By Monica Rosales |Contributing Writer|
The beauty of being Muslim and identifying as queer was celebrated at the event “Coming Out Muslim” held in the Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center on April 26.
The Woman’s Resource Center and Pride Center invited special guests Wazina Zondon and Terna who shared countless stories, prayers, dance movements and revelations throughout the entire event.
Zondon and Terna’s event is held all over the country and is meant to capture the stories and experiences of being at the intersection of Islam and queerness.
The event started off the event with a variety of music, ranging from Muslim to American.
Interestingly, the event did not make the classic introduction, but one that got the crowd hooked and ready for what they were to say next.
“I was caught off guard with how amazed I was with the event, the stories they shared inspire you to not be afraid and be who you are, the way they inspire you is so hidden and amazing,” said student Nikole Williams.
The performance piece was strong and could be interpreted in a matter of ways.
Both Zondon and Terna switch off telling their true stories of the struggles they encounter growing up and being who they believed to be.
“Allah is in what I say and in what I know; Allah is love, Allah is ‘I love you’” said Zodon, beginning the event by explaining her faith.
Growing up and being at the crossroads of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, faith and more put their stories in a strong perspective everyone can relate to.
“The truth is, Allah made me gay,” said Zondon as she takes pride in everything she is.
The stories range from tales about other people’s theories about where queerness comes from and the gifts that come from being both queer and Muslim.
Zondon explained her piece in theories, explaining how society needed to justify and give reasons as to who she was.
“I never felt Islam asked me to be anything than what I am, then how could I despise myself?” said Terna
The tension of culture and religion is a big factor in Terna’s piece.
She made sure to focus on the struggles of Islamophobia and homophobia, and how it made her doubt the idea that being gay and Muslim was a gift.
Zondon and Terna gave a dance performance as they spoke about how being who they are is not good enough and they have to mask themselves around their own culture at times.
“Hearing stories like these has you open your eyes and make a connection to multiple things you didn’t see before and I’m happy [Zondon and Terna] have this type of performance to show people the reality of the world,” said student Jacob Mathews.
“Coming Out Muslim” was an inspirational performance with deep meaning that everyone should hear at least once in their lives.
The stories were meant to inspire how the world makes us see certain views and how we should never be ashamed of who we are.