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

District Book Read 2023

About the Author

 About the Author

Lamya H. 

Lamya H (she/they) is a queer Muslim writer and organizer living in New York City. Her memoir HIJAB BUTCH BLUES from Dial Press debuted in February 2023. Lamya’s work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, Vice, Autostraddle, Vox, and others. She has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, Aspen Words and Queer|Arts.

Lamya’s organizing work centers around creating spaces for LGBTQ+ Muslims, fighting Islamophobia, and abolishing prisons. In her free time, she eats lots of desserts baked by her partner, plays board games with whoever she can corral, and works on her goal of traveling to every subway stop in the city. She has never run a marathon.

(adapted from the author's website)

Photo by Lia Clay for the Queer|Art Community Portrait Project
Image Description: Black and white photograph of individual in hijab turned away from the camera. 

Author Event with Lamya H.

Join Us May 13th @2-3:30pm over Zoom

For a Discussion with 

Lamya H.

Author of Memoir

Hijab Butch Blues  

Event will take place over Zoom with ASL Interpreters and Captioning Provided

If you would like to request accommodations to attend this event, please contact

Mark Your Calendars & Stay Tuned for More Info! 

District Book Read Selection

Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir

by Lamya H. 

Image Description: The title Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir and the author's name Lamya H. are written against a bright, gradient background of striped green, red, orange, and blue; a figure is shown from the side with hands in their sweatshirt pockets and in hijab.

"Fourteen years old and growing up in the Middle East, Lamya is an overachiever and a class clown, qualities that help her hide in plain sight when she realizes she has a crush on her teacher--her female teacher. She's also fourteen when she reads a passage in Quran class about Maryam, known as the Virgin Mary in the Christian Bible, that changes everything. Lamya learns that Maryam was untempted by an angelically handsome man, and later, when told she is pregnant, insists no man has touched her. Could Maryam be... like Lamya? Spanning childhood to an elite college in the US and early adult life in New York City, each essay places Lamya's struggles and triumphs in the context of some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the Pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing strength from the faith and hope of Nuh building his ark, begins to build a life of her own--all the while discovering that her identity as a queer, immigrant devout Muslim is, in fact, the answer to her quest for safety and belonging"--

(description from the Seattle Public Library)

Content Warning

Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H. (she/they) is a personal memoir, relaying the author’s experiences as a queer hijab wearing woman in the South Asia, Southwest Asia, and the United States. When these experiences are narrated, she includes language relating to Islamophobia, homophobia, sexism, classism, and racism she has experienced. Lamya H. also writes about personal struggles with mental health, including suicidal thoughts, as well as domestic abuse. If you’d like to learn more about the book’s content, we recommend Bobuq Sayed’s and Maisha Samiha’s reviews of Hijab Butch Blues, which can also be found on our "Further Reading" page. We welcome related resources. 

About the District Book Read Program

The overall purpose of the District Book Read program is to build community among faculty, staff, students and administrators and cultivate deeper awareness around diverse identities to better equip us in our lives and our studies. 

How it works

  • Fall Quarter: Copies of the current book selection are shared with students, faculty, and staff who are interested in participating in one or more book discussions
  • Winter Quarter: Book discussions are hosted via Zoom. Participants can attend any and all book discussions!
  • Spring Quarter: Taking lessons learned during the book discussions, Spring events are centered around providing space for participants to reflect and identify ways we can take action on our campuses and local communities. 

How Books Are Selected 

In Spring, members across the district will be invited to submit book suggestions for the following year's District Book Read. This narrowed list of books to be voted on will center a theme that surfaces from the original list of submitted book recommendations. The book that gets the most votes by our community will be selected for the following year's program!

Get Your Copy at Seattle Central Library!

Thank you for your interest in participating in the District Book Read Program co-sponsored by the district Faculty Development, All Campus Libraries, and EDI and Student Leadership Offices!

For students at Seattle Central College, fill out this form if you'd like to request one of the faculty, staff, and student copies of the book that have been generously purchased by the offices named above.

Since we have limited copies of the book, we ask that when you claim one you also commit to attending at least one book discussion in Winter, 2024. Dates for the sessions will be published soon, and we'll follow up and let you know when they are. Discussions will take place online for the District. Copies of the book will be available while supplies last and can be picked up at Seattle Central College campus library. Shipping options are also available on a limited basis. If you cannot retrieve the book in person, indicate this in the comments below. We look forward to seeing you in the discussion sessions!

Digital Access at Seattle Central Library

Prefer digital options?

Read the ebook Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir online with your Seattle Colleges login!


Listen to the audiobook Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir online, narrated by Ashraf Shirazi. Access the audiobook with your Seattle Colleges login! 

Access the Book in Even More Formats


Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir can also be accessed through Bookshare, an online library of accessible ebooks for people with reading barriers that offers customized reading tools including audio, highlighted text, braille, large font, and other formats. Eligible students at Seattle Central College can sign up for a Bookshare account by getting in touch with a librarian.