Community Conversation: Hidayah LGBT
For this week’s Community Conversation we’re talking to Hidayah LGBT. Hidayah provide support and guidance to LGBTQIA+ Muslims and help educate the community to counter discrimination, prejudice and injustice faced by LGBTQIA+ Muslims. The word 'Hidayah' is Arabic for 'guidance.'
We chatted with Farina, a Trustee and Community Outreach Rep, about how lockdown and the ongoing situation is affecting Hidayah’s work.
Farina: We usually hold monthly social meetings in the different cities around the UK which we have had to put on hold. Additionally, to that, we have requests to attend schools, panel talks, companies to spread the word of Hidayah, which have all come to a halt as well. We have also had to change the way we interact with our members, often having impromptu meetings with people who wanted to meet in person for information and advice, has now stopped too due to social isolation/distancing. We have moved our entire networking online, we had WhatsApp groups before and received emails from members, we are now hosting online meets on a weekly basis to help boost morale amongst our members, allowing them to be in touch with us virtually. We have also liaised with our members via our social media platforms, sending out tips and advice on how to stay positive during this lockdown period and how to help others by staying home and staying safe.
The support from the LGBTQ+ community has been really empowering. Hidayah has been involved with the LGBT Consortium who put together a zoom call for other LGBT faith groups to get together and share ideas on how to help one another out. Additionally, Stonewall have advertised information on their website about organisations/charities that are specifically doing things to help during lockdown, including sharing more tips and ideas. Manchester Pride and Hidayah have recently connected with one another and I look forward to working together once we are out of lockdown.
The community has all rallied round and are utilising what support they can get from Hidayah during this trying time. It is a fine balance as some members have returned home from colleges/universities where they may have been “out of the closet” and now living with family and “back in the closet” has seen a drop in numbers in some areas, but a higher increase of people reaching out due to wanting support too.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to join as a member or if you would like to support us to grow and reach more people like yourself.
All information can be found on the website: www.hidayahlgbt.co.uk
. Please follow our social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram for updates on support and events @hidayahlgbtqi and on Facebook - Hidayah LGBT+.
We aspire to create a society free from discrimination, if we do not currently operate in your area, email us to see if we can work with you to bring Hidayah to your city and expand the visibility of LGBTQI+ Muslims