Muslim Organization Teaches LGBTQ Inclusion Through Storytelling

Michael Toumayan

Over 70 people gathered at HRC’s Equality Forum on Saturday night to watch “Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love,” a faithful and moving play that captures stories and experiences of being at the intersections of Islam and queerness and its relationship to family, lovers, one’s sense of self and relationship with our faith.

The event began with the adhan — the traditional Islamic call to prayer. But it wasn’t your typical male-led muezzin, an appointed reciter. It was beautifully recited by Ani Zonneveld, founder of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) and a member of HRC’s Religion Council, who has been working towards building an inclusive Islamic practice for Muslims worldwide, one that is inclusive of women and LGBTQ people.

The event, co-sponsored by HRC Foundation and funded by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, is on three-city tour and part of MPV’s strategy to elevate LGBTQ Muslim voices through storytelling.

“Sharing a story with someone and making a personal connection is the the crux of how we shift and change perspectives,” said Wazina, one of two performers of “Coming Out Muslim”.

In 2015, HRC Foundation released Coming Home to Islam and to Self, a guide to help LGBTQ Muslims who are seeking to reconnect with their faith and build more inclusive communities.

To learn more about Islam’s position on LGBTQ issues, go to www.hrc.org/muslim.


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