A brilliant comparison to counter homophobes

A gay Muslim man is going through conversion therapy, when an idea comes to him.

“After deciding against suicide, I decided to change my sexual orientation,” says Khaled. “I started reading articles on the internet, successful stories about people who managed to turn straight. I realized that I needed a professional help, so I started my journey with therapy, psychiatrists, and physiologists. Horrible experience in the Arab world.” Mainly because their general approach seemed to be less “pray the gay away” and more “shame the gay away.” Khaled explains: “Most of them make you feel guilty, and that you are not a good Muslim … Some of them treated me in a bad way, as if I’m disgusting, though some of them felt sorry for me … The last one was horrible. He used to give me exercises of watching naked women and [masturbating]. It was awful, I used to cry every time I did that.”

Finally, after all the humiliation, Khaled had an epiphany. “At the end, and in the last session with him, I asked him ‘What is the fruit you hate the most, and can’t eat?’ He said ‘banana.’ I asked him … ‘What is the one you love the most?’ He said ‘mango.’ I said to him, ‘If you can change, and love bananas and hate mango in three months, I will continue with the sessions.’ Of course, he answered that it is impossible, and that’s when I became totally OK with my sexuality … God is fair, he won’t punish me for something I didn’t choose. Being gay is part of my life.”

It’s a great story, but there’s one unfortunate thing about it. I asked myself, how can you possibly hate bananas? And then I asked myself, how can you hate mangos? And then I realized that I must be bi.


  1. Ed Seedhouse says

    My kidneys can’t handle pottasium very well, so fruits with a lot of it are dangerous for me. Which makes me love and want the forbidden banana even more!

  2. woozy says

    There’s a second person on the planet who hates bananas?

    Most people get very angry at me for hating bananas. Which is weird because they are very proud of themselves for hating peas or lamb or other acceptable to hate food.

    I’ve met people who said they’d be tolerant of my hating bananas if I’d also hate pineapples and other tropical fruit, or if I’d also hate avocado and other soft fruits.


    Although there are many foods I do not particularly like. Bananas are the only food I hate and utterly despise.

  3. cartomancer says

    Maybe we should hook up Khaled’s “psychiatrist” with Brian Wansink. He seems to have some highly profitable ideas about getting people to like fruit. Call them X-ray vision bananas perhaps?

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    My kids raced right through any possible “bi” phase and raced right into profligate, promiscuous, poly-frugivory.

    Right now, we’ve got mango chunks in the freezer, bananas on the counter, avocados & nectarines ripening on the window sill, some apples on the table, more avocados, more apples, two kinds of berries, some black plums, a ton of cucumbers, some zucchini, and 3 pounds of mandarines in the fridge. Oh, plus a frozen berry mix in the freezer, but it overlaps with the two kinds of berries in the fridge, so only 4 berry types total.

    Then, of course, we have our annual, traditional, almost-required-by-provincial-law British Columbian stash of 40 pounds of home-frozen blueberries purchased directly from local farmers at roadside stands. We literally purchased 60 pounds of such berries with only 40 pounds making it to the freezer. The supply of easily available, local blueberries available in grocery stores is only just now coming to an end, so we’ve still got the 40 at the moment, but every single home-frozen blueberry will be gone by mid-December. Did I mention profligate?

    My only disappointment is that they don’t like olives…yet. They don’t seem even to want to try them. Apparently I have to work on encouraging the promiscuity.

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Did i mention that I do most of the shopping and am roundly criticized if I don’t come home with favorites even if they don’t appear on the shopping list? Cuz that has nothing to do with knowing exactly what fruit is in the house at any given moment. Totally irrelevant. Don’t know why I’m even mentioning it.

  6. Rich Woods says

    @Crip Dyke #8:

    I’ve got, er, seven strawberries in my fridge, and a couple of yoghurts. And two cherry tomato plants in the windowsills which have so far produced just three ripe fruit.

    The year could have been better.

  7. johnlee says

    I would be curious to know if anyone can explain why it is that I hate the taste and smell of sweetcorn. There are other foods that I wasn’t keen on as a child – olives, for example, but now I like. But sweetcon? I’ve tried to eat it lots of times, and I just can’t. Is there a scientific explanation to this? Did I have somr kind of childhood trauma that I can’t remember? If it’s relevant, my sister (3 years older) loves sweetcorn and hates onion, which I really like. Can anyone enlighten me?

  8. kupo says

    I don’t know about sweet corn specifically, but there are genetic variations that cause certain foods to taste different to some people. For some, cilantro tastes like soap. For me, crucifers don’t taste bitter. Allergies can cause an aversion, as can trauma. I couldn’t stand the smell of certain tomato sauces after a trauma, but that’s gone. My sister still can’t have tomato soup from a trauma decades ago. Or maybe you just don’t like the taste of it. :)

  9. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I asked myself, how can you possibly hate bananas? And then I asked myself, how can you hate mangos?

