When I was in school, I had a major crush on my teacher. I didn’t tell anyone about it and kept it to myself. I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to feel because I am a guy. Besides, I wasn’t sure if what I am feeling was wrong towards the society, my family and my religion. As a Muslim raised in a conservative family, I am torn in between my feelings and other people’s expectations.
But what if this feeling is the right kind of wrong? What if it is not wrong after all?
Because my actions were obvious and all gays have something called ‘gaydar’ or ‘gay-radar’, my secret feelings were exposed when my teacher confronted me one day. He confessed that he understood my needs and knew how sad it was to be perceived as ‘weird’. From that day onwards, there was no hiding between us because our feelings were mutual. He was my confidante, my good friend and a lover. Although we had a relationship for 3 years and broke up only when I left for poly, I am truly thankful for the guidance my ex-teacher had given me. I would not have been able to survive this harsh world if not for his emotional support.
I am thankful to God because I found someone who truly cares about me and showed me the importance to love myself and be who I really am when faced with oppositions. My ex-teacher told me I deserved to be happy. When I turned 22, I left home to lead my own life and stayed with my partner. Occasionally, I would return home only to see my mom who was deeply disappointed by my ‘queer’ preference. My dad has disowned me.
Now, I have become a teacher myself. A similar experience had happened to me as well. I spotted one student who had the same reaction whenever I looked at my ex-teacher. Instantaneously, I knew what I had to do. Guidance and be a role model.
To those who hate the PLUs, let it be known that everyone deserves to be happy. We live once and we have the right to choose the kind of life we want to lead for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t make me a lesser Muslim just because I prefer men. You simply can’t force anyone to eat something he don’t like.