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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.

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

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Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

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Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

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Indie pop band Sub-Radio created a perfect introvert parody of Whitney Houston's hit song.

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.

Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.

While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.

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Pop Culture

Magician changes his act so a visually impaired man can experience it for the first time

“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

@magickevinli/TikTok

“There’s always a way to experience magic.”

Pro magician Kevin Li has dazzled audiences, celebrities and even heavy hitters in the industry like Penn and Teller with his impressive sleight of hand displays.

However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.

A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."

Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

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Identity

Alabama community loves deaf Waffle House cook who taught his co-workers to use sign language

Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.

via Google

The Waffle House in Hope Hull, Alabama.

Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.

One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.

“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”

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