Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love
“Allah makes Muslims. Allah makes queers. Being both has never been a source of internal conflict.”
Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love, captures stories and experiences of being at the intersections of Islam and queerness and its relationship to family, lovers, one’s sense of self and relationship with our faith. Terna Tilley-Gyado and Wazina Zondon utilize traditional storytelling and conversation as the medium for exploring the broad range of their experiences as queer Muslims. The storiesComing Out Muslim tell range from tales about other people’s theories about where queerness comes from, the gifts of being queer and Muslim, the tension between one’s culture and religion, and love—romantic and spiritual. Coming Out Muslim is both funny and poignant.
Coming Out Muslim: Clips from the opening show at the WOW Cafe Theater in NYC
What the media is saying
“Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love is a powerful collection of multi-genre performance that showcases voices, stories and experiences of the intersections between queerness and Islam. The performance is the continuation of the Tilley-Gyado and Zondon’s joint effort to make visible public spaces for lives they love.Colorlines, October 2011 (http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/10/todays_love_taking_the_stage_for_queer_muslims.html)
Listen to an interview about the project on She Leads Radio:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sheleadsradio/2011/10/15/rebirth-resilience-resound
Listen to an interview on WBAI’s Out-FM (begins around the 20:15 mark):http://outfm.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146:coming-out-muslim-brooklyn-and-queens-pride&catid=34:feedburner
*Please note that workshops will be tailored according to participants’ needs
The Anti-Oppression workshop facilitates conversation about what intentionally welcoming, inclusive, and anti-oppressive communities look like. The workshop unpacks the terms power, privilege and oppression. Participants will have the opportunity to consider how dynamics of each impact their lives individually and in community.
Islamophobia & Homophobia
This workshop begins with the question, what are some parallels of experiences with oppression – specifically Islamophobia and homophobia? It explores questions about how institutional expressions of oppression (laws regulating these communities) impact and compound the learned personal/interpersonal expressions of oppression in our communities,
how we explore expressions and experiences of oppressions, and how
we deepen the level of authentic dialogue and engagement across real and perceived difference.
Interrupting Islamophobia Workshop
The Interrupting Islamophobia workshop shares best practices, tools and skills to address Islamophobia in a range of settings and communities, from classrooms to families to 1-on-1 with colleagues/students/administrators). It also provides resources to assist in shifting the cultural narrative that impacts the lives of Muslims, allies to the Muslim community, and those perceived to be Muslim in a post-9/11 world.
Beyond Tolerance: Inclusion and Social Justice
This workshop focuses on deepening the conversation about what inclusion and social justice mean and what they look like in practice as values for a community. Participants will have the opportunity to explore their Identities and experience in this context.
Faith & Sexuality
As we know, “sexuality” is a broad term used to talk about how we express ourselves as sexual beings in the world. Often it also means sexual orientation. In this workshop participants will explore the ways in which faith and sexuality intersect in their lives as well as how one informs the other.
In this workshop participants will explore the intersections of their identities, their relationship to family, lovers, sense of self and relationship with faith through writing prompts and movement.
Terna Tilley-Gyado is a Nigerian/Liberian/American artist, educator and healer currently living in Philadelphia. She was an NYC public school teacher for five years, has worked at the UN, holds an MA in International Conflict Analysis and an MST in Adolescent Education. She has worked for the anti-bullying non-profit the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and develops and facilitates social justice education classes and workshops. She is interested in (r)evolution, the relationships between fierce and tender, hard and soft, seen and unseen, and how these relationships create possibility for both innovation and remembering the benefits of what is. She believes that occupying queer and Muslim identities is one such (r)evolutionary relationship. Terna is a dervish in the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order, and practices the healing art of Jin Shin Jyutsu.
Wazina Zondon is a sexuality educator, committed to justice and affirming and authentic spaces for all people. As an organizer and educator, she has trained in a variety of dynamic settings and communities on issues related to social justice, holistic sexuality and its intersections at the crossroads of race, class, gender and faith.
Wazina is an Afghan working class queer committed to and inspired by the self-determination and power of the people. As a proud daughter and sister, she is committed to reclaiming the narrative on her identities: Afghan, woman, daughter of immigrants, queer, and Muslim and ensuring that all people have the spaces to speak their truths and have them be heard.
Currently she teaches Sex Ed at a public school in downtown Brooklyn. When she is not teaching, she works on bringing the conversation of Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love to the public and is a member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE).
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