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.