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Being Muslim and Gay is really about belonging. Homophobia within the Muslim population alienates many LGBT+ Muslims from the communities they are (often) born into. Meanwhile, ignorance, suspicion and an uglier form of Islamophobia plagues the LGBT+ community.

Caught in the middle, the stories Gay Muslims narrate share the same leitmotif: conflict and exclusion. Hidayah was set up in response to this reality. We wanted to articulate a new story and to offer individuals and communities a space to share and evolve new understandings of self-and-other. Our aim is simple: We want to carry out good-old-fashioned ‘consciousness raising’.

As activists, academics, professionals and artists, we see a future where Queer is not the opposite of ‘Straight’, but a counter-current to the ideology of a heteronormative patriarchy. Our ‘weapon’ of choice is narrative. Our activities are all, in one way or another, directed at re-claiming, re-framing and re-presenting what it means to belong to two or more worlds. Ours is a story about creativity and adaptability; it is about recognising diversity as nourishment for self, soul and society.

This year we have chosen to take part in a number of Pride events, spearheaded by the wonderful Naz aka Seema Butt. We hope our presence will give some people hope, to others some joy and some pause-for-thought to the few who need it! Sprinkling some Muslim magic dust this year – we are Hidayah.

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