From Michigan, USA:
“When I was 17, I knew I was queer. I had been sure for about 3 years. In the same tender year, my AP Literature teacher read my class a Rumi or Hafiz poem every Friday. I became very attached to Rumi in particular and went to a bookstore some weeks later to steal a small book of Rumi poems. I kept that little book close to me at all times, meditating on his words and filling the book with pink sticky notes. One year later, I abandoned Christianity and decided that I there was no way for me to be religious and gay. Those years of hard secularism were the most confusing and as much as I tried to remain steadfast in godlessness, I turned to Rumi for comfort and guidance. I bought more Rumi books and came across a passage about living a life for Allah. And for the first time, I thought if I wanted to understand Rumi, I should learn about Islam. From there, I fell in love and was filled with love. I am privileged enough to have a powerful queer Black Muslim in my life to show me that queerness and Islam can live harmoniously in the same heart. After years of anger expressed through secularism, I am now at peace in Islam. I’m still new, and I sometimes hesitate to call myself Muslim because there is still so much I have to learn. Additionally, I’m afraid of being called illegitimate because of my newness and queerness.
One day, inshAllah, I will live out my given name: Faith.”