Religion, Gender, and Sexuality: A Study of Intersectionality Among Muslim American Minority Populations

Sena Duran

BA ’18, Women’s Studies, Middle Eastern North African Studies, Arab and Muslim American Studies

While qualitative research concerning Muslim Americans has been a major facet in the fields of racial, ethnic, and religious studies, the diverse identities that exist within the Muslim American community have been underrepresented. Their nuanced and intersectional experiences as Muslim Americans are critical realities that must be addressed to further research and maintain activism and safety, both in the University of Michigan campus and beyond. Research concerning the effects of gender and sexual orientation on the experiences and identifications of Muslims in America can be expanded. In this project, I intend to do so by bringing to light the experiences of LGBTQ identified Muslims and Muslim women. Through conducting confidential surveys and interviews, I hope to give participants the opportunity to discuss their lived realities as women and/or LGBTQ individuals as they coexist with their Muslim American identities. I will take inspiration from identity models such as Bucher’s Identity Integration and the intersectional feminist concepts. This project will serve two major purposes: first, the collection of anecdotes will let me focus on the life stories of these individuals. Not only will this serve the underrepresented communities, but it will also aid research in intersectional feminist, ethno-religious, and Muslim American studies. Second, I hope to inspire a larger conversation about the realities of LGBTQ Muslims, as current research about this subject is limited. For resources to literature and participants, I hope to collaborate with the departments of Women’s Studies and Arab and Muslim American studies, as well as staff in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Communications.

Library Mentor: Meredith Kahn