Coming Out as LGBTQ Ally in Muslim Context Professor Amina Wadud

This presentation will address some of the particular concerns over LGBTQ identity within Muslim communities both nationally and internationally.It will include some of the theological and cultural arguments used against same-sex relations while establishing an alternative theological analysis for inclusion and equality. More importantly, this plenary session will outline some of the steps, both strategically public and spiritually personal, about stepping up to the challenge of being an outspoken and cooperative ally to LBGTQ communities, including within Muslim contexts. Special concerns vis-à-vis the politics of identity must be contextualized in order to avoid reducing these arguments to their lowest common denominator, especially when too often LGBTQ Muslims are forced to choose one aspect of their identity over others. Amina Wadud is an internationally acclaimed scholar, human rights activist, and educator.Currently a Visiting Scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union, Amina has also held positions at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, and the Harvard Divinity School. She is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her recent publications include "Inside the Gender Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam" and articles such as "Islam and Patriarchy," "Muslim Women: Between Citizenship and Faith," and "Qur’an, Gender, and Interpretive Possibilities." Amina is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and grants, including the Valor Award, presented by al-Fatihah at the Fifth International Retreat for Queer Muslims and Their Allies; and the Democracy Prize, from Democratic Muslims of Denmark. She was selected for the 2009 Library of Congress "Women Who Dare" book series.