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Archive for May, 2008|Monthly archive page

Who is Raquel Evita Saraswati?

In Biography on May 13, 2008 at 2:08 am

Raquel Evita Saraswati (aka Raquel Evita Seidel)Raquel Evita Saraswati (formerly Raquel Evita Seidel) (b. 1983) is a postmodern performance artist and lesbian activist who currently works as Irshad Manji’s executive assistant.

Saraswati recently (until ~2005) attended Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in International Relations. During this time, she identified as a Catholic of Latin heritage and became known locally for her gay rights activism, interest in poetry and spoken word, and belly dance lessons and performances.

She now claims to be a Muslim, amongst her many personalities, and has appeared in this capacity on CNN’s Glenn Beck show.  Her long-standing activism in the gay rights movement, the absence of any actual connection with Islamic institutions, and her revelation that she “doesn’t believe that the Qu’ran is the absolute perfect word of Allah” make this claim worthy of deeper investigation, however.

On August 2, 2005, Saraswati married Ms. Anh Ðào Kolbe, a Vietnamese-American photographer at Revere Beach, Massachusetts, U.S.A; in 2007 they happily celebrated their second wedding anniversary.

Raquel Evita Saraswati

I view the spiritual as an integral part of my identity, just as integral as my sexuality. Both my spirituality and my sexuality have been journeys — in the acceptance and exploration of myself, and in challenging the status quo. While I am a member of Dignity/USA [an organization for GLBT Catholics], my connection to Islam is also incredibly important to me, as are the practices of yoga, transcendental meditation, tantra, the Buddhist vow of ahimsa and veganism. It has been quite a struggle to find a balance where spirituality and sexuality meet peacefully. That journey led me to both Dignity/USA and Al-Fatiha, an LGBTQIA Muslim organization.

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