“We” are not monolithic: do not all walk the same path and live the same life.
“Our” stories are not something for you to fetishize and exoticize.
“We” are not helpless objects for you to (hyper)sexualize and prey upon with your colonial gazes.
“We” do not need your saving: you will not turn us into your latest causes célèbres.
Non-heteronormative Muslims are not the (new) measuring stick by which you judge weather or not cultures/societies/countries/religious traditions are deemed as ‘modern/civilized/1st world’!
“We” are not ‘progressive/forward thinking/open-minded’ for identifying within your accepted categories of LGBTQI.
Nor are “We” ‘medieval/backwards’ for identifying with our various religious traditions!
“Our” agentivity is not yours to gauge: the multiplicity of ways chosen to live our lives (emancipation from region/family/religion/culture OR NOT!) are all equally valid… regardless of whether they measure up to your expectations.
Enough with the tired clichés around the veil/unveiling/lifting the veil, kabab/kebab, sultan-harem, etc. imagery. It’s void of meaning, offensive and orientalist.
The concept of “Coming Out” and its veneration is firmly based within a framework of a society that values individuation, not all societies do (i.e. check your privilege!)
Thanks to Kawlture for brainstorming with me… This is a work in progress.