The Big Gay Iftaar first took place in London last year in response to the Orlando shooting as a way of bringing communities together.
Now in its second year, the multi-faith LGBT+ event took place over the weekend as part of London Pride celebrations, with people from different backgrounds and sexual identities coming together to share a meal together during Ramadan.
“The intention is to get back to basics and talk to one another, learn about each others' faiths, cultures and sexualities and spread some love that is so sorely needed in the world,” according to the event’s website.
Asad Dhunna helped to organise the 2016 and 2017 events - both held at St Andrew’s Church in Waterloo in central London - and spoke to Gay Star News about the gathering.
“So when Orlando happened last year, I was already having an Iftar around at my house for about eight people and just realized that wasn’t enough,” Dhunna said of the inaugural event.
“So I called Giles [faith leader of St Andrews Church] and Giles said ‘Yeah sure, have the church hall’ and so I thought how I was going to get people to the church.
“Miraculously, within four days, we managed to get 80 people involved and it was an amazing event so we had to do it again.
“The Muslim community and the gay community are two that never really get together, so let’s put them all in one room and see what happens. It’s changed my life,” he said.
Masuma Rahim - who also helped to put the event together - says its been the “hardest Ramadan” of his life but the Big Gay Iftaar is a high point.
“I could think of nothing more joyful than a bunch of people, who have no relationships to each other, but just kind of have some shared values, coming together and having dinner in Ramadan on a Saturday night on a rainbow flag.”
The event also raised money for the Finnsbury Park Mosque—which was recently the target of an Islamaphobic attack.