I noticed that there is more representation for LGBTQIA+ over the last few years (and as they should be) on Netflix and other platforms and films and finally their stories are no longer just linked to their identity but rather as individuals with their own stories (like Connor Walsh from How to Get Away with Murder). I, however, have noticed that there are not many representations of Queer Muslims within the media, and if there are, the viewers tend to have a negative reaction. For example, many Muslims allegedly did not like Aneesa Qureshi from 'Never Have I Ever' and were rather offended by her character. Hence I will explore why we need to have more representation of Queer Muslims within the media.
What is Representation and Why Do We Need it for Queer Muslims in the Media?
According to BBC, representation refers to the idea of how media presents gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion to an audience. Representation is so important because of its power to shape an audience of its knowledge and understanding of particular groups.
The reason we need more queer representation is because of TV's rare intersectionality portrayal, and we need an increase of different stories involving different identities, rather than stories centred around identity crises. According to BPS, many Queer Muslim viewers feel as if they can be aware of the social and psychological impact of identifying as both Muslim and Queer. Thus having media have such exposure regarding intersectionality allows viewers who may identify the same as the characters portrayed could foster feelings of acceptance, and perhaps even a safe space for them. This is because having someone to relate to could ease a sense of isolation for some individuals. More representation of Queer Muslims could also challenge the preconceived stereotypes from the general public. This is because it would address the harmful stereotypes perpetuated by the lack of representation.
Thus, the media should continue to push for the representation of Queer Muslims.