5 HIV/AIDS Activists in the Islamic World

In the mid 1980s, I remember watching the Somali television and seeing a new disease take over the headlines. HIV/AIDS was so new at that time people didn’t even have a name for it. “Aydhiska,” as we now call in Somali, still remains a big taboo. The only person we…


5 Queer Couples in Islamic History

The phrase “the love that dare not speak its name,” borrowed from a line in a poem by Lord Alfred Douglas, had been interpreted as a euphemism for homosexuality ever since it was mentioned in Oscar Wilde’s trial in which he was accused of gross indecency. But what about the…


5 Trans Activists in the Islamic World

Those familiar with the issue of transgender rights in the Muslim countries know how difficult it has been. Whereas a gay man or woman might be able to hide their sexual orientation, many of them even marrying the members of the opposite sex, transgender individuals generally don’t have that privilege…


5 Queer Magazines in the Islamic World

If you are queer and Muslim, you probably know about some of these publications. Some have been around for over 20 years, others are so new you can only get them via phone orders. But what do they all have in common? They serve the LGBT community in Muslim-majority countries….


5 Queer Muslims in History

Ask anyone in mainstream society, and they will gladly tell you: Islam is a homophobic faith. However, a quick walk down in memory lane tells us differently. What if someone told you that Prophet Muhammad had gays living in his house, that there was once a caliph who was openly…


5 Imams Who Are Openly Gay

When I was growing up queer and Muslim in Somalia, struggling to understand how my sexuality harmonized with my faith, I never knew there would be a day in my lifetime when there would be gay imams who were open about their sexuality and led their communities with honesty and…


5 Female Allies in the Muslim World

Where would any of us be without our allies? Feminism changed the lives of women globally because there were good men in position who agreed with the women who were fighting for gender equality, and who joined them, and who took the journey with them to change the world. Similarly,…


5 Muslim Nations Where Gay is Legal

These are five Muslim countries where being gay is not a crime. What do they have in common? None of them were colonized by the British Empire. Many countries in the Global South, whether Muslim or otherwise, are generally using colonial laws that pre-date their local penal codes to criminalize…