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A Way Beyond the Rainbow

Author: Waheed Jensen

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A podcast series discussing the everyday struggles of Muslims with same-sex attractions (SSA) who want to live a life true to Allah and Islam. I am Waheed Jensen, and I have SSA. In today’s world, it seems the overwhelming narrative out there is “love is love” and “embrace your sexual identity”. There are many of us who find that to be incompatible with the life we want to live, which is a God-conscious life in line with the teachings of Islam. This podcast series is a safe space for Muslims who struggle with SSA, as well as parents, family members, friends, imams, chaplains, community leaders, and the community at large. Join me every Friday for a new episode, starting January 31st, 2020, inshaAllah, as we pave together our way beyond the rainbow!
41 Episodes
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In the last episode of this season, my friend Alan joins me and shares with us many gems from his journey of healing, recovery and overcoming same-sex attractions, attachments and codependency. Alan shares with us how support systems have helped him in his journey of healing, and he shares lots of advice on relationships, marriage and intimacy from his 40+ years of marriage.*Trigger warning: this episode covers topics that are emotional and sexual in nature, and it has been flagged for explicit content*Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Brothers Road webpage- Journey Into Manhood- Joel 2:25 webpage- "Developing Heterosexual Desire" by Jeffrey W. Robinson, Ph.D.- Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life & the Life That You Love by David Steele- No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life by Robert Glover
*General trigger warning: Episode involves discussion of intimacy and sexual relations with graphic details. This episode is flagged for explicit content.*This is part II of a 2-episode series on marital intimacy and sexual relations, answering frequently asked questions on these topics, with a focus on men and women experiencing same-sex attractions. Joining me in both episodes is sex therapist Dr. Rana Khaled, MD/PhD.In this episode, we discuss ways to improve sexual relations between spouses in quantity and quality, and how to cultivate emotional intimacy with one's spouse. Special focus is given on enhancing sexual desire, intimacy and enjoyment through touch and bodily sensations. We also touch upon sex education, pornography and masturbation within marriage, as well as tips to restore a couple's sex life.If my spouse feels that I do not desire him/her, what are some tips to cultivate desire? How do we solve sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginismus or issues with sexual desire? What are the values and challenges of a marriage between a man and a woman where both of them experience SSA? If I struggle with masturbation and/or pornography use while married, how do I deal with this? How do I restore a long-lost sex life? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- No Fap website (English)- Wa'ii/واعي website (Arabic)- Sexaholics Anonymous
*General trigger warning: Episode involves discussion of intimacy and sexual relations with graphic details. This episode is flagged for explicit content.*This is part I of a 2-episode series on marital intimacy and sexual relations, answering frequently asked questions on these topics, with a focus on men and women experiencing same-sex attractions. Joining me in both episodes is sex therapist Dr. Rana Khaled, MD/PhD.In this episode, we discuss challenges to intimacy and sexual relations in general, as well as those involving men and women dealing with same-sex attractions. We explore sexual relations beginning with points of etiquette and preparations, as well as foreplay, intercourse, and after play. Special emphasis is given to proper communication and building emotional intimacy as well.How is being intimate with one's spouse an act of worship? What are some of the challenges faced by married couples in the domain of intimacy and sex? How can one deal with performance anxieties, particularly on the wedding night? How does one prepare for sex, physically and psychologically, and what do foreplay, intercourse, and after play include? How do we make sure each partner achieves sexual satisfaction? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Recommended books on marital relations, intimacy and sex:- The Guide to Getting It On- Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It- Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations- Like a Garment: Intimacy in Islam- تحرير المرأة في عصر الرسالة - الجزء السادسDr. Rana Khaled's Twitter handle: @drranakhaled
This is part II of a 2-episode series on marriage and celibacy, answering frequently-asked questions on the topics, with a focus on SSA-related matters.In this episode, we focus on SSA-related questions within the context of marriage, and we address the topic of celibacy as a legitimate life choice. Is it honest of me to get married without telling my spouse about my SSA? What are some recommendations if I would like to disclose my SSA to him/her? If I had a same-sex sexual encounter before marriage and repented, should I disclose this to my potential spouse? What about a marriage where both partners experience SSA? If I choose a path of celibacy, how do I fulfill my emotional needs? How do I deal with people giving me a hard time about being single? What if I get old and there is no one to take care of me? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- On Solitude- On Desire: Why We Want What We Want 
