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Why gay web designer decided to ‘out’ himself August 10, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in English, Gay, Online/New Media.
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Why gay web designer decided to ‘out’ himself (The Times, Africa)

By Subashni Naidoo, Published:Aug 10, 2008

A Gauteng web designer has decided to break his silence about his homosexuality.

Naufal Khan, 27 of Sandton — the brains behind the Gay Desi section of the Indian lifestyle website http://www.indianspice.co.za — said his decision had been prompted by “overwhelming support” for gay and lesbian people worldwide.

Despite coming out of the closet, Khan says he hasn’t been able to utter the words “I am gay” to his parents.

“I think it would be too much for them to handle. Rather let it be unofficial, like every other Indian family. My mom knows I am gay, but my dad is not very accepting, nor are any of my family members,” he said.

“Being Indian was the first hurdle. The second was being Muslim. I really did not want the mullah factory on my heels, trying to make me see the light that my ‘affliction’ was curable.”

He urged the Muslim community and organisations to be more open-minded and welcoming to homosexuals.

“I find it sad that a few friends that I know are receiving counselling from moulanas about being gay. How about telling them that it’s okay and you will be fine?

“My cousin nearly choked on his meal when I told him I’m gay.”

He said his cousin’s response was: “I don’t agree with it, and Islam doesn’t as well.”

He said he had been inspired to “out” himself after reading Irshad Manji’s book The Trouble with Islam Today.

“I read it and I realised I could make a significant change to my life. I engaged in dialogue through the website, and the outcome was positive.

“In the past, the forced silence among homosexuals has led many to forgo coming out and opt for unhappy marriages instead. But the newer generation have been less silent and more proactive about their identity.”

Khan is in a monogamous relationship with his partner, Michael Rodrigues, who he says has been a pillar of strength through “many persecutions” by the Indian community.

“I still visit the mosque, I attend services at the Melrose temple, and I attend church as well with Michael. My thing is that God does not have a problem with me, so why should anyone else choose to treat me and fellow gay men and women differently.”

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