Growing up hearing conver...

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Growing up hearing conver...








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Growing up hearing conversion stories, I'm familiar with the tropes; testimony is an important part of the Pentecostal tradition. Andrew told me he'd wanted his parents to notice the change in his heart and his actions, for their knowledge of his new faith to be organic. Though he didn't say this, I wondered: he'd been reading about Islam for years but it was a month before sharia law was outlawed in Oklahoma that he made the decision to convert. I can imagine myself in his place; spending a day in the Capitol, and 24 hours talking to passionate Muslims, and, especially, watching how they were treated by some - I had the urge to cast in my lot in some way. To wear a hijab in solidarity, to pray on me knees, shoes off, five times a day. I remember, coming out, there were similar but also conflicting feelings: wanting to defend others from harm, especially those gay men who stood out most, but also the knowledge that one reason I'd stayed closeted was because I didn't have any interest in defending myself. // Coming out is its own conversion. There are rituals, a community, a faith - in sex? Solidarity? Desire? I wanted to know nothing about gay history when I came out because I wanted to feel my own history for the first time. I wonder if some, converting to a new religion, feel the same, that their experience should stand outside ideology, outside of the past, other narratives, other contexts. For a gay man, the equivalent to laying out the prayer rug is unburdened desire. History, and religion, and faith: can they be outside desire?

#desire #faith #Islam #ritual #prayerrug #conversion #comingout #gay




thephatic, “Growing up hearing conver...,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed July 18, 2018,