Last week we had Osman from Hidayah come to talk about the experiences of Queer Muslims, and the debate about the differences in acceptance and faith more generally really got going in the Q&A portion of his talk.
It got me thinking about the experiences of our members who are trans+ and are, or used to be, part of a religious group.
It can be an emotive topic for some: maybe their faith is part of the reason their family doesn’t feel able to accept them or they have been excluded from their communal place of worship.
For others, it is a topic of purely academic interest, having had little or no impact on their lives or coming from a background where they had no dominant faith or religion.
Either way, everyone had something to say, and there were so many words of support and kindness for those harmed by others’ readings of their religion.
We see a tendency for faith and queerness to be seen as two totally separate and opposing strands of diversity by many, and yet people live in the borderlands of the two more often than either group might like to admit.
So let us have empathy and understanding for all of the above:
Because some religious people are queer-positive.
Because some queer people are religious.
Because some queer people who are not religious are still positive toward others’ religion.
Because some on both sides, unfortunately, are prejudiced against the other.
My stand on all this? Faith is often about love, and togetherness, and good. If you stand for all of those, you can stand together with all people, even those you don’t agree with. If you are preaching hate, I believe that it is you who is tainted. And queers? We stand together too, to offer love and support and caring. Let us offer that to even those who cannot yet accept us.
Maybe we all have more in common than society seems to think.