Mohsin Zaidi – A Dutiful Boy
A coming of age memoir about growing up queer in a strict Muslim household. Mohsin grew up in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout shia Muslim community. His family was close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin felt different, but in a home where being gay was inconceivable, he also felt very alone. Outside of home Mohsin went to a failing inner city school where gang violence was a fact of life. As he grew up life didn’t seem to offer teenage Mohsin any choices: he was disenfranchised from opportunity and isolated from his family as a closeted gay Muslim. But Mohsin had incredible drive and became the first person from his school to go to Oxford University. At university came the newfound freedom to become the man his parents never wanted him to be. But when he was confronted by his father and a witch doctor invited to ‘cure’ him, Mohsin had to make a difficult choice. Mohsin’s story takes harrowing turns but is full of life and humour, and, ultimately, it is an inspiring story about breaking through life’s barriers.