A lot of never-Muslims will ask me what they can do to help out with the suffering of LGBTQ folks in Muslim-dominated countries, cultures, and communities. If you’re in that boat, here’s your change.
There are only 8 days left for the IndieGOGO campaign for Abu, a film about a gay son reconciling with his Muslim father. As I am a supporter of LGBTQ Muslim and ex-Muslim representation and am doubly queer myself, as well as someone who unapologetically values their relationship with their family, a project like this is triply close to my heart.
Throw in a few Canadian bucks to help make this film a reality, if you can. If you can’t (or even if you can), share on social media. Every link tweeted or Facebook shared means more visibility and exposure to more eyes.
#Abufilm is about young gay people fighting invisibility within South Asian and Muslim culture. I use my personal story of my relationship with my father to weave a tale about migration, self-actualization, spirituality, sexuality and love. We were one of the first families in 1980s Islamabad to get a VHS movie camera. I was 8 when I started shooting my family functions and events. Using family photographs, letters, animation, interviews and this VHS footage and other video ‘memory’ I am creating a documentary that humanizes the gay Muslim experience in the west.
The film is a cathartic examination of religion, culture, sexual identity, sexual abuse and death set in the context of migration and globalization. Despite the serious nature of the subject matter, the film will have moments of humour intertwined with periods of contemplation. It is a thoughtful look into the lives of a middle class family in 1980s Pakistan- an era absolutely undocumented in the contemporary audiovisual milieu. The film preserves the memories of an open and progressive middle class Pakistan with the promise of a great future.