Berlin’s Gay Muslims Out In The Shadows

Berlin’s gay Muslim immigrants are coming out ever so slightly – and silently:

European Muslims, so often portrayed one-dimensionally as rioters, honor killers or terrorists, live diverse lives, most of them trying to get by and to have a good time. That is more difficult if one is both Muslim and gay.

Safety and secrecy come up regularly when talking to guests, who laugh and dance, but also frequently look over their shoulders. To be a gay man or lesbian with an immigrant background invites trouble here in two very different ways.

“Depending on which part of Berlin I go to, in one I get punched in the mouth because I’m a foreigner and in the other because I’m a queen,” said Fatma Souad (pictured).

Souad has been hosting a monthly club night called Gayhane, where dozens of gay Muslims find space to express themselves and, of course, dance.