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Davidson College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This independent study project (ISP) is the product of a month-long study to explore how the religion and culture of Islam affect the lived experiences of first-generation migrants who identify as queer/LGBTQ[1] and Muslim in the Netherlands. The data was obtained through interviews with five individuals: two women and five men. All interview subjects met the requirement of identifying as queer/LGBTQ and Muslim (with the exception of one, who left the faith) as well as being a first-generation migrant to the Netherlands. Being at this specific cross-section of religion and sexuality and migration is an often overlooked demographic who’s stories are ignored in both queer and religious circles and discourses. This intersectional identity affects the lived experiences of these individuals and this study explores and analyzes specifically how. This study will look into the Quran and different schools of thought as well as scholarly literature referring to homosexuality within the context of Islam. While taking this preliminary research into consideration, in-person and open-ended interviews were conducted. This reports notes key themes as well as differences such as the image of Amsterdam and its “myth of tolerance,” intersectionality, and the reconciliation of their faith and sexuality. This report examines the how sexuality, Islam, and migration all collide within the modern Dutch context and its influence on the lives of queer/LGBTQ Muslim migrants.

ISP Keywords: Homosexuality/Queer/LGBTQ, Islam, Religion, Migration, Intersectionality

[1]When talking about sexualities other than heterosexual and cis-gendered, I use queer and LGBTQ in conjunction because I want to refer to a group which is under the non-heteronormative identity. If “queer” or “LGBT” are ever used on its own, it is because a particular subject has identified that way. At times, individuals use the label “queer” very intentionally and arguably, politically. Others, may prefer certain labels over others, or simply no labels at all.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Islamic Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change



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