When fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher—her female teacher—she covers up an attraction she can't yet name by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything. From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran.
Hijab Butch Blues is more than a must-read. It's also a study guide on Islam, a handbook for abolitionists, and a queer manifesto. It inspires critical thinking, upholds activist self-care, and permits the defining of one's own queerness. Good vs. bad Muslim, straight vs. gay: That's all a trap. There are third options, too.
Generous, probing and candid ... readers will feel a growing appreciation for Lamya’s intelligence, eloquence and courage. Along the way, we learn vivid details about her life and outlook ... she is observant, passionate and anything but voiceless.
The memoir is masterfully constructed and mapped out, split between three parts with each one spanning time and space instead of going in chronological order ... Lamya shares poignant and incisive reflections on queerness and gender and how we perform them both, white supremacy in the U.S. and abroad, friendship, familial love, and the importance of carving out a path for yourself that works for you ... There is not a single hard transition in any of the essays here, and their ability to move so easily through the stories of the Quran and their own life emphasizes the weight of the importance of Islam in their life.