Blair Imani's Frequently Asked Questions
Just because we are curious does not mean we are owed answers about people’s personal lives. As you look through the answers to these often asked questions, kindly remember that none of these answers are owed to you.
Who is Blair Imani?
Me. I'm Blair Imani. I use she and her pronouns. I am also fairly tired of having to answer the same several questions about myself, so I’ve made this page! Enjoy this summary of answers. Keep in mind that no one is required to explain themselves to anyone. You can learn more about me at blairimani.com/about.
What does Blair Imani Do?
In addition to enjoying an intricate manicure and occasional documentary, I’m an educator and an influencer. In the summer of 2020, following the increased awareness and interest in anti-oppression education, my Instagram page went viral. Today, I use various nontraditional methods to teach people about themselves, each other, and the world around us. I call this ongoing process Getting Smarter, and everyone has the ability to get smarter so long as the information is presented in a manner suitable to the person. Prior to becoming an influencer, I made a living as a public speaker and as an author. I am the author of two books called Modern HERstory and Making Our Way Home. My third book Read This to Get Smarter debuted in Fall 2021 based on my viral series "Smarter in Seconds” on Instagram Reels.
Is Blair Imani queer or bisexual AND Muslim?
Yes. I’m fine with this, and Allah made me like this. So, no one else should really be concerned, but homophobia and Islamophobia are pervasive in society so I’m expected to explain my existence. I converted to Islam in 2015 and have been a practicing Muslim ever since. Islam is a beautiful religion with immense cultural, racial, and spiritual diversity within it. I have been aware of my bisexual identity since I was a child, though it was not until 2017 that I came out as a bisexual Muslim woman. I didn’t intend to come out on national television, but I did. You can check out that wild moment here.
What does “queer” Mean?
Queer means something different for everyone. Most folks in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community agree that queer is an umbrella term for those who are outside of the heteronormative and cisnormative definitions of identity. Keep in mind that historically “queer” has been used in a negative or pejorative sense. By reclaiming what was once a slur, the LGBTQ+ community has gained strength by taking power away from those who seek to use the word in an oppressive manner. For me, queer means I am bisexual or attracted to more than one gender.
Do you believe that it is haram or forbidden to be LGBTQ+ in Islam?
No. I believe Allah created me as I am, bisexuality and all. I do not believe that queerness is a sin to be forgiven because I do not believe that queerness is a sin. I’m not going to change my mind about this, so let it go if you feel the need to “correct me.” I also believe that queer people of faith deserve to worship in safety and peace.
While I acknowledge that many people, and many institutions, do believe that queerness is forbidden in Islam, I do not agree with this interpretation. I further do not believe that it is okay or valid to use religion or any other institution to deny others humanity, dignity, or respect.
Many arguments about queerness in the Qur'an emerge from the story of Lut, known to other Abrahamic religions as Sodom & Gomorrah.
Two important things:
- I believe that the story of Lut does not teach against consensual same-gender romantic or sexual relationships.
- I believe that the story of Lut is very clearly teaching against rape regardless of whether the rape is committed against someone of the same or differing gender of the rapist.
Furthermore, I believe that following the teaching of Islam and Allah's word are aspirations that Muslims seek. I also know from my work as a historian that human agendas of bigotry and hatred influence the way religion is practiced.
Homophobia and/or transphobia are not exclusive to Islam or Abrahamic religions, or religion as an institution, and great work must be done to hold harmful institutions accountable for their harms, historical and present.
I have a question about Blair Imani’s Hijab or Modesty:
If you’re not me, which you aren’t, this is none of your business. And that’s not a sarcastic response, it’s an important boundary. Historically, patriarchal systems (systems run by men) have socialized us to believe that we are owed explanations about non-men’s bodies. This is a fallacy. A lie.
As an educator, however, I will inform you that I cover my body in the manner that I do because it’s my body. I believe that no matter how you do or do not cover your body, you deserve respect and dignity.
Ultimately, hijab (the practice of living modestly and covering one’s hair) is a personal decision, and I have decided that sometimes I want to wear hijab, and sometimes I want to show my arms and that is enough.