“I didn’t know you could be LGBTQ+ and Muslim” is a statement I overheard not too long ago. For the speaker, a religious identity (one of practised faith) felt juxtaposed alongside one of queerness. Whether it was a comment born out of naivety or ignorance, its passing sentiment had bothered me, as I thought: “Can queerness and faith co-exist?”. Well, that’s a broad stroked question with many avenues. Much like the variety of the LGBTQ+ community, there’s no archetype on how religion and queerness should be integrated, and nor does there need to be. Instead, regardless of the chosen faith or culture, mutual respect should be granted as a member of the community seeks to find solidarity amongst others. Understandably, navigating a whole new community with the attachment of your personal cultures and religions is no easy feat. The often reiterated narratives of trauma and abandonment can paint a pretty bleak picture. However, there is always scope to spotlight the joyful moments of queerness, culture and visibility too. GAY TIMES spoke with a handful of LGBTQ+ Muslims to hear how they sought out queer joy and acceptance as part of both communities.