This is part I of a 2-episode series on marriage and celibacy, answering frequently-asked questions on the topics, with a focus on SSA-related matters.In this episode, we address general questions and misconceptions about marriage. What are the legal rulings on marriage, and when would it actually be discouraged or haram? What if I am pressured by my family and/or community to get married, how do I deal with that? Does marriage "heal" one's SSA? How do I know I’m ready to be sexual and intimate with my spouse, if I’ve never had experience in that domain before? What is some general advice to establish compatibility with my future spouse? These and similar questions are explored in this episode.Books on marriage and relationships from an Islamic perspective:- The Muslim Marriage Guide- Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide- Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples- Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask before Getting Married- Handbook of a Healthy Muslim Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Ultimate BlissBooks on marriage and relationships (general):- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus- Mating in Captivity- The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate- How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk- ScreamFree Marriage: Calming Down, Growing Up, and Getting Closer- The Art of Seduction- No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life- The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage WorkBooks on marital relations and intimacy:- The Guide to Getting It On- Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It- Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations- Like a Garment: Intimacy in Islam- تحرير المرأة في عصر الرسالة - الجزء السادس
In this episode, Chris joins me again from Melbourne, Australia, to talk about his own journey of healing, relapses and recovery, involving decades of therapy and being part of support groups, as well as findings answers and help in the fields of neuroscience, biology and functional medicine. He shares with us insights and wisdoms gained throughout six decades of life, after having left the gay lifestyle and sought a path of healing and celibacy.*Trigger warning:  discussion involves sexual abuse, sexual addictions and behaviors as well as relapses throughout a recovery journey*N.B. This episode is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers with any questions you may have regarding a particular medical condition, or if you'd like to know more about what is being covered in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Broken Brain podcast episode: What If It Only Took 5 Minutes To Change Your Health? with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee- Amen Clinics - Leading US innovative psychiatric clinic using brain scans to help diagnose and treat psychiatric and other health conditions holistically - Free 5-minute online brain health assessment from Amen Clinics - "Straight & Narrow? Compassion Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate" by Thomas E. Schmidt- "The End of Mental Illness" book- The Institute for Functional Medicine- Finding a functional medicine practitioner- The End of Alzheimer’s - Dr. Dale Bredesen- Step minus one workshop – the missing physical aspect of sexual recovery- The functional medicine matrix
In our last episode on support systems, Br. Ali Jaffery joins me again as a guest speaker and talks to us about the Mankind Project with its different services, like the New Warrior Training and integration groups, as well as a separate initiative called the Noble Man.How does the Mankind Project help men in general with their growth, healing and masculine identity? What is New Warrior Training weekend, and what does it involve? How does the Noble Man deal with the feminine dimension, and what does the weekend involve? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Mankind Project website- New Warrior Training weekends- Mankind Project's men's groups- Celebration of Being website- Noble Man workshops- More about the Noble Man- Workshops for Women- Women's Immersion Weekend
In this episode, Jeremy Schwab from the US and Alan Alencar from Brazil join me as guest speakers and talk to us about "Joel 2:25" and the international initiatives associated with the organization.What does "Joel 2:25" stand for? How has "Joel 2:25" evolved throughout the years, and what are some of the services provided for individuals who experience same-sex attractions? How can one be verified and admitted into the different support groups available? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Joel 2:25 webpage
In this episode, Mr. Richard Wyler from the US joins me as a guest speaker and talks to us about Brothers Road and the services offered by his organization.How has "Brothers Road" evolved throughout the years from "People Can Change"? What are "Journey into Manhood" (JIM) weekends, and what do they involve in terms of bonding and healing work? What are other journeys offered beyond JIM? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Brothers Road webpage- Journey Into Manhood- Journey Continues- Journey Beyond- A Woman Who Loves
In this episode, Robert Gollwitzer from Germany joins me as a guest speaker and talks to us about Homosexuals Anonymous and the 14-step program.How are the 14 steps different from the 12 steps, and what do they entail? What is the focus of Homosexuals Anonymous, and how does it help individuals struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Homosexuals Anonymous website- Robert’s website - Joe Dallas’s website- "The Search For Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes" by Robert McGee- "Reconciliation" movie
In this episode, Chris from Australia joins me as a guest speaker and talks to us about 12-step programs as well as sexual recovery programs, like Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), among others.How did 12-step programs evolve throughout the years and what do they entail? Who are "sponsors" and how do they support us with our recovery? What are some of the different sexual recovery programs out there, and how do they help us in our journeys of abstinence from sex, masturbation and/or pornography? These and other questions are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- "A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps" by Patrick Carnes- Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book”, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions- SA, Sexaholics Anonymous webpage- Same-sex lust recovery in Sexaholics Anonymous- Sexaholics Anonymous White Book- SLAA, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous webpage- SLAA Signs of Recovery- SAA, Sex Addicts Anonymous webpage
