As-salaamu alaykum! I am from a non-Muslim family but I have been thinking of converting. How will I know when it is right to do so, and how do I start when I do? I live in east London so there are many mosques near me, but I wouldn’t know which one is best to go to and I am nervous of rejection because I am gay. I know this is silly, because god teaches love for all his creations and Islam is not homophobic, but it’s scary coming out to new people. Thank you for your time Ramadan Mubarak
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
Once you believe Islam is truly God’s religion and admit in your heart that there is no deity besides God and that Muhammad is His messenger, then you are Muslim whether you are practicing or not and whether you “officially” convert or not. At this point it is time to start practicing Islam as much as you can. I recommend reading a beginners’ book on practicing Islam, such as Being Muslim.
Going to a mosque is similar to going to a library. There is no need to worry about being accepted or rejected; you can simply attend the prayers whenever you feel like it, and if you are male, it is obligatory to attend the Friday noon sermon and prayer. Unless you go to a very small mosque, you will likely be completely ignored and accepted as any of the rest of the attendants at the prayers.
Regarding Islam and homosexuality, please see: Islam and LGBTQ+