Lance Frizzell-Reynolds, 36, converted to Islam about two years ago because he fell in love with the simplicity and beauty of the religion.
“There were no elaborate and highly decorated rituals,” he said. “It was a community submitting to Allah.” Frizzell-Reynolds, a graduate student from Western Massachusetts, left Islam three months later because of his sexuality–he was gay. “I came into Islam knowing it was contentious, but I left because I felt I was excluded, unwanted, and I felt threatened,” he said. “I am still struggling with not being part of the [Muslim community], and I regularly miss it.”
Frizzell-Reynolds said he wished that the community would have left his sexuality between him and Allah rather than condemning him and telling him he should be stoned. “I threw in the towel because I felt like I was abandoned and seen as a threat to other’s [religion],” he said.