Who Is Blair Imani?
I'm Blair Imani. I like to describe myself as a flower with many petals. I am Black, bisexual, and Muslim. I wrote a book called Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, which tells the stories of 70 contemporary heroes who are changing the world. I also founded a nonprofit organization called Equality for HER.
What Does Queer Mean?
Queer means something different for everyone. Most in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community agree that queer is an umbrella term for those who are outside of the heteronormative and cisnormative definitions of relationships and/or identity. For me, queer means I am bisexual or attracted to people of all genders.
Do You Believe that it is Haram or Forbidden to be LGBTQ or Gay or Bisexual in Islam?
No. I believe Allah created me as I am, bisexuality and all. I believe that queer people of faith deserve to worship in safety and peace.
While I acknowledge that many people do believe that queerness is forbidden in Islam, I do not agree with this interpretation. Many arguments about queerness in the Qur'an emerge from the story of Lut, known to other Abrahamic religions as Sodom & Gomorrah.
Two important things:
I believe that the story of Lut does not teach against consensual same gender romantic or sexual relationships.
I believe that the story of Lut is very clearly teaching against rape regardless of whether the rape is committed by someone of the same or differing gender of the rapist.
Furthermore, I believe that following the teaching of Islam and Allah's word are an aspiration that Muslims seek and that human agendas of bigotry and hatred influence the way faith is practiced. Homophobia / transphobia are not exclusive to Islam or Abrahamic religions though the influence of these forces of hate frequently results in harm and violence against LGBTQ people.
What Does Blair Imani Do?
Admittedly, I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Instagram. I mentor youth activists Mari Copeny, Royce Mann, Kenidra R. Woods, Ziad Ahmed, Clifton Kinnie, Tati McQuay, and many others. I write articles and provide interviews. I serve on several boards focused on youth education and empowerment and I speak at events and universities around the world. You can book me for your next conference or rally: blairimani.com/contact
Is Blair Imani Queer or Bisexual AND Muslim?
Yep. Those are the facts! I converted to Islam in 2015 and have been a practicing Muslim ever since. Islam is a beautiful religion with immense cultural, racial, and spiritual diversity within it. I have been aware of my bisexual identity since I was 15 years old, though it was not until 2017 that I came out extremely publicly on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News. You can check out that wild moment here.
I have more questions!
Send me a tweet on Twitter @BlairImani but ask yourself whether the question is an appropriate one before inquiring!