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I don’t want to be a lesbian but I might not have a choice. What am I going to do? I feel like I don’t know anything anymore. My name is Halima Hussein and I am a young Black woman of Somali descent living in the City of Ottawa, Ontario. If you saw me walking around wearing my long skirt and hijab, with my Koran tucked under my arm, you’d assume I was just another Muslim gal living in the Capital. And you’d be wrong. I’m not your average ordinary Muslim chick. Hell, I’m not your average ordinary anything. I am only me.
Three months ago my parents, Abdullah and Fatima Hussein of Orleans, Ontario, kicked me out after finding out that I am a lesbian. They found my blog, where I expose my innermost thoughts under the moniker SingleSomaliDyke1989. Who knew that my computer illiterate parents would follow the link I posted on my Twitter and find my little online lair? Damn. When it rains it frigging pours, eh? Life hasn’t been the same since that day, as you can imagine. I went to stay at my friend Amina Khalid’s house. She lives alone in an apartment near Baseline Road and studies economics at the University of Ottawa. We’ve been friends for a long time and she’s always had my back.
After getting my bearings, I began to try to make it in the world as best I could. I got myself a job working as a cashier at Wal-Mart and continued going to school. I’m in my third year at Carleton University, where I study criminology. After three weeks together, Amina and I were honestly starting to get on each other’s nerves. Sharing a one-bedroom apartment can test even the strongest of friendships. You know us females and our need for our space. That’s why I moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the Overbrook area.
Vanier is by far the cheapest area of metropolitan Ottawa so I figured I’d stay there for a bit. Slowly, I began rebuilding my life. Job? Check. Apartment? Check. Still in school? Definitely. Still confused about my sexuality? Nope, not really. I am one hundred percent sure that I am a lesbian. I just don’t want to be a dyke. I’m a Muslim woman, dammit. Being a lesbian and a Muslim don’t fly where I come from! Lucky for me I was born and raised in Canada. Had I been living in Somalia I would be a dead woman. In Islamic countries it’s not okay to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. I’ve heard stories about gay Somali men and lesbians getting stoned by angry crowds in the streets of Mogadishu. As much as I love my Somali people we’re not really a tolerant bunch. I don’t know who’s more persecuted in Somali communities, the gays and lesbians or the growing Somali Christian minority. It’s not easy to be me, for real.
Honestly, I tried my best to forget about my forbidden sexual feelings for women. Being a Somali lesbian at Carleton University isn’t easy. Everywhere I look I see hot women. Tall, flirty white girls with blonde hair and blue eyes clad in tank tops and miniskirts, defying the cold September weather. Big-booty Jamaican girls in booty shorts and sweatshirts, strutting their stuff up and down the quads. Nerdy Asian girls with doe-like eyes and slender bodies. Arab girls who wore their hijabs, tight shirts and super-tight jeans that showed off their curvy forms. Oh my Gosh, how’s a Muslim lesbian like me supposed to get any studying done? Temptation is everywhere I frigging look!
Yeah, I decided to focus on school and work and forget about all things related to my emerging lesbianism. It wasn’t easy. Especially after I met a unicorn. Remember what I said about LGBT casino siteleri Somalis and Somali Christians being the most persecuted group among my people? I wasn’t kidding about that. One day, while waiting for a bus at the Rideau Shopping Center, I saw a really pretty young Black woman. you should have seen her. A vision of beauty, for real! Almost six feet tall and absolutely sexy, with a curvy body, thick legs and a big round ass. With her caramel skin, long curly Black hair and almond-shaped golden brown eyes, she was something else. Hot tamale, I liked what I saw!
I’m only five-foot-three, and I’m mad short with no tits and no ass, though I’m told I’ve got a pretty face. I’m really into tall, thick girls with big butts. The exact opposite of me attracts me. I had to check out this gorgeous gal, and I did so in the discrete manner of lesbians everywhere. I must have gawked without noticing it because she looked at me and smiled coyly. Once our eyes met, and my heart skipped a beat, I knew I was mesmerized. And there was a strong chance this broad might be a member of the same club I so reluctantly join. The Global Sisterhood of Women Who Love Women. I ended up sitting next to Miss Pretty on this crowded bus leaving downtown for Vanier. I thought she was Somali judging by her features but once I saw the silver cross hanging around her neck, I assumed she was Ethiopian or Eritrean or something. Imagine my surprise when she addressed me in Somali and asked me how I was doing. What the fuck?
