I'm a French Muslim who is gay, and a feminist. I no longer want people in my country to think that it is an impossible blend, and that these different aspects of my identity are incompatible. Today in France, gay teenagers are almost 15 times more likely than those who are straight to kill themselves because of their sexual orientation. Left deeply bruised by this fact, I decided to create an association in support of gay French Muslims, which launched in 2010.
This eventually led me to plan an inclusive mosque in Paris – the first of its kind. It is a project born after a long personal journey. As a teenager, when my representation of Islam was a radical one, I learned half of the Qur'an by heart. I was bewitched by the beauty of the texts, which were steeped in universalism. But at the age of 17, I came to terms with the fact that I was gay. After more than 15 years of reflection on the matter, I now understand that the Qur'an does not explicitly refer to "homosexuality", nor does it refer to women as "inferior". Indeed, the strict and dogmatic interpretation of some verses of the Qur'an is no longer unanimous, especially in the eyes of progressive Muslims across the world (even if we remain, for the time being, a minority).