One thing I like about the broadcaster, SBS is how they often present minority and diverse communities.
Sometimes, minority identities clash. LGBTQ+ Muslims often feel this clash.
Last Thursday in the lead up to 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, SBS Pride published an article on a Muslim Pride event coming up in London. It’s set to happen on April 11 after a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Unfortunately, the organisers and participants can expect backlash.
LGBTQ+ Muslims face opposition among Muslims and the LGBTQ+ community
It’s no secret that there is often hostility between Islam and LGBTQ+ people. Countries and provinces that implement Sharia law often outlaw homosexuality. The punishments for this ‘crime’ often include execution or other barbaric practices, such as flogging.
LGBTQ+ Muslims who grow up in Western countries are often ostracised and abused by their families and community. Lebanese – Australian, Hussein Hawley told the ABC his family tried to “beat the gay” out of him before kicking him out of home.
Like many other LGBTQ+ people, LGBTQ+ Muslims are at high risk of suicide.
LGBTQ+ people of colour face discrimination in LGBTQ+ spaces
Muslims are not the only people who struggle fitting within the LGBTQ+ community.
People of colour, (including non – Muslims) report being discriminated against.
According to Stonewall UK, 51% LGBTQ+ people of colour have experienced racism within the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, this number rose to 61% for black people. This is not right and needs to be condemned.
LGBTQ+ Muslims and the no true Scotsman fallacy
When I was reading some comments on Facebook, I was disappointed, although not surprised. The whole ‘let’s see this happen in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc’, came up. As if LGBTQ+ Muslims are responsible for theocratic and totalitarian regimes. Are LGBTQ+ Christians responsible for the likes of Steven Anderson or Roger Jiminez? I don’t think so. No doubt, LGBTQ+ Muslims may face uncertainty and de – programming and find their way through their beliefs. Many LGBTQ+ people of faith face similar struggles.
Plus, there was the No True Scotsman statements, i.e. ‘you can’t be gay and Muslim’. Here’s the thing: you can’t choose your sexual orientation or gender identity. And you can’t change it. Ask any LGBTQ+ Christian pushed into conversion therapy.
However, all people should be able to freely choose their faith. Everyone deserves the right to explore their faith and relationship with the divine.
LGBTQ+ people of faith also deserve the opportunity to participate in a community. And the LGBTQ+ community needs to be a viable option if their faith community isn’t.
The LGBTQ+ community often campaign for inclusive and non – discriminatory policies. Maybe it’s time that some of them walk the walk.
SBS’s coverage of Mardi Gras reflects diversity
SBS did a great job in broadcasting the Mardi Gras. I liked how they reflected the diversity within the LGBTQ+, including ethnic and religious diversity. They’re often good like that.
I can only hope that all LGBTQ+ people will be able to feel welcomed in the future. I hope that Pride and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole will become a place where everyone can be their true selves and be embraced. I hope LGBTQ+ spaces become safe spaces for those who need it most.
Are LGBTQ+ spaces exclusionary to people of faith or colour? Have you felt excluded from an LGBTQ+ space? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.