The eternal struggle between faith and sexuality is often told through the lens of white North American Christians. And while the reconciliation of sexuality and spirituality can often be a long road where many don’t find an exit, there is hope. Even in deeply conservative cultures like that of Iraq.
So today, we take a deep dive into what it means to be both Gay and Muslim with author Hasan Namir. Growing up in Iraq, Namir struggled with hushed statements about his sexuality and allusions to what he was up to the “neighbor’s boy.” Despite undergoing persecution for his sexual orientation and numerous failed attempts to come out to his family, Namir never wavered from his religious beliefs.
Straddling that strange line eventually became the premise for Namir’s first novel “God in Pink.” A fictional story about a young gay Iraqi man, Ammar, who struggles with faith, sexuality, and fatherhood against the backdrop of political strife in war-torn Iraq.
Namir was kind enough to take an afternoon and sit with the Outspeak team to explain why writing heals wounds. His story is particularly inspiring in a time where the world exists in contradiction. Hasan is not exclusively a Muslim nor is he exclusively gay. He exists at a crossroads between both identities and in doing so will perhaps allow us to have a greater understanding of both marginalized groups.
With anti-Muslim hysteria at an all time high under President Trump, Hasan’s story is more important than ever. Please take some time to watch the video above and celebrate his story along with Pride Month. Hasan’s bold embrace of both identities is something we can all learn from.