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District Book Read 23-24: Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir: Discussion Information

District Book Read 2023

Discussion Information

We'll be discussing this book via Zoom on three dates this Winter. Everyone is welcome! If you received a free copy of the book, we ask that you participate in at least one discussion. You do not have to have read the whole book (or even parts!) for this discussion to be useful and enjoyable. For these discussions we’re also delighted to welcome guest facilitators from the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) and from NOOR- Seattle’s Queer Muslim Collective. Come see what it's about!

If you need an accommodation in order to participate in the discussions, please contact Katy Dichter at

Winter Book Read Discussion Dates:

Thurs, 1/25, 2-3:30pm

Wed. 2/14, 2-3:30pm

Tues, 2/27, 2-3:30pm

The Zoom link will be distributed through a campus email prior to each discussion date. If you can't find it, ask a librarian!

These Community Agreements are meant to establish expectations and intentions for all discussion participants.

District Book Read Discussions: Hijab Butch Blues 

Community Agreements 

  • We center the experiences of identities shared by the author, primarily Queer Muslim community members. 
  • Our community members’ identities are not up for debate.
  • Speak from your own experience and identity only.
  • Comfort is not guaranteed: the kind of learning and community building we hope to create in these discussions will probably require us to get to the edge of our “comfort zones.” It is okay to sit with discomfort and be curious about it. 
  • We challenge ourselves to say what we really mean: try to communicate with care and empathy, but honestly; we value being genuine.  
  • Make space, take space: Share airtime and monitor how much you have been talking. If you are taking up less than others, empower yourself to speak up. 
  • Allow space for emotions to be expressed; and notice when you get emotional – what are your emotions teaching you? 
  • Facilitators have the right to question community input and possibly even mute or remove folks whose comments may be harming centered community members.  
  • For folks who want to talk out their discomfort and who the facilitators feel could benefit from small group or 1:1 conversation, breakout rooms during discussion may be available. 

Discussion Session 1

Thursday 1/25 2-3:30pm

Discussion Theme: Liberation 

Zoom Link Info:


Meeting ID: 949 5310 8012

Passcode: 612547

Quotes to consider for discussing Liberation in Hijab Butch Blues:

“Queer indispensability?” Manal asks. “It’s a concept I heard about at a play I went to a few months ago—a solo performance piece by a queer Sri Lankan trans man,” I tell her. “At one point, he talked about something he noticed, not only in himself, but in his queer friends and com“community—this way in which queer people tend to make themselves indispensable in their relationships and friendships. They’re so afraid of being left that they make themselves unleavable” (229, “Yusuf,” IV).

“This better world—that is the world I’m fighting for from inside the whale, this world I want to be birthed into. A world that is kinder, more generous, more just. A world that takes care of the marginalized, the poor, the sick. Where wealth and resources are redistributed, where reparations are made for the harms of history, where stolen land is given back. Where the environment is cared for and respected, and all species are cared for and respected. Where conflicts are dealt with in gentleness. Where people take care of each other and feel empowered to be their truest selves. Where anger is allowed and joy is allowed and fun is allowed and quietness is allowed and loudness is allowed and being wrong is allowed and everything, everything, everything is rooted in love. And maybe that’s an unattainable utopia” (279-280, “Yunus”)

― Lamya H., Hijab Butch Blues

Discussion Session 2

Wednesday 2/14 2-3:30pm

Discussion Theme: Belonging

Zoom link Info:

Meeting ID: 973 8236 0652

Passcode: 873449

Theme for Discussion 2: Belonging

Quotes to consider for discussing Liberation in Hijab Butch Blues:

“I crack jokes and pull pranks to draw people toward me, to entertain friends without ever having to share anything intimate. I keep everyone at a bit of a distance, so it’s not as crushing when they do inevitably leave.” (161, Yusuf II)

“And the truth is also that l love doing these things because I love these people. But in the quiet before Manal responds, I feel confronted anew with the flip side of this way of being with other people—a way that’s based in fear of people leaving, that prevents me from asking things of people in turn.” (166, Yusuf IV)

― Lamya H., Hijab Butch Blues

Discussion Session 3

Tuesday 2/27 2-3:30pm

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 931 7901 3717

Passcode: 330294

Themes to consider for Discussion 3: Queer Joy, Self-Actualization, and what themes or sections of the book you want to discuss!

We would love to hear from you all about what themes you might like us to center, which passages from the book you've been hoping to discuss, or just any other comments, questions, and suggestions that you'd like to share with our facilitators as we conclude our Winter Discussion sessions. If you'd like to share these questions and suggestions, please drop them in this form for us to consider before our next discussion.