Gay Pakistani Poet Ifti Nasim Dies at 64

Hundreds packed a Chicago mosque to pay their respects to gay Pakistani Muslim poet Ifti Nasim over the weekend, the AP reports:

Nasim Nasim died at a Chicago hospital late Friday following a heart attack, his sister Ajaz Nasreen told The Associated Press. He was 64.


Nasim said he always knew he was gay, but living openly in his native Pakistan wasn't an option. He remembered first reading magazine articles about being gay in America and developing his love of fashion by flipping through Vogue.

"In Islamic society, gays have no place," he told WBEZ-FM in Chicago. "America sold the gay culture to me back home. They're living happily ever after in America. That's my place, I've got to go to America. I was sold. Completely sold."

Nasim came out to his family after immigrating to the U.S. and was cut off by many of them after doing so, the AP adds:

Nasim wrote numerous books of poetry, including one titled "Narman" — a word for hermaphrodite — which was believed to be the first book of gay themed poetry to be published in the Urdu language. He also founded SANGAT/Chicago, a South Asian lesbian, gay and transgender organization.

In 1996, Nasim was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame for "his courage as an international ambassador of tolerance" and his leadership in the city.


  1. NAZIA says

    IN SHA ALLAH You will be placed in the most dark section of hell.Ifti was a hideous blot on our pak Pakistan.Thanx God you have cleaned the earth.And all the gay community you have to die someday what will u answer your creator for this unnatural and hideous ll be placed with cursed qoum-E-lout.May ALLAH S.W guide us all to the righteous path,please dont buy fire with your own hands.

  2. Aisha says


    He was a great man who had a great impact on many people’s lives. I am so sad because I got to talk to him one time and he was very kind. Inshallah he will go to Jannat.

  3. Maria says

    @Nazia: You are a despicable person. A muslim man who has touched so many hearts with his poetry has died and you are being so disrespectful. A true muslim would never say such things.

    I just want the gay community to know that not all Pakistani muslims have the same beliefs as Nazia. I had the pleasure of seeing Ifti at a concert last month (he was hosting). While I didn’t get to meet him, I got the sense that he was remakably intelligent and extremely funny. Despite his sexuality, everyone in the hall were in stitches with laughter and no one cared if he was gay or straight. He was a pioneer in gay rights of the muslim world. While Allah is the only judge, I am sure he will grant him Jannat because he was a great person. Inshallah.

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