Do Muslims Love Their Children Too?

“We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.”

Jeremy Helligar
5 min readJan 16, 2019


Photo: Max Pixel

One of the most flattering and memorable compliments I’ve ever received was from a boyfriend who said he admired me because I always root for the underdog.

It wasn’t a personal quality I’d ever considered before he noted it, as it had never required any conscious effort. I’ve probably always backed the underdog because as a perpetual outsider, I’ve always felt a bit like an underdog myself.

In some ways (being black, being gay, being the child of immigrants), my outsider status was thrust upon me through no choice of my own. Meanwhile, as an expat for more than 12 years, I’ve been geographically, culturally, and often linguistically an outsider entirely by choice.

But then, I often feel like an interloper even when I’m surrounded by people who are demographically similar to me (black, gay, American).

I wouldn’t have it any other way. The fact that I usually feel as if I’m on the outside looking in has built my character and made me more empathetic to the uphill-climber. Always being a minority — and at so many angles — feeds my refusal to subscribe to the idea that the majority rules.

Living in a box … boxes

On the downside, when you’re a minority outsider, to many on the inside (the supposedly superior majority), you become less an individual than a symbol, an archetype with a checklist of characteristics assigned to your minority group. As a gay black man, I’ve spent my entire life shoved into two boxes, with people making immediate assumptions about me.

Although 2018 was a year of reckoning for straight white males, privilege still protects them from collectivist thinking that encourages judging books by the cover. If you’re a straight white male, you’ll rarely be identified or described as such in everyday life. Chances are you’ll be, simply, a man — your own man.

The actions of extremist white groups like the Ku Klux Klan, or white supremacists, or neo-Nazis, have never been seen as reflective of all white people. The sins of several are theirs alone.



Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa”