The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) is probably my favourite charity, performing a really important role. This fabulous charity (promo vid below) defines it’s aims as:
To ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes, by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise be homeless or living in a hostile environment.
They aim to do this by:
- Providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes.
- Enabling young people to manage independent living successfully.
- Improving attitudes within society towards lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, they’ve scored a media goal today in a bid to raise awareness of an important issue – homeless gay Muslims, fleeing forced marriages, and so called ‘honour killings’. The BBC story is worth reading in full (thanks to Sean for flagging this story up).
The story is prompted by a reported rise in the number of Muslim men and women coming to the charity in the last six months. Some of the most challenging tutorials I’ve ever had with both undergraduate and postgraduate students (some of you might be reading this!) has been when we’ve discussed Islam and sexuality and time after time I’ve heard the assertion by Muslims in those tutorials that ‘there are no gay Muslims’ which is logically true if you accept the idea that those two statuses are incompatible. This might make for challenging and interesting discussions in the tutorial setting but it makes for a nightmarish environment for those who do consider themselves gay and Muslim. Far from going away, I think this is an issue that will continue to grow.