I suppose when starting something new, it is best to reflect on the purpose of starting it in the first place. When I was younger, these feelings had no direction and no sense of purpose. They were there and I was confused as to what I should do with them… aside from just feeling them. It was love and desire. It was excitement and apprehension. It was the stomach flutters, daydreaming, and late night conversations. I let them drive me forward… and backwards and side to side. That wasn’t really how I wanted to live. That time passed eventually and I grew older. I thought deeper and came back to the truth inside me. The belief and faith that I was raised upon was the foundation I had let crumble beneath me. When I realized this, I came back stronger, louder, and determined to make things right for myself and for others. First thing’s first: You can be a proud Muslim and still feel the way you do, unapologetically. Second: These feelings are not illegitimate, chosen, or a rebellious phase. Third: I will not fall pray to my desires. I will not fall pray to my desires. I will not fall pray to my desires. I am Muslim first, then I am LGBT. This is my struggle, and I welcome it, and I challenge it.