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Silk Road Rising co-founder Malik Gillani. | SUPPLIED PHOTO

Malik Gillani reflects on Orlando and being openly gay and Muslim

SHARE Malik Gillani reflects on Orlando and being openly gay and Muslim
SHARE Malik Gillani reflects on Orlando and being openly gay and Muslim

Chicagoan Malik Gillani, the co-founder of Chicago’s Silk Road Rising (along with his husband, Jamil Khoury), is openly gay. And Muslim.

The New York Daily News today published an essay by Gillani in which he reflects on what it means to be a gay American Muslim, and his hope for peace and understanding in light of the tragedy in Orlando.

In the essay, Gillani writes in part:

“I am a Shia Ismaili Muslim. … Growing up in Chicago as the child of immigrants, my Mom always told me to “take the good, leave the bad.” In addition to alcohol, cigarettes, and pork, the bad included the “Gay Lifestyle” – growing up a Gay American Muslim meant living in the closet. … It wasn’t until after college that I came out. … Having learned to be honest about who I am, and being out, has led my family to accept [me and Jamil] as a complete part of the larger Gillani family story.

“My wish as I mourn the lives lost in Orlando? Let all families hold their loved ones dear; and let our LGBT American Muslims live their lives with dignity, openly and freely.”

Read the full essay here.

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