Asifa Lahore is the UK's first out Muslim drag queen. Despite social and cultural pressures, he uses his performances to give a voice to the gay Muslim community and throw Asian views of sexuality out into the open. We’re thrilled to honour Asifa Lahore with one of our inaugural Attitude Pride Awards at tonight’s ceremony, in association with Delta Air Lines. Watch Asifa tell his story in his own words below:
"I still think a majority of the Muslim gay community want to remain hidden," he says. "Not a lot of people have the confidence or the courage to really talk about this issue out in the open." For Asif, coming out to his parents aged 23 almost forced him towards an arranged marriage, until he came across an organisation called The Naz Project and finally reconciling his Islamic faith with his sexuality.
He started performing drag just four years ago, and after finishing in third place on Drag Idol
burst onto the London scene, where he uses his set to shed light on the often tip-toed around subject of LGBT life and Islam. "The mainstream gay community need to recognise that there are pockets of liberation and equality that are yet to happen in our community. Just because I'm gay and a Muslim doesn't mean I'm not part of that community."
You can read more about Asif and the rest of our wonderful Attitude Pride Award winners in the new issue of Attitude, in shops now. You can download the mag from Pocketmags.com/Attitude or order a copy from newsstand.co.uk/Attitude.