Identity experience among progressive gay Muslims in North America: a qualitative study within Al-Fatiha

Cult Health Sex. 2005 Mar;7(2):113-28. doi: 10.1080/13691050412331321294.


This qualitative study aims to document the identity experience of progressive gay Muslim men in a North American context. Six in-depth interviews, supplemented with participant observation, were conducted of gay Muslim men who attended an international conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims. For progressive gay Muslims such as these, a Muslim identity appears three-dimensional (religious, ethno-cultural, and color) when integrated with a gay identity. As a religious identity, gay Muslim's relationship to Allah (God) and a reinterpretation of the Qur'an and traditional condemnation of homosexuality appears necessary. As a cultural identity, East-West ethno-cultural differences that impact on homo-sociality and gay identity construction, marriage and the impact of coming out on the Eastern family and siblings emerged as critical issues. As a color identity, internalized racism, dating relationships and social dynamics within gay subculture as Muslims of color in a white dominant context appear key challenges.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Homosexuality, Male* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • North America
  • Self Disclosure
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Identification*
  • Stereotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires