In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Compassionate
THE LIVES OF LGBT MUSLIMS"
presented by Faisal Alam
"Faisal Alam’s presentation was great and very informative. It brought a whole new perspective on the struggles that Muslim LGBT community faces. Great topic that everyone should learn about." - student from University of North Texas (October 2011).
Faisal Alam is a queer-identified Muslim activist, speaker and writer of Pakistani descent. At the age of 19, Faisal founded Al-Fatiha, an international organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims, and their allies. He has traveled across the country and around the world to meet with LGBTIQ Muslims to build a global queer Muslim movement. Faisal has been featured in national and international media and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his activism on behalf of LGBTIQ Muslims.
Using his own life experience and by exploring the complex history of the Islamic world, Faisal strives to bring new light onto the lives of an often invisible and silent community: Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning.
Happy New Year & Welcome to "Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims."
As I have traveled across the country, speaking at more than 150 universities and colleges, one topic that young people continue to struggle with is religion and its views on sexuality. For Muslims, sex and sexuality are very private topics and are seldom openly discussed. This often leads to a "clash of cultures" on campus. But like other taboo topics, religion and sex *must* be openly discussed.
I've been fortunate to meet hundreds of students around the country to create dialogue on this extremely sensitive topic. I continue to be amazed how this discussion can become an opportunity for communities to come together and build bridges of understanding. Because this so-called "clash of cultures" is only a manifestation of fear.
"Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims" aims to highlight the many struggles and challenges facing sexual and gender minorities within the Muslim world and to examine the complex intersection of Islam, sexuality and gender. This dynamic presentation delves into an area seldom discussed: The challenges and achievements of LGBT Muslims.
Students, staff and faculty at campuses around the United States are creating social change for marginalized communities. I'm grateful to be a small part of these achievements.
I hope to visit your school soon to engage in what promises to be a dynamic conversation.
Articles about "Hidden Voices""Hidden Voices Brings Awareness to LGBT Muslims"
February 5, 2013; University of Michigan at Dearborn's The Michigan Journal
Gay Muslim Activist Bucks Cultural Norms
April 19, 2012; Cornell University's The Cornell Daily Sun
Lecturer Discusses Gay Muslims, Women Leaders
April 12, 2012; Purdue University's Purdue Exponent
"Lively, uplifting and informative. Great lecture” – Appalachian State University (February 2013)
Faisal was honored to be invited to attend an iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner at the White House on August 10, 2011 with President Obama. Check out the pictures here.