Mohsin Zaidi's memoir, A Dutiful Boy, is one of the most powerful and emotive books I've read this year. It tells the story of his upbringing in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout Shia Muslim community. His family were close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin knew that his sexuality was a secret he had to hide in a household where being gay was viewed as an inconceivable taboo. Despite these personal struggles, Mohsin became the first person from his comprehensive school to go to Oxford University, later becoming a leading barrister. And then he told his family the truth.
Mohsin joins me to talk about the realities of being gay and Muslim, about what it means to love your family while keeping your truest self hidden and about how he found the strength to break through the barriers surrounding him in the search for a truly authentic life.
Trust me, YOU WILL LOVE THIS EPISODE. Mohsin is so eloquent and interesting and sweet-natured and funny that you can't help but fall in love with him a little bit, even when he's talking about such harrowing and difficult experiences. Inspiration is a word that gets bandied around a lot, but Mohsin Zaidi is a man who is wholly worthy of it.
PLEASE PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is available here
To celebrate the publication of Failosophy, I am doing a LIVE show at The London Palladium. It is also live-streamed online. If you'd like to buy tickets for either option, you can do so here.
A Dutiful Boy by Mohsin Zaidi is out now and available to buy here
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Day @elizabday
Mohsin Zaidi @mohsinzaidi_ldn
How To Fail @howtofailpod