The beautiful young woman smiled and introduced herself as Maryam Ibrahim. Hello sister, she said evenly. I glared at her. A Somali chick wearing a cross. What the fuck? As if she could read my mind, Maryam told me she was indeed Somali and a Christian. I’m Alia, I said, hesitantly shaking her hand. Understand that among my people, tolerance for sexual minorities and religious minorities doesn’t exist. In Somalia, if you’re not Muslim, your life is forfeit. We live under Islamic law. Any Somali man or Somali woman who leaves Islam for another religion must be killed according to Sharia Law. The punishment for Apostasy is an important part of the noble Koran, all Muslims know this.
I had so many questions for Maryam Ibrahim. Even though we’re in Canada, lots of Muslims are insane enough to go after ex-Muslims who join the ranks of Christianity. Why was Maryam so bold about her faith? Also, I was also burning to ask her if she was…like me, a woman who loves women? Add me on Facebook, she said, gently touching my shoulder as she got off on Montreal Road. I watched her go. Damn, that ass of hers looked hot. I pulled out my phone and searched her online. I quickly found her, and sent her a friend request on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when she added me five minutes later. I got off the bus two stops after my place but I wasn’t mad. I was excited about the pretty new gal I just met.
That night, Maryam and I exchanged numbers and spent ninety six minutes on the phone. I was truly surprised at myself for speaking to this young woman I just met about all the topics dearest to me, from my Muslim faith which I question daily, to my emerging lesbianism and the family that shunned me. Maryam told me a bit about herself as well. Her father, Amir Ibrahim, was born in Somalia to a Moroccan father and Somali mother. Amir studied at Brunel University in London, England, and was exposed to Christianity during a Catechism course he took as an easy elective. In spite of rejection canlı casino and death threats from his family, Amir Ibrahim ended up converting to Christianity and becoming a citizen of the United Kingdom. While volunteering at a shelter for homeless and abused women, Amir met a Somali refugee named Fatoumatta Osman, who ended up converting to Christianity and marrying him. The two of them became the parents of Maryam and her brother Joseph. Wow, what an interesting and epic story. I had to hear more!
That night I didn’t get much sleep. I just browsed through Maryam’s Facebook, doing the creep thing. Yes, chicks can be online creeps too. Don’t like it? Sue my flat Somali ass! I must say, I liked what I saw. Shots of Maryam on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean with her father, mother and older brother. Pictures of her with a cute blonde-haired white chick. Shots of her holding a rainbow flag and participating at a march with friends. I was thrilled to discover these things, as you can imagine. Maryam isn’t just queer, she’s out and proud. Wow. I watched her profile, mesmerized, until dawn. I left the house with a big smile on my face. I had to see that woman again!
I texted Maryam and asked her to go see a movie with me. She was just getting out of her accounting and management class at Algonquin College so I guess I called at the right time. Riddick was playing at the Silver City movie theater in the east end of Ottawa and since it’s a Tuesday it’s cheaper. I was thrilled when Maryam answered and told me that she was totally down with that. Vin Diesel rocks, she said. I smiled, for I totally agreed. Vin Diesel is one hot dude. Hell, I’m a lesbian and I can see that he’s hot. I still love women, though. I went to the movie theater and waited for Maryam. About five minutes before the movie started she showed up, looking sexy in a red tank top and blue miniskirt showing off those fabulously sexy legs of hers, and that thick round ass. This chick has Somali and Moroccan in her and it’s a beautiful blend, let me tell you!
Maryam and I sat together and watched the movie. Good flick, though I didn’t really pay attention. Maryam went all girly on me as we watched the scenes where Riddick battles the alien monsters and I was more than happy to hug her, as you can imagine. By the time the movie ended we were cuddling. Just two Somali girls in a movie theater, one of us wearing a Hijab and one of us wearing a silver cross. Hugging it out. Sweet, isn’t it? After the movie we went to grab a bite at the Blair shopping center. We ate some delicious Arab food, and sat down and talked. As you can probably guess, I wanted to know more about this young woman I found myself so fascinated by.
