IMI People – Hannah Driscoll

We get invited to do presentations on IMI a lot. I mean, A LOT! And one of the questions we always get asked is ‘Who comes to the Inclusive Mosque?’ In our series #IMIPeople, we’ll be introducing you to our volunteers, sharing their stories and showing just who you might meet at our events.

 

Meet Hannah, a university student who has been coming to the Inclusive Mosque Initiative since 2016:

 

“Several years ago I was forced to come to terms with my sexuality as my family discovered what I was steadily embracing about myself. What followed were the most intrusive and mentally exhausting experiences I have had: I spoke to an imam who told me that what I am is unnatural and that I should change. I was forced to have a counsellor until I “became straight”.

 

Islam permeated all of these interventions. Everything was a question of what was halal and what wasn’t. This kind of examination of my very being caused the onset of mental health issues. I started questioning my own self-worth and asking the ultimate question of whether Allah really accepted me.
At the time, all I really wanted and needed was to know that other LGBTQ+ Muslims existed and to hear their experiences. To know I wasn’t alone. So having this opportunity at the¬†Islam & Lgbtqi Tour¬†moved me to reflect on how far I have come by myself, and how Muslims are progressing and are aware of us LGBTQ+ individuals.

 

Having this opportunity to meet other Muslim LGBTQ+ individuals who wanted to connect and learn together was wonderful. Knowing about IMI and having this tour has provided me with a lot of hope and validation of who I am. It’s also made me realise how important it is to support one another and come together. I really hope to see this community continue growing.

~ Hannah Driscoll