Religion has never been kind to those outside its purview. It has been especially unyielding and hardened towards the homosexual community. All religions, everywhere, seem to have a problem with homosexuality. They would, because most religions are steeped in patriarchy, and nothing challenges patriarchy quite like homosexuality does!
Every year we hear of some religious leader urging his followers to condemn, even punish, those that defy the diktats of their particular religion. Just as every year, we also hear of some evolved, open-minded religious leader challenging religious tenets to make room for anyone who might need spiritual guidance and moral support.
Before opening the mosque, Hendricks founded an organization in 1996, in an attempt to seek some reconciliation between the teachings of Islam with homosexuality and transexuality. But turning his garage into a safe space for LGBTQI Muslims led to his expulsion from a traditional mosque.
For Imam Hendricks to have created a safe haven for his community in the midst of so much hatred is not only commendable, it is truly courageous. He says,
This is who I am and if that means I am going to be killed because of my authenticity, then that is how I choose to meet God.