The beginning of June marks the start of Pride Month — a celebration of the advancements, perseverance, and even just the existence of the LGBTQ+ community. And while many members of the community take part in the commemoration of this month, for queer Muslims, this time, like any other month of the year, is less celebratory than it is difficult.
It’s no secret that there is a strong stigma against queer people within Muslim communities all around the world. This is due to interpretations of Islamic text that lead people to consider an LGBTQ-identity as incompatible with the religion, thus forcing many Muslims who are not cisgendered or heterosexual to feel alienated in their communities, homes, and even within their faith. The result of this is often a reluctance to claim their queer identities. In a 2019 Institute for Social Policy and Understanding poll, 0% of American Muslims identified as gay or lesbian.
But even though on paper there are none, queer Muslims exist in larger numbers than you may think, both in America and everywhere else.
Though it will take a systemic upheaval of traditional beliefs to create a more understanding space for queer Muslims to come forward and feel comfortable in their identities, this doesn’t mean that they are to be left on their own in the meantime. Although there aren’t as many resources out there for Muslims of the LGBTQ+ community as there should be, there are a few you can look into.
It can be difficult as an individual to support queer Muslim peers who may feel distressed by their dual identities. One way you can help is by sharing or donating to organizations and groups that are dedicated to helping out these communities. If you don’t know where to start, here are five Muslim LGBTQ+ resources that you can share, support, and donate to in honor of Pride Month, and every month after that.
This Pride Month is for all the Queer Muslims who have no community, living double lives, who may be hating or hurting themselves. Whose communities won't recognize their pronouns or lives. Who deserve better from other Muslims. Who are beautifully and wonderfully made— A Whole Nigga with a Shahadah (@KeiyAlexis) June 11, 2020
The Queer Muslim Project
The Queer Muslim Project is an Instagram page that features the stories, art, and photos of queer Muslims around the world. In a “Humans of New York”-esque fashion, the page features testimonies from Muslim members of the LGBTQ community highlighting their struggles and how they have come to love themselves despite community stigmas.
Masjid-Al-Rabia in Chicago, Illinois, is a safe space for prayer for the Muslim LGBTQ community. Since 2016, the masjid has served as a place where all types of Muslims can come without fear or exclusion. In addition to Jummah prayers and a free library of Islamic resources, the masjid also hosts different events for the education and advocacy for queer Muslims.
Reconstructed Magazine is a creative magazine founded by black, Shia, and queer Muslims who aim to break down stigmas that exist against them in mainstream Muslim communities. Through the sharing of resources, Quranic verses, and personal submissions, the magazine helps create a communal space for the Muslims who may not find it elsewhere.
Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD)
Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) creates a network for LGBTQ+ Muslims so that they can feel better supported and empowered. They challenge common stigmas that queer Muslims face through education and inclusion. Along with providing resources to LGBTQ+ Muslims, the organization also hosts an annual retreat for them, where they can connect with one another and gain support systems through their community. Donations to MASGD will help improve their resources and expand their retreats.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The HRC covers a plethora of human rights issues, including LGBTQ+ people of different faiths coming to terms with their sexualities. The HRC has a series called “Coming Home to Islam and to Self,” which helps Muslims who are on the journey to fully embracing their sexualities understand how to do so effectively — all while feeling supported. You can either share these resources with others or even donate to the HRC to help them continue to provide resources for LGBTQ people in need.
Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV)
Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) advocates for human rights and equality. While MPV is not solely an LGTBQ+ organization, the queer Muslim community is one of its main focuses, and it has released several lecture series that look at interpretations of the Quran in a way that is accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. The organization also provides other resources for struggling queer Muslims, including lists of informative resources they can look to for guidance. By donating to MPV, you are directly supporting these vital initiatives.
Queer Muslims is a blog that shares different publications, articles, and media that discuss the experience of being part of the LGBTQ+ community and Muslim community all at once. While you cannot donate to the page, you can definitely share it with your friends and social media followers so that whoever may need the resources can know that they’re available to them.
Queer Ummah: A Visibility Project
Because of how often queer Muslims feel pressured to hide their sexuality, projects like Queer Ummah are extremely important. The blog highlights the different experiences of queer Muslims around the world and helps create a sense of community for those individuals who may not have them. By sharing Queer Ummah with those who may need it, you can help provide marginalized Muslims with a place they can connect with others who struggle in similar ways to them.