Queering Indonesian Islam: Emerging Progressive Muslim Voices and LGBT Muslim identity negotiation
Author(s)García Rodríguez, Diego
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AbstractLesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Muslims struggle to find ways to reconcile their sexual orientation and gender with Islamic piety in Indonesia. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the strategies used by LGBT Muslim individuals to integrate and compartmentalise their different selves. Qualitative data was obtained through semistructured interviews and participant observation in the Indonesian cities of Yogyakarta and Surabaya. Through the use of Foucault’s theory of power and Brekhus’s categorization of LGBT identities, this study develops two different Muslim LGBT identity categories: integrators and commuters. In order to understand how these communities can achieve acceptance and normalisation, the study also examines the work of a new generation of progressive Islamic scholars who are challenging conservative interpretations. Based on the findings, this thesis emphasises that their role as a new type of activist leads to the convergence of religious and queer agency. A two-way process, in which Islam not only shapes gay identities but is also influenced by the LGBT movement, proves the possibility of reconciliation between sexual minorities and religious tradition.