It’s a tough question for millions of men around the world.
They believe in religion. They want to follow it and stay true to its teachings. But – they know they are gay.
Author Mark Frew has released his new book, A Right to Love, set in current day Sydney and Moshi, Tanzania.
Michael Farril, a non-religious gay man, works at Tevah Am, a tertiary college where he teaches literacy and numeracy for adults.
A new student arrives called Polycarp. Polycarp is a refugee from the 1990s Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda. Michael discovers that Polycarp has no family as all were believed to have been slaughtered, so he decides to look after him.
In the course of time, Michael discovers that Polycarp’s family was recorded as “missing” but there was no proof of their death. He goes to Africa to investigate and meets Ibrahim, a devout African Muslim.
Michael and Ibrahim fall in love. When Michael returns to Sydney, he tries to fight his feelings for Ibrahim because Ibrahim is heavily religious whereas Michael is a total skeptic.
“The message I hope to convey is that people can live together in peace if they really put their hearts into it, in particular, between religious people and non-religious people,” says Mr Frew.
“Instead of there being division between religious people and skeptics, there should be a middle ground.”
Mark Frew is a research chemist and ESOL teacher (English to Speakers of Other Languages). He was brought up in a religious Protestant Christian home.
This is the third book in the Michael Farril Trilogy. The first was entitled, Michael and the Multicoloured Gospel and the second was Farewell My Pashtun. The author says that A Right to Love can be read independently of the others, although there are allusions to events in previous books.