By Mikha Chan
PETALING JAYA: “I hope they’ll come around and realise that being gay and an atheist doesn’t, and should not make a difference.”
This was Hazim Ismail’s response when asked about his family’s reaction after they found out he was homosexual and a disbeliever in the existence of God.
The situation, he said, remained “cloudy” with very little feedback coming from his family members. “They just need time to heal,” he told FMT.
Some of his friends back home, Hazim revealed, expressed concern over his safety, while others were critical of his openness about his sexual orientation and atheism.
“Some provided messages of support and solidarity. Some contributed to the GoFundMe.”
Despite having been reported as being “openly gay and atheist” by the Canadian media, Hazim said he had no intention of coming out prior to his outing on social media, due to his religious upbringing and conditioned fear of openness.
Having grown up in a rigid Muslim household, Hazim was told that being gay was unnatural.
“To even question the existence of Allah is unacceptable. I had it ingrained into me that there was no way I’d ever be accepted as I was, back home.”
Hazim however said that before he found himself in his current predicament, it had always been his intention to return to Malaysia, to help contribute positive changes to his “tanah air” (motherland) and help “wake people up.” – FMT