There is a story that the day “Homosexuality Explained to My Mother” was first published in Morocco, you barricaded the door of your apartment and stayed awake all night, fearing you’d be attacked. Does the reception of your work in Morocco still make you fear for your life?
Well, I should first say my books are sold in Morocco. That alone is amazing; they are the type of books that would have been banned not long ago. And no, I was never attacked physically, but I have been attacked critically by other Moroccan writers, journalists, and politicians. The idea was that we Moroccans are good citizens and good Muslims. We aren’t permitted to talk about personal things, especially not out in the open. But for me writing is never about what’s considered ‘right,’ it’s about everything that’s wrong. It’s about addressing something unsaid, which is what homosexuality had always been. I can now see that my writing is part of a bigger movida that started in Morocco with King Hassan II’s death in 1999, similar to what happened in Spain after Franco died. The lower classes are now making their voices heard more and more because they know that political and societal change will not come from the rich.
Do you think artists have an integral role in this political change?
Not an integral role, a necessary role. There is no coordinated group of artists working towards change in Morocco, but there is a general sense among artists, writers, and young people that it is time to remove our old clothes and start speaking for ourselves, without the pressure of the king or our families.
Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love, 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. Terna Tilley-Gyado and Wazina Zondon utilize traditional storytelling and conversation as the medium for exploring the broad range of their experiences as queer Muslims. The stories Coming Out Muslimtell range from tales about other people’s theories about where queerness comes from, the gifts of being queer and Muslim, the tension between one’s culture and religion, and love—romantic and spiritual. Coming Out Muslimis both funny and poignant.
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It’s that time of year - National Coming Out Day. “Coming out” is the term used for telling people that your sexuality is something other than straight. It’s a massive step for many people, but should only be taken when one is ready and IF one wants to. I’d love there to be a situation where ‘straight’ wasn’t the default in society and there was no need to come out, but the reality of today is different. So to my LGBT community who aren’t ‘out’, don’t feel pressured to do so. Do what’s right for you as an individual. I pray the time comes when we can live our lives the way we see fit. Until then, know that the mods at IANH are always here for you.
Yes, it’s another one of those photo blogs. I thought the Muslim queers on tumblr could use a space where they could meet other Muslim queers. This one is a blog for any Muslims who happen to be queer. If you are Muslim and identify as something other than non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, than you are a Muslim queer.
So the way it works is this: Submit a photo of yourself including your name, age, location, and URL. Your submission will be published as soon as possible.
Submit box is now open!
EDIT: Please note this blog is not run by IANH or any of its team members. Please remember to be careful about how much personal information you disclose on the internet