The world’s first ever Muslim LGBTQ+ pride festival is set to take place in London next month, and tickets are now on sale.
The event has been organised by the UK’s leading Muslim LGBTQ+ charity, Imaan, which campaigned tirelessly to raise money for the festival.
After successfully reaching its crowdfunding goal of £10,000 towards the end of last year, the charity set the date for ImaanFest, which will take place at an indoor venue in east London on Saturday, April 11.
Tickets launched this week on EventBrite, with prices ranging between £6 and £22. Each ticket purchase includes lunch and dinner, as well as sessions, panels and evening entertainment as the charity hope to celebrate ‘culture, identities and faith with an amazing all-day event’.
ImaanFest will feature panels and discussions with special guests including bisexual Muslim activist Blair Imani, queer British-Iraqi writer Amrou Al-Kadhi, and trans activist and star of Channel 4’s Muslim Drag Queens Asifa Lahore.
Speaking about the event, Amrou Al-Kadhi said:
The media has tried to control the narrative about queer Islamic identities for too long, often thrusting us into a horrific culture war, as if Islam is the mortal enemy of queer identity.
ImaanFest, Muslim Pride is the perfect counter-narrative, revelling in the joys of queer Muslim identities, and giving us the chance to make our own space.
LGBTQIA+ Muslims are as beautiful and naturally occurring as the rainbow that represents us.
Allah’s love knows no bounds and we are loved, too.
On its crowdfunding site, Imaan explained how LGBTQ+ Muslims often find themselves ‘isolated, without community and frequently facing homophobic, biphobic, transphobic AND Islamaphobic abuse.’
The charity continued:
We are proud that over the last twenty years, we have managed to build a huge community and network across the UK and the world that supports and celebrates Muslim LGBTQI diversity on almost no budget.
ImaanFest will take place on the charity’s 20th anniversary, and will build on events it has organised in the past. As well as panels and discussions, it promises to feature ‘speakers, arts, culture and history’, in what will be a first for LGBTQ+ Muslims.
The festival aims to bring together and empower those who face homophobic, transphobic and Islamophobic abuse for being themselves.
Imaan was founded in London in November 1999 by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Muslims. It has since ’empowered thousands of others… to reconcile sexuality [and] gender identity with the Islamic faith through social support meetings, conferences, retreats, Pride and religious celebrations and spiritual practice.’
You can buy tickets for ImaanFest here.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected].