In the wake of the Orlando attacks, BuzzFeed takes a look at the LGBT Muslim-American community, and what they are feeling and have to say about their community and the horrors of the shooting.
Hussain Turk, 26, is a Pakistani-American lawyer currently living in West Hollywood, California: “I was brushing my teeth when I found out about Orlando — I brushed so hard my gums started bleeding. I felt broken…. As a queer Muslim, I occupy a position on the margins of both the queer and Muslim communities. While it’s imperative to address the material struggles and disparities of marginalization, being on the outside is also a blessing. It’s only from the margins that I get to develop a critical perspective that, with other queer Muslims, is cultivated and transformed into a creative energy which we’ve used to generate a truly beautiful community of our own.”
Jordan Alam, 24, is a Bengali American writer and activist living and working in Seattle: “I am fortunate that my people, online and off, have understood and talked about the complexities of resisting Islamophobia as well as homophobia — but I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. I see what other folks have been experiencing and combating in their social media feeds and in the streets, and I want to be helpful but I have a fear that putting myself forward will make me more of a target of violence.”
Mahdia Lynn is coordinator of the Transgender Muslim Support Network and is also a member of Third Coast Queer Muslims: “There is a succession of feelings when you learn about something like this. There is the moment of learning that dozens of people have been murdered, then learning they were murdered because they were gay, because they were trans, because they were queer. Just dealing with that heartbreak and fear and frustration. Then, to learn that the person that did the shooting is Muslim. There’s just — there’s just this sinking feeling. Because we know that whenever this happens, it almost immediately means retribution for the Muslim community.”