LGBTQIA Week explores diverse topics
By Mila Hector - Staff Reporter
Sonj Basha wants you to know: They are "Queer and..."
Basha started the discussion on Monday by telling the audi- ence a little more about them- self.
Basha used several adjec- tives including, "sexy," "Mus- lim," "brown," "differently abled," "They/Them," "Queer, obviously," and a "gay-as-fuck immigrant."
Starting off Highline's 8th an- nual LGBTQIA Week, Basha gave a presentation entitled "Is- lamahomophobia" in Building 7.
The reason why the "Queer and" is so signi cant is because as Basha went about the discus- sion, Basha spoke about how people are not just one thing, but a collection of many.
There will always be an "and," Basha said, there will al- ways be more to the story than just a mere "four-sentence bio."
Following the self-bio, Basha played the rst two minutes of Adhan - Call for Prayer. Unlike the usual male singing the call, this video displayed the voice of a woman.
After the video's audio was heard throughout the whole of Building 7, Basha then switched screens to display a photo of a naked individual kneeling on the oor. This individual was Basha herself.
"Both deviant, both in de - ance of what western cultures considered to be 'being queer' and [being] Muslim, comple- ment each other oftentimes," Basha said.
Basha later explained that they started with that image to "show up as my full self in order to work with you to build soli- darity to show up for justice."
Basha said they wanted to cre- ate a "brave space" for themself and everyone in the audience.
"Where anyone can just re-
lax. How radical is that? Be fully expressed without the fear of becoming uncomfortable," Basha said, describing the space that they strive to create every- where they go.
The only thing Basha really asked the audience to take part in is to really just see the person, and who the person is as an indi- vidual, to be "af rmed."
Breaking down the walls of stereotypes, Basha said they wanted to deconstruct the main- stream views of feminism, of being radical, of being Mus- lim, of being queer, of being black, of being who you are and choose to be.
Basha took less time to de- scribe her story from front to end, and more time to describe what they would like the audi- ence to be able to see and view oneself, one's friends, fami- ly, Basha, and even complete strangers.
"Look at that person and know that this is someone that is alive on planet earth at the same time as you born into the same crisis," said Basha as they asked the audience to nd a partner and just make eye contact with that person.
Basha ended the discussion with a message for one to em- place into one's mind, that "for a moment just tap in to the very real possibility that you will play role in the healing of our world. That you are in the right place and the right time and the right moment."