February 24, 2011

>Black History Month Heroes: Daayiee Abdullah

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!

Daayiee Abdullah (b. 1954), an openly gay Muslim Imam, grew up in Detroit, MI in a Southern Baptist family. Daayiee was politically active from a young age. He worked for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office in San Francisco and in 1979 he was one of the San Francisco coordinators for the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Abdullah found Islam during his tenure at Beijing University. In 2000 Daayiee joined an online community of gay Muslims and he quickly became a leader in this community. Daayiee soon after became an Imam, and stepped forward to offer funeral prayers for HIV/AIDS victims and perform same-gender wedding ceremonies that no other Imam would do. Abdullah is proud to be one of only two openly gay Imams in the world, and is happy to discuss his beliefs that LGBT people should in no way be excluded from the Islamic community.


We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!


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