    Insufficiently fun and engaging branding?

  10. greg hilliard says

    If you’re bi, you must love nectarines, the half peach and half plum fruit. The fruit I can’t stand — and could not figure how to eat — is the artichoke. What, you say the artichoke isn’t a fruit? Bigot.

  11. Benoit Hudson says

    Clearly he just hasn’t had the *right* banana. It’s just a phase he’s going through.

  12. Gordon Davisson says

    Ehn, I don’t like bananas that much. I used to, but I think I ate too many and got sick of them.
    Hmm, how’s that for an anti-gay therapy idea: have lots and lots of gay sex, until you’re thoroughly sick of it! We could call it “gay the gay away.” It might not work, but at least it’d be fun…

  13. handsomemrtoad says

    Are you equating gays with fruits? Not very PC, PZ.

    “Think I’m fruity, eh?” –Norman Bates’ mother

    “There are times when a banana is only a cigar.” –NOT said by Freud.

  14. vucodlak says

    I don’t much like mangos. Or papayas. Of course, I say when I don’t think I’ve ever had either fresh,* so in the context of this analogy I suppose that would be “I don’t like gay porn.” Or is maybe “straight porn.” Which… eh. Most types of porn, gay or straight, aren’t my favorite, but then any porn that doesn’t involve dragons isn’t going to be my favorite.

    *I once ordered the “Fresh Fruit Plate” at a local restaurant. What I got was clearly a can of ‘mango and papaya chunks in lite syrup’ dumped unceremoniously on a plastic plate, with a side of distinctly chilly service. In addition to being briefly reminded of “The Wicker Man,” I got the distinct impression that I’d offended someone.

  15. =8)-DX says

    It’s a good metaphor, but some foods *are* an acquired taste (or some people capable of acquiring tastes). I’ve taught myself to eat and enjoy a whole host of foods I used to despise. Guess that makes me fluid or something..

  16. says

    I really don’t like bananas, either. But then, I’m not big on tropical fruits in general, to be honest… up to and including coconut. Which is definitely interesting, considering the fact that I used to devour bananas and other tropical fruits as a kid. No idea what changed or why…

    Although, to be fair, I’ve never liked coconut, so there’s that…

    I used to hate apples, but recently discovered that I loved them. I love me some avocado, but discovered that, in it’s raw form, I’m allergic to it, and have to cook it in order to eat it. The same is true of carrots and celery. Finding out about this for all three was a massive blow, let me tell you. I still try to eat them as much as possible, but now I can’t just grab and go… I have to cook them, first… :(

    I don’t know what any of this has to do with anything, but that’s a great story and a great analogy.

  17. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I don’t know what i was thinking! I forgot for a moment earlier that this is the perfect opportunity to link to a(/n in)famous scene from an infamous movie that I love to death, Zorro, The Gay Blade.

    Zorro’s near-twin brother must take over his role in saving the commoners from exploitation by the Californian Dons in order to preserve Zorro’s life – by providing an alibi – and also to make sure that his important rich-guy-rescuing-commoners work doesn’t get left undone while healing from an injury.

    The twist? The movie was made in 1980 & released in 81, so they never came right out and said “Zorro’s brother fucks men” but from the title of the movie to myriad details of the dialog and characterization, they made it obvious as all get out.

    The twist gets twistier because Zorro’s brother is rather flamboyant and, having spent years in the British Navy, is unskilled with the rapier or saber. So just how is he supposed to take over Zorro’s work? The conundrum is solved when Zorro asks just what he learned in his years with the navy, which elicited the confession that he spent a great deal of time drinking rum, but he had, during those years, become a fair hand with a whip. So the brother agrees and Zorro attempts to pass on his outfit, which in all black is simply unacceptable to the flamboyant brother. But does he adopt a single, more striking outfit? No, no. He changes outfits between each attack on the unjust tax collectors and the bosses, the Dons.

    That leads to this fabulously funny scene.

    The movie is terribly bad in many ways, but for me it’s so campy it’s wonderful. Note that I fell in love with the movie before I’d ever thought seriously about cultural appropriation, and that not everyone who tries finds it watchable because white actors play almost all the roles. However, there are others to whom I’ve introduced the movie that also loved the thing despite that, so you might as well. In any case, it’s clearly a light-hearted movie created by gay men that both pokes fun at gay men’s culture (or at least the culture of gay men in urban US locations circa 1980) and celebrates it.

    And? It has fruit.

  18. says

    “And then I realized that I must be bi.”

    Surely this is proof that you are a fruit. :-)

    Old folks here will remember when “fruit” and “fruity” were slang for “gay”.

    Perhaps related to this, the original lyrics to “Tutti frutti” referred to gay sex:

    Tutti Frutti, good booty
    If it don’t fit, don’t force it
    You can grease it, make it easy

    Tutti Frutti, good booty
    If it’s tight, it’s all right
    And if it’s greasy, it makes it easy[