Maryam told me that life wasn’t a bed of roses for her and her family. Since her father was out there advocating on behalf of Christian minorities oppressed in places like Somalia, Syria, Egypt and other majority Muslim nations where Christianity was slowly rising, her family often had to move due to death threats. I lent her a sympathetic ear as she told me about how her family was nearly killed by some radical Islamists when her father went to Cairo to help some Coptic Christians escape to the West during the rise of Egypt’s recently deposed Islamist tyrant, President Morsi. I am so sorry, I said, and meant it. Maryam sniffed, and I gently hugged her. For someone so tall and strong, she was surprisingly vulnerable. That kind of pulled me to her.
I looked into Maryam’s eyes, kaçak casino and saw tears pearling in them. Don’t cry, I said, and suddenly, our faces were very close. It’s been so lonely for me, she said. Don’t fret my sweetie I’m here, I said, taking her beautiful face in my hands. Then I kissed her. It was a long, deep and passionate kiss. Maryam looked at me, and told me that if she had any idea that Somali Muslim girls moved as fast as me she would have tried one a long time ago. I’m one of a kind, I said, as I kissed her again. When we came up for air, Maryam grinned and gave my ass a squeeze under the table. I like them freaky, she said naughtily. I sat up with a jolt. Me too, I said with a shrug.
I looked up, to see that women and men walking through the Blair shopping center were looking at Maryam and I. clearly they weren’t used to seeing young Black women making out, especially when one of us wears the Hijab. Instantly I felt uncomfortable. Muslim women like myself are taught to be discrete from day one. Modesty and piety are pillars of a Muslim female’s life. Let’s leave this spot, Maryam said, and she stood up, holding her hand out to me. I hesitated. People were watching, I hadn’t noticed before but I definitely realized that now. I looked into Maryam’s eyes. Gone was the meek young woman whom I comforted moments ago. She looked strong, decisive and totally awesome. Like a woman who’s sure of herself. I’m down with that, I said with a grin. Then I clasped her hand in mine, gave her a quick peck on the lips and walked out of the mall with her.
Thus I met the young woman destined to change my life forever. Maryam Ibrahim turned out to be just what I needed, and then some. With her by my side, I discovered that I was stronger than I ever thought that I could be. The first time we made love is an experience I’ll never forget. I am definitely one hundred percent lesbian, my Somali culture and the rules of Islam be damned. I am a woman who loves women. I’ve begun to come out to friends at school, and while many were close-minded and shunned me, quite a few were cool and open-minded. It’s times like these that test your character and show you what those closest to you are made of, I think.
These days, I no longer go to mosque or wear the Hijab. I still believe in God, though I’ve come to realize that Islam, with its rules against gays, lesbians and the rights of women, simply isn’t even for me. I’ve started going to church with Maryam, and I like it. The preacher at the church we attend is a gay Black woman from Jamaica married to a white lady from Winnipeg. How about that? Maryam and I aren’t so alone anymore. There is a vibrant Black lesbian community in Ontario and Maryam and I are very much involved in it. I know there are tons of Somali women who are lesbians. I wish them the best, for I know what it’s like to be torn between following cultural and religious tradition and giving into your own desires.
In this world of complex issues and controversies, sometimes it’s necessary to take a stand. Let people know who you are, what you are and what you believe. I have these answers I’ve long sought now. I am a Somali Christian woman and a proud lesbian. It’s not easy to be but I think that I manage just fine. Many Muslims reading this will condemn me endlessly but I don’t care. I follow the Teachings of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I know that Jesus Christ wouldn’t approve of anyone who kills women or gays for wanting their fundamental human rights. Just like he wouldn’t approve of racism or colonialism. For he is the prince of peace and the Messenger of God. I have found the true religion of peace…as a liberal-minded, ex-Muslim ( and proud ) Somali-Canadian Christian lesbian woman. Amen.
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