I Don’t Have Just One Identity. I’m a Proud Muslim and Queer.

Adena and Kat on The Bold Type

I feel like I’m always in the middle.

When I tell people that I’m LGBTQ+ and a proud Muslim, they’re almost always confused.

They can hardly imagine to be both.

Both identities, to them, are such opposite in the spectrum.

They ask me how do I combine these two identities.

Or most often, they just presume I was born into a religious Muslim country but that I don’t believe in Islam or that I don’t practice, just because I also happen to be queer.

Some of them even go on to tell me, “How can you be practicing when your God doesn’t acknowledge queers?”

I sadly notice Christian queers do not experience such issue.

It is far better accepted.

“We’ve had Bi Pride, we’ve had Black Pride, we have Trans Pride,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. “So now we’ve got Muslim LGBTQI Pride.”

I’m Queer. I’m Muslim. Yes, you can be both.

I always felt like a fraud in my two identities.

For any queer person, it’s already very hard to come out and accept who we are.

It takes so much gut and courage to let the world know, “Hey this is who I am and I don’t need your approval”.

So, the imposter syndrome settled in me at an early age.

How could I be queer if I was…(fill in the blank)?

Or how could I be Muslim and enjoy (fill in the blank) so much?

No matter what that blank was, I felt a sense of being not good enough for it.

As if, there was such a thing as Gay Gods who would give me their blessing!

As Lady Gaga sang…

“I’m beautiful in my way because God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track
Baby I was born this way”

Muslim Women’s Right to be Loved As They Want to be

Netflix show The Bold Type, featuring the story of 3 young women working at a women’s magazine (possibly representing Cosmopolitan) in New York City.

Adena in The Bold Type is a lesbian Muslim artist who protests the state of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights in her home country, Iran, through her photography.

She gets detained at JFK airport in New York in for fear for national security as a hijabi woman. She gets side eyes and even in a place as diverse as Manhattan, gets assaulted “terrorist”. Luckily, her American lover Kat is on her side to support.

Adena, played by Canadian-Iranian actress Nikohl Boosheri, has had a lot of online support with some calling her “bad ass” while others say she is a “disrespectful portrayal.”

Both LGBTQ+ and Muslims receive plentiful of harsh critique anyway so knowing we shock and offend so many does not shock me at all.

I take pride in my identity and don’t feel like I should feel sorry for it to anyone.

Time to claim your identity and celebrate yourself too!

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