As one of only five openly gay imams in the world, Imam Daayiee Abdullah is using his visibility to raise awareness and build a culture of acceptance for LGBTQ Muslims.

“I think that visibility is always important for those who have not considered or have not thought of the possibilities of a Muslim who is both religious and gay,” Abdullah, the executive director of the MECCA Institute, told HRC. “It is important for people to see people like themselves within their religious context. It gives them a point of reference and someone they can talk to because a lot of questions frequently go unanswered by the traditionalist system.”

Abdullah, who has been working with HRC Foundation’s faith and religion team for nearly 20 years, is leading a workshop hosted by HRC and the MECCA Institute on “Sexuality, Gender, and Family in the Muslim Community” in Houston, Texas on August 31. The workshop will take place near ISNACON, a national convention for Muslim Americans working toward social change.

The workshop will provide an overview of sexuality within the Muslim community, emphasizing Muslim families and their relationships with LGBTQ children. It will also delve into aspects of sexuality, family structure and building relationships.  […]