can discuss this with him before marriage, in the presence of family. We don't talk alone.

      • Salam

        Thanks for the response I hope things work out with you :). The other angle I thought of was to come out as being gay through body language but be adamant that you're not when asked. This way your parents would be the ones trying to convince you that you're gay and marriage isn't going to work out instead of you trying to convince them.

        To do this, you ask your prospective guy if he has sisters that you can meet before getting married. They come over and you just stare at them with love right in front of him. And he's able to tell you're interested in his sister but if he or your parents ask you just say you really liked her clothes and wish you had something similar.

        Later, you bring this picture of a really good looking girl to your mom and say wow she's so attractive, don't you think so mom? Your mom agrees. You then bring over a picture of a really attractive guy and say that you don't see why he's attractive at all. Your mom disagrees and wonders if you're gay. If she asks if you're gay you say no, you just haven't ever found an attractive guy yet but you're sure he's out there.

        I don't know what effect this would have in your family but to a general family they would think you're gay and you are in denial. They may then try to convince you that you're gay or maybe try to marry you off to a guy hoping that you'll change or perhaps avoid marriage for you. In any case they would know you're gay without you telling them :). To any prospective guy, he should pick up that you're more interested in the girls than the guys and make his decision appropriately.

  6. You're in a very tough and tricky position, the following will not be easy to hear;
    Don't give into the worldly temptations. We all wish we could act upon our emotions and temptations. But we need to remember why we're in this world.
    What is happening to you is all of shaitans plans. And if you think your in a big mess now this is just the start of his planning if only you knew how shifty he works to astray you and ruin you.
    I think you shouldn't be concerned about whether you should get married or not or cut ties with your parents.
    You should be concerned of how badly your confused emotions will ruin you. It has huge consequences in the long run.
    In the meantime I recommend you don't get married to anyone and work on fighting these feelings. I wish I could act upon my worldly desires but I know it will get me no where but severe depression and problems in this life and the hereafter.
    Imagine the following scenario deeply ( God Forbid);
    So you chose to follow your worldly desires of being with a woman think of how badly the sin will impact you eternally. Imagine your parents bad dua and curses were accepted and you fell very I'll and did not have the money to survive it. Or imagine right after your decided upon the wrong and evil decision that soon after your life ended. Many things could go wrong. You cannot guarantee that evil temptations caused by shaitans will satisfy and guarantee you a happy life. Imagine being old one day and not having family or kids or grandchildren or a husband as company. God Forbid.

    We're all struggling but we need to remember why were here in the first place.

    Your very blessed because you have potential of having a life many wish for. Your healthy your parents love you. It may seem unfortunate being born in culturally strict families but it is what Allah has given us and we need to learn to appreciate and not be selfish and throw it away or cut ties with those that raised us.
    Your very blessed because your a Muslim and a practicing one I would hate to be that Jenner dude/woman he will probably never discover the truth. Eternal damnation.

    I hope it makes sense been typing without reviewing.

    May Allah Bless you Guide you and bring you happiness ameen

    • "I think you shouldn't be concerned about whether you should get married or not or cut ties with your parents."
      "In the meantime I recommend you don't get married to anyone."
      "Imagine your parents bad dua and curses were accepted and you fell very ill and did not have the money to survive it. "
      "...been typing without reviewing."

      You have definitely been typing without reviewing. Thanks for your time.

      May Allah bless you and guide you also.

  7. OP: ........ Get married and take birth control in secret and do whatever it takes to mentally numb myself to the fact that I find marriage repulsive.

    You are willing to live with a guy and have sex (with birth control) with him. What exactly do you find repulsive about marriage? Can you make a list of things that bother you about marriage?

    • I find men's bodies repulsive.

      • AnotherArabGirl: I find men's body repulsive.

        You mentioned before you are willing to live with a guy and have sex (with birth control) with him. If you find a man's body repulsive with or without birth control will not make a difference, just being in bed will be a torture for you.

        Are you bothered when you see men when you go out in public? When was the first time you felt that you don't like men and are repulsed by man body. I am Just curious. Did you had very bad experiences with men while growing up.


