In December of this year, London plans to host the world’s first-ever Muslim Pride festival. Despite the current ban on large gatherings, UK-based LGBTQ Muslim organization, Imaan, stated that after a crowdfunding effort it has managed to raise over 10,000 British pounds (about $12,300) and will be moving forward with preparations for Imaan Fest.
The indoor celebration will be the first of its kind and will showcase film screenings, panel discussions, and live performances from local artists. Famed British Muslim drag queen and trans activist Asifa Lahore is celebrating the news, stating to NowThis, “For centuries and decades, we as a community have always been erased, we’ve always been brushed underneath the carpet. In many ways, I feel like we’re Islam’s best kept secret.”
In a similar vein, Imaan organizers told The Independent that LGBTQ Muslims often feel “isolated, without community and frequently facing homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and Islamophobic abuse.”
The goal of this festival is to shine a light on these issues and offer a safe space for the community to come together and celebrate. The charity’s hope is that the unique event will help people feel “empowered, engaged and to make no apologies for being practicing Muslims and LGBTQI People.”
The festival was originally scheduled for this April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to Saturday, December 12. If you’re interested in this event and the organization, visit the official website for more information. You can also donate here to help support its continued work and preparations for the festival. The charity, which was founded in 1999, offers support and empowerment to those in the Muslim community with the aim to reconcile faith with sexuality and gender identity.