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Coming out is not the be all and end all of the queer experience

5 February 2022

Deenah al-Aqsa is on the board of Trustees for Hidayah LGBT, a user-led group in our directory, and is an award-nominated British Bengali journalist.

Deenah recently wrote an illuminating article for The Metro about her experiences of being a Muslim lesbian. Her article shed light on the milestone of coming out as being Western social construct, a privilege for those with an emotional support system, a false concept of a one-time end goal after which someone can “live their truth”.

“I’m a Muslim woman who wears hijab, so practically everyone I come across assumes I’m heterosexual. But I’m not – I’m a lesbian, just not an out lesbian. My family doesn’t know and never will, which is something I’ve made my peace with,” Deenah says.

“There are many people uncomfortable being out, and that doesn’t make us liars or cowards or any less authentic.”

You can read the full article on The Metro online

In a world where people of faith and those in the LGBTQ+ community are so often seen as entirely separate, even warring, factions, Deenah’s experience reminds us that there are those who inhabit both communities, some overtly “out” and some not, some who are welcomed in both, others welcomed in one and not the other, and some who feel excluded from both.

Below is a link to her poem, Hamd, Arabic for “praise”. It’s about faith and God and family. The word Ummah refers to the community of believers. Read her poem

To find out more about Deenah, visit her website.

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