Parisians celebrate being gay and Muslim at end of Ramadan

A group of LGBT Muslims celebrated Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, with pride and joy on the banks of the River Seine, Paris

Parisians celebrate being gay and Muslim at end of Ramadan
28 August 2012

Last weekend, a group of LGBT Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan with a special feast on the banks of the Seine.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and partake in charitable giving and peace-making.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking.

It is both a family and community occasion to celebrate the end of fasting, and thanking Allah for giving them strength throughout the fast.

During Eid Al-Fitr, Muslims have a special celebratory meal, the first daytime meal they would have had in a month. It is a joyous family occasion and also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

On a sunny afternoon last Saturday (25 August) a group of 25 LGBT Muslims came together to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with a picnic on the banks of river Seine, Paris.

Attendees were part of a LGBT Muslim free expression group, arranged by Collective of French Muslim Homosexual organizations (known as HM2F), which meet every month in the LGBT centre of Paris.

Gay Star News interveiwed Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, the chair and founder of HM2F, about this special celebration and occasion: ‘We saw lots of people who don’t usually attend our monthly meetings.

‘People were very keen to participate, I think it’s because many of us need this space to celebrate.

‘Many Muslim LGBT people face pressure, especially during Ramadan, and even more so when living with their families, on the issues of faith and sexuality. So this is a joyous celebration and also a form of release.

‘For many, it’s the only place where they can celebrate a Eid Al-Fitr as well as being gay, a place where you can be proud of your faith and sexuality. ‘

This year 25 people participated, a mixed group with women being a third of the participants.

Zahed continues: ‘We sat on the sand at a quay by the river Seine, where Paris Plage [Paris beach] takes place.

‘It was a warm day, everyone brought something to eat and drink, we had lots of food, laughs, and shared stories.

‘We spoke about each other’s experiences during Ramadan, the summer, some talked about their participation in an LGBT pilgrimage to Mecca in June, while others talked about their holidays.

‘As I mentioned we had several new members, including a gay refugee from Mauritania.

‘He was ostracized from his village, stoned and stabbed with a knife in his stomach; he almost died, but made it to France.

‘It was very moving to hear his story which although sad, was filled with the hope of finding a new life and beginning in France.

‘Another new member, a girl of Tunisian descent, who was brought up in France, told us about her intentions to move to Tunisia and help the LGBT movement there.

‘Three years ago, people would say that it’s not possible to be gay from a Muslim background. I am so glad to say that after three years of gays and lesbians celebrating Eid Al-Fitr together , we have achieved that and so much more.

‘It means it is possible to be gay and Muslim, whilist celebrating both together.’



No thumbnail available

New Jersey Senate panel approves trans and intersex birth certificate bill

The bill, which allows trans and intersex people to obtain a new birth certificate without surgery, was approved by a 6-2 vote by the committee
No thumbnail available

Lesbian actress Kelly McGillis of Witness fame to play Amish again in new movie

Starred opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Jodie Foster in The Accused
No thumbnail available

Is someone really stealing Christmas?

If so, it’s never been who you think
No thumbnail available

Jessica Simpson's religious dad 'is gay and has a toy boy'

Family source claims US singer's dad divorced from wife of 34 years because he was gay
No thumbnail available

Meet the gay man obsessed with being a mermaid

A 22-year-old gay man from Florida who's entire life is based around mermaids is the subject of a new TLC documentary
No thumbnail available

Arabic TV lists Daniel Radcliffe as ‘disgraceful gay’

Read the list of eight celebrities who ‘shocked the world’ with their sexuality – including Radcliffe, who is actually straight
No thumbnail available

World’s first openly intersex mayor faces allegations of serious misconduct

Councillor Tony Briffa, Mayor of Hobson’s Bay in Melbourne, asks fellow councillor to accept his apology to save taxpayers money to end long-running dispute
No thumbnail available

United Nations will now recognize gay marriage

The world’s top level of government will now give equal benefits and recognition to its workers who are in same-sex relationships who have legally wed
No thumbnail available

Cambodia Pride amazing tuk-tuk race

Cambodia Pride get creative with their Pride week fun
No thumbnail available

Two gay parties face off in Florida

A Florida HIV group that benefits from White Party Miami sales is disappointed Gay Days Fort Lauderdale has been scheduled for the same Thanksgiving weekend