Sunday, August 31, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is a gay Pakistani American who founded the Al-Fatiha Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Muslims. Today's Out Spotlight is Faisal Alam.

Faisal Alam arrived in the United States from Pakistan in 1987, at the age of ten, and resided in the rural middle-class town of Ellington, Connecticut.

At age 19, while trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, Alam started an email listserv for LGBT Muslims that led to the first-ever gathering of LGBT Muslims, which led to the founding of Al-Fatiha, an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims, and their allies in 1998.   He served as its President from 1998 until stepping down in 2004.

Since founding Al-Fatiha, he has traveled across the country and around the world to meet with LGBTIQ Muslims to build a global queer Muslim movement. His queer Muslim activism has been featured in both LGBT and mainstream newspapers and media.

Amal has received numerous recognitions and awards for his activism on behalf of queer Muslims. Advocate Magazine selected him as an "Innovator," Genre Magazine has recognized him as a "Founding Father," and the Utne Reader chose Faisal as one of 30 "Young Visionaries Under 30." In 2005 the Equality Forum recognized Faisal as one of “40 Heroes” who have "made a defining difference in LGBT civil rights over the last forty years." In 2008 Faisal received an award from Pride Toronto for his "outstanding contribution in the area of spirituality that positively impacts LGBT communities."

In 2011, Alam and other LGBTQ Muslim activists were invited by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to form a Queer Muslim Working Group to evaluate the needs of the LGBTQ Muslim community. He was instrumental in bringing together a diverse group of seasoned leaders to undertake this project. In 2013, the Queer Muslim Working Group launched a new organization: the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD).

Alam is a member of the Advisory Committee of the LGBT Program at Human Rights Watch.


Special K said...

My apologies London TB - I accidentally deleted your message as I was clean up a mess in aisle 4 from our troll that lurks.

I think you said you were catching up and saying a good job for OMG with the 'tec work.

prairiegirl said...

Aw man, how can this weekend be over? I feel like crying a bucket of tears. What a relaxing, fun, lazy weekend. As my job has only gotten more demanding in the last several years and from now until the end of the year, I don't know what it holds, Lord willing, but I have a big feeling it's going to be not fun, lots of long hours and probably some weekends and just ugh, ugh, ugh.

I treasure every day off, every holiday. I want out of this work rat race so bad - I am ready to leave it to the young whippersnappers. Here - you can have it. I've got so much more fun to do and I don't need that crap anymore.

**sigh**. But's not time yet. Pardon me while I go grab another bucket to cry into. LOL.