This post is for the March Carnival of Aces.
I created a Tumblr blog in June 2012 and began writing long-form original posts soon thereafter, mostly for the Carnival of Aces.
In March 2014, I began writing on asexuality and Islam. A month or so later I was accepted as a contributor for The Asexual Agenda.
When I first started writing on asexuality and Islam, hardly anybody else had written anything on this topic. Even today, there are only a handful of posts by other asexual Muslims, primarily from elainexe.
In October 2014, I first took the idea to submit a post on asexuality to a Muslim site. I even knew exactly which one I wanted to write for, a Muslim relationships site called Love InshAllah. I had been following the site for some time and had seen that it included a diverse range of stories, including some that were not about romantic love at all, and was LGBTQ-friendly. I started writing a draft post but stalled on it and moved on to other projects instead, hoping that this would help me break through my writer’s block.
Then in February 2015, Love InshAllah suddenly tweeted out an open call for contributors and they specifically stated they were looking for LGBTQ Muslim submissions. I trashed the incomplete draft I had started several months earlier then wrote a whole new post from scratch in about 48 hours and submitted it. The time was clearly right!
As it turns out, Love InshAllah was inundated with submissions and inquiries, far more than they had expected to receive, and it took them a long time to get back to me. During this period, I began thinking about which of my Asexual Agenda posts I could repurpose for future submissions, and I also began looking around to see what other sites I might submit to if it didn’t work out with Love InshAllah.
The thing is, “asexual Muslim stories” is a really narrow market niche. There aren’t any well-known or mainstream LGBTQ Muslim group blogs or magazine-style writing sites that I’ve come across. There are sites for “LGBTQ people of faith” that take submissions – but they seem to be entirely focused on Christianity (pro-tip: “People of faith” is not synonymous with “Christians”. Other religions exist!). Most general Muslim writing sites, including ones that are feminist or progressive in orientation, do not advertise themselves as LGBTQ-friendly and have not published any LGBTQ Muslim stories that I can find.
I expect that I’ll have to introduce Islam to asexual sites, and asexuality to Muslim sites. I’m not so sure about having to introduce both asexuality and Islam to LGBTQ Christian sites, or about having to introduce both LGBTQ topics and asexuality to Muslim sites.
As of right now, I have one other site that I might submit to, a Muslim feminist site that focuses on underrepresented perspectives. I recently found out that Love InshAllah will publish my submission on March 25, and I’m waiting to see if they might accept me as a monthly columnist. Until I know for sure on that, I’m not planning to take any action on this other site, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what types of writing and what topics are best suited for where. I have so many ideas!
I certainly didn’t expect it even as recently as six weeks ago, but this is starting to look like the Year of Writing about Asexuality for Muslims.