        • I didn't mean that I was willing. I just said that I only see two options. And I cannot allow children to be involved as that makes the divorce 100x more complicated and I think I am too depressed to take care of any children.

          In answer to your questions: no, I don't know, no. And none of these things make a difference right now.

  8. Please contact me. I m in the closest as well.. i am a muslim man. I do want to marry n love a woman but i cannot lie myself that i dont have desire towards woman. Perhaps we can help each other in sha Allah.. this is really tough but i pray that someday i ll get to marry a muslim woman n spend great times together without having an intercourse. Tq

  9. Salam AnotherArabGirl,

    So what happened with the last suitor? What happens if you drop hints about being gay? Like maybe watch a gay parade with enthusiasm, do you think they would eventually understand and drop the marriage plans?

    • We recently got officially engaged but I am trying to push the wedding back to next summer at least. I did the STI thing but he just completely brushed it off, as we should be having a blood test anyway.

      • Now that you're engaged are you allowed to talk to him? Can you tell him that you find the male body repulsive and won't be able to fufill certain wife duties? I think he should know, preferably before a big wedding and people showing up and this going on further.

        • No, we only talk in front of my Dad. I wouldn't say that kind of stuff in front of him if I want to avoid injury...
          It is a strange time being engaged. I have been reading a lot of self-help websites on anxiety. On the one hand, my life is quite OK right now and I should enjoy the moment, on the other it seems stupid not to worry about the future.

          • I would've thought that your fiance would've picked up on the indifference from you.

            On the plus side I expect this to get resolved eventually. I mean your dad can't be there post marriage can he?

            On the ride home after the wedding you just have to pass him a "So you're wife is gay. Dealing Islamically with the circumstances." book. I don't know if such a book is written but you could write one if there isn't one :). Or maybe just talk it out afterwards instead of doing a book.

            Outside of that there must be something you can say to him that only he would pick up even in the presence of your dad. Like some movie recommendation where the guy marries a girl and finds out she's not into guys. Well either way, good luck. Nice hearing from you again. Salam.

    • M: So what happened with the last suitor? What happens if you drop hints about being gay? Like maybe watch a gay parade with enthusiasm, do you think they would eventually understand and drop the marriage plans?

      Why indirectly trying to prove she is a lesbian, why not directly tell her parents she is a lesbian or is repelled by a man's body?

      Dropping hints may lead the information to parents. Boy or his family may insult parents why they did not tell them their daughter is gay. So for every suitor she will have to be lie.

      Better to tell the truth one time, then lie 10 times

      • its seems like your parents however overbearing they seem, are trying to do right by you, and ensure that you have someone to look after you before they pass, which is a noble thing.

        if you feel that you could not do you duty as a wife towards any man, then you should not get married, not only will you cause yourself hardship, but you will be destroying the life of another, so you marry this man or another, and your parents 'get off your back' so too speak, do you really think it is fair on yourself given what you have mentioned, or fair on the man in question, that you deprive him, of children? or a fulfilling relationship, emotionally, sexually, psychologically, perhaps a man who has safeguarded himself from Haram, and is excitedly waited for marriage only to marry someone who is by default already disgusted with him? that is very very unjust sister, unjust on yourself and moreso on the man,

        if you feel that it is best for you to remain unmarried, and you will be able to maintain your chastity single, then you need to speak up, you do not have to reveal how you feel to anyone, Allah knows why, but you do need to have more mercy with yourself and with these suitors, who you are frankly wasting the time and feelings of.

        Even if your parents kick you out, this will be their sin not yours, you only sever ties with your family if you actually sever ties, even if they throw you out of the home, you can still at least attempt to communicate/contact with family, if they reject then they reject, this would not be of your doing, and perhaps you will find they will not do so anyway, perhaps they will be angry for a long while with you, but whats worse? marrying someone and destroying their life, and being questioned about that on the day of judgement or your parents being angry with you?
        your situation aside if anyone feels they can not live honorably with a spouse they should not be married, you should not get married to conceal your feelings because you are being hounded that you are of marriageable age.

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