They are gay. They are Muslim. They are proud.

Every year, Pride serves as an opportunity to celebrate inclusivity, tolerance, and acceptance in the LGBTQ community.

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images.

For queer Muslims, Pride month is all the more special.

Since traditionalist views of Islam consider homosexuality a sin, it's a common myth that you can't be both queer and Muslim. But every year, tons of practicing Muslims who identify as queer come out and engage in self-affirmation of their complex, intersecting identities.


If there's one thing that Pride month's proved so far, it's that being LGBTQ and Muslim are not mutually exclusive.

Now more than ever, Muslim-American citizens are rallying together to support the LGBTQ people within their community.

A recent study revealed that 51% of Muslim-Americans support marriage equality, according to the May 2018 Public Religion Research Institute study. This is a huge leap from four years ago, when that same percentage were opposed. To put numbers into comparison, according to the study's findings, marriage equality is opposed by 58% of white evangelical Christians and 53% of Mormons.

Queer Islamic scholars and imams have also risen to prominence. Daaiyee Abdullah, based in Washington, D.C., is one of the eight openly gay imams in the world. He is known to offer religious services to Muslim LGBTQ members who have been turned away or cast out from the community.

LGBTQ Muslim representation in entertainment is on the rise, with Tan France's prominent role in "Queer Eye," "The Bold Type's" lesbian character Adena El Amin (played by Nikohl Boosheri), and Mahershala Ali's starring role in "Moonlight."

Plus, several prominent non-queer Muslims that have come forward in support for LGBTQ rights. Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American public intellectual, and comedian Hasan Minhaj penned an open letter urging Muslim-Americans to stand against anti-gay bigotry and support marriage equality. Meanwhile, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, our country's first Somali-American legislator, marched in her local Pride parade.

Despite this outpouring of visibility, queer Muslims face discrimination at every turn.

Laws in many Muslim-majority countries are influenced by these religiously driven homophobic beliefs. Same-gender marriage is often not only illegal, but being queer can warrant prison time or even death. These threats keep many Muslims in the closet.

In the U.S., with the sweeping tide of Islamophobia, the "not-a-Muslim-ban" Muslim ban, and an administration adamant on rolling back LGBTQ rights, queer Muslims' safety is constantly at risk.

These realities are daunting. But the swell of support during Pride of religious tolerance and LGBTQ acceptance proves that progress is being made.

If all people can set aside differences and see each other as fully human, the future will be bright.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

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via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

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