Leading LGBTQI+ Muslim – organisation, Hidayah, has today (19th February 2020) launched Istame’a, the first ever dedicated podcast series, exploring the real-life stories and challenges faced by LGBTQI+ Muslims. The new series provides a safe space for LGBTQI+ Muslims to share their experiences and discuss topics such as coming out, their relationship with their faith and dealing with a stigma of shame. All episodes are aimed at providing advice and guidance for anyone who is on a similar journey or facing the same challenges. The first season is split into four episodes lasting around 35 minutes and will be published weekly. The episodes are:
Episode 1: Muslim Stories – Sunny, Amber and Ibrahim share their personal stories about their journeys navigating religion and sexuality. The episode also sheds light on some of the biggest challenges they have overcome, as well as their experiences within the wider LGBTQI+ community.
Episode 2: Stigma of Shame – Three guests discuss where the stigma of shame comes from for LGBTQI+ Muslims and how they have overcome this in their own lives .The second half of the episodes poses the question as to when the guests believe they will be fully accepted by both the LGBTQI+ and Muslim communities.
Episode 3: Religion vs Culture – What is religion and what is culture and how are they interlinked, especially within Islam? This is the question that Mubeen, Khalil and Sunny attempt to answer. Using stories of their own experiences, they discuss how this impacts the queer Muslim community, and their own lives.
Episode 4: The Concept of Coming Out – Coming out is a major moment for anyone within the LGBTQI+ community and can be even more difficult for LGBTQI+ Muslims. This episode focuses on why personal safety must always be paramount, while providing practical tips and sharing stories from Maria, Almass and Sameer.
Istame’a is the latest platform used by Hidayah to provide a support network for LGBTQI+ Muslims and aims to create greater awareness around the stigmas and challenges faced daily by millions across the world. The series is hosted by Rabia Mirza, Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, who is known for discussing the relationship LGBTQI+ Muslims have with their religion.
Istame’a can be found on Global Player, as well as Spotify and iTunes. Istame’a can also be accessed directly from Hidayah’s website and social channels.
Shelina, co-founder and Chair at Hidayah commented: “Many LGBTQI+ Muslims face many shocking, antagonistic and hostile challenges every day. It is partly because of this, that very few stories about LGBTQI+ Muslims are told as it’s not always safe to be visible. At Hidayah, our aim is to encourage dialogue in a safe space where anyone can come to us to have a confidential chat with our members, whether that is to gain support or share advice. By creating Istame’a we hope that we can improve the lives of many that have to face hostility or shame on a day to day basis.”
Istame’a was created and produced by DRUM and can be listened to here.