In this episode, Br. Yousef Salam from Canada joins me as a guest speaker and talks to us about the online support group Straight Struggle. How did Straight Struggle evolve throughout the years from the "Yahoo!" to "Discord" platforms? What are the services that the online support group provides? What are the demographics of members who benefit from such services? These questions and others are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Br. Yousef’s article, “From a Same-Sex Attracted Muslim: Between Denial of Reality and Distortion of Religion”- Br. Yousef’ podcast interview, “I don’t view this as an identity”, on the BBC Radio 4 series “Muslim Pride”- Straight Struggle website (Discord platform)- Br. Mobeen Vaid’s article, “Can Islam Accommodate Homosexual Acts? Quranic Revisionism and the Case of Scott Kugle”
In this episode, Br. Ali Jaffery from the UK joins me as a guest speaker and talks to us about his organization, Strong Support, which aims to help Muslims experiencing unwanted same-sex lust.What is the mission and vision of Strong Support? What are the services that it provides? What are the demographics of members who benefit from such services? These questions and others are explored in this episode.Links to resources mentioned in the episode:- Br. Ali’s podcast interview on The Muslim Vibe - Strong Support homepage- Study: “Barriers for Muslims with SSA in Accessing Support”
With season 3, we begin a series of episodes that address different kinds of support systems and the ways they can help us on our journeys of growth and healing. In this episode, we address local support groups, including friends, family members and colleagues, and we answer some frequently asked questions. What are the different kinds of friendship with the same sex that one can cultivate, and what values do they have? Should I disclose my same-sex attractions to a close friend, and if so, how can I do that? What if I find myself attracted to a friend or member of my support group, how do I handle that? Should I disclose about my habits or struggles, bearing in mind that Islam promotes modesty and concealing one's sins? These and other questions are explored in this episode.
In this season finale, my friend Amina joins me as a guest speaker to share with us her story, from same-sex relationships and marriage, being on “spiritual life support” as she calls it, and living the “progressive lifestyle”, to returning back to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and changing her life for Him. *Trigger warning: the episode covers deep emotional topics like abandonment and divorce, as well as issues related to childhood sexual abuse*
In our last episode on spiritual reflections, Hashim and I revisit the topic of repentance, and we discuss spiritual awakening, the characteristics of that station and some things to watch out for when we're experiencing the "highs" as well as the "lows". We also wrap up and summarize the spiritual themes discussed during season 2 of the podcast.What is spiritual awakening and why is it temporary? How is it that a spiritual high is a test as much as a spiritual low? And how is this relevant in our individual journeys, particularly when dealing with same-sex attractions? These and other questions are explored in this episode.
In this episode, Hashim and I talk about desires and shahawat: their different kinds, the wisdom behind them, and the many ways to help us curb them in our journeys, particularly for individuals who experience same-sex attractions.Is it only Shaytan that whispers to us to inflame our desires? What are the different degrees of the nafs (self), and how are they relevant to our journey in life? What can be done individually and collectively to help us control our desires in a healthy manner? These and other questions are explored in this episode.
In this episode, Hashim and I discuss the story of the people of Lut (PBUH) and reflect on many relevant themes, with a focus on our struggle as men and women experiencing same-sex attractions in this day and age who are committed to staying true to Allah and His deen. We tackle the topics of pride and remorse, the ways in which we may be similar to and different from the people of Lut (PBUH), how chastity is a cornerstone of our faith, and how grounding ourselves in Him and standing our ground for Him SWT is the way to go, inshaAllah.If we were living in Sodom at that time, who would we be like? Why did God describe the state of the people of Lut (PBUH) as one of blinding intoxication? What are some practical lessons we can learn from this story that can help us in our journey, particularly in our current age? These and other questions are explored in this episode.
This is a 2-episode series where my friend Hashim and I dissect the story of Adam and Eve, peace be upon them, as well as temptation and repentance and offer many reflections on how this story is relevant to us as men and women experiencing SSA.In part II of this series, we talk about how to use Allah's provisions to repent and go back to Him, starting with remembrance and prayer, the importance of never losing hope or giving in to despair or shame and of reflecting on the mercy and love that Allah SWT bestows upon His creation. In addition, we discuss what may keep us from experiencing true submission to Him SWT on our individual journeys.
This is a 2-episode series where my friend Hashim and I dissect the story of Adam and Eve, peace be upon them, as well as temptation and repentance and offer many reflections on how this story is relevant to us as men and women experiencing SSA.In part I of this series, we go back to the origin of the creation of mankind: how God glorified man and destined him for greatness, how the devil lurks in the background and uses our desires against us, glorifying sin and temptation, and how Adam PBUH is a model for us in immediately going back to Allah SWT after falling into sin.
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