The field of Muslim sexuality studies has grown over the past two decades because of the aftermath of 9/11. This master’s thesis is a textual content analysis of the personal narratives of queer Somalis in Western diaspora. It addresses the intersections of their identities that create unique forms of oppression. Not much research has been conducted on queer Somali communities. This analysis of queer Somalis’ personal narratives aims to illuminate parts of the invisibility of queer Somalis, their experienced accusations of inauthenticity, and the erasure of their existences. I utilize an intersectional, transnational feminist, queer, and Black feminist lens. By conducting this research project, the findings of this master’s thesis indicate that queer Somalis are subject to various forms of oppression, such as anti-Black Islamophobia and queerphobia, which often directly result in violence. Queer Somalis in Western diaspora actively resist these oppressive systems and actions through different forms of activism. The following themes emerged from the analysis: Migration stories; the “Somali struggle”; violence and tradition; Islam and queerness; coming out(s) and western imperialism in sexuality; the daily physical and mental survival; racism, Islamophobia, and their intersections; questions of belonging, assimilation, and erasure; and community empowerment. As this master’s thesis intends to shed some light into the field of Muslim sexuality studies and provide some valuable insights into the identity construction of queer Somalis in Western diaspora, this knowledge potentially can inform decisions that will empower queer Somalis and deconstruct those oppressive systems that negatively affect their lives.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Program of Study
Gender and Women's Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences
Drabent, D. (2023). Neither fully queer nor Somali?: What queer Somalis' narratives reveal about space, identity, and community in western diaspora [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1317/
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.