Introduction to Religion and Sexuality
My name is Sahar Khanpour, and I am an Iranian queer Muslim from Minnesota. Didn’t think you would see both “queer” and “Muslim” in the same sentence did ya?
While growing up, I came across a myriad of voices telling me that religion and queerness or any form of sex were not compatible (notice how I say “growing up” verses “growing up as Muslim”- this is important to consider since it really doesn't matter what culture, religion, or area of the world you grew up in, there is always homophobia and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. This is not unique to the Muslim community, and to further this bigoted belief is anti-Muslim). However, I have a strong connection to my faith and culture, and wasn't ready to give up either.
As I searched for a way to combine sexuality and religion in my studies and future career, I noticed how difficult it was to navigate queerness in the digital age. So many questions plagued the mind, and one wrong click would lead you down a rabbit whole of “am I sinning”?! That's when I started to realize how difficult it is to stay grounded with all these different websites- I thought “wouldn't it be nice if the religious youth of today just had to click on one source to uplift and validate them”? That's when I decided that I needed to create a website that held an abundance of resources for as many religions on sexuality. This way, LGBTQ religious, spiritual, or faithful youths’ questions could be answered in an anonymous and helpful way.
For so long we have heard the same narrative that religion and sexuality have no place together, as if the two are distinctly dichotomous. However, sexuality and religion do go hand in hand, and instead of viewing either as an impediment in our mental health and sexual well-being, why not find strength and resilience? Enough with the shame and guilt that the word “religion” has instilled in us, let's find the love that it was meant to bring!
Religion and Sexuality is the home of an interdisciplinary, interinstitutional, and international resource for ongoing information on the history of the intersectionality between religion and sexuality. Religion and Sexuality is a part of HistSex, which was founded by Brian M. Watson in 2020. Resources include interviews, blogs, comics, organizations, archives and collections.
This is a continuously evolving resource, and I hope to continue developing this website, and that these resources will be able to bring solace to people.
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Write to the team at sexualitiesofhistory AT gmail DOT com