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Frequently Asked Questions

Who organizes the LGBTQ Muslim Retreat?

The annual Retreat is organized by a dedicated team of volunteers from across North America, sponsored by the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD). This grassroots group works tirelessly year-round to plan programming, logistics, fundraising and outreach.

Where does the Retreat take place?

The Retreat venue is a secluded retreat center tucked away on 125 wooded acres near Philadelphia. To protect attendee privacy, the address is only provided to registered participants. The peaceful grounds foster community, contemplation and connection. Please see “Location” for description & pictures.

How is the location chosen?

Extensive outreach within the LGBTQ Muslim community helps determine the optimal region based on accessibility. The Planning Committee evaluates potential venues for privacy, accommodations, affordability, activities and other priorities. Locations may vary year-to-year.

What is the schedule and programming?

The full schedule is announced about a month before the Retreat. It strikes a mindful balance between structured workshops, discussions, spiritual practices, arts, entertainment, free time and outdoor activities. Attendees are encouraged to actively contribute ideas and volunteer to lead sessions.

When should I arrive and depart?

The Retreat runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Please plan transportation to accommodate this schedule. Airport shuttles and taxis can provide transit to the secluded venue. We encourage booking refundable fares in case plans change.

What should I pack and wear?

Casual, comfortable clothes are recommended. Be sure to pack weather-appropriate layers for fluctuating temps indoors and out. Sturdy shoes are ideal for navigating grounds. A water bottle, journal, flashlight and other retreat gear can enhance your experience.

What about food and lodging?

See the General Information page for accommodation details. Delicious catered meals always offer halal, vegetarian and vegan options. Please indicate any dietary needs when registering. Snacks and beverages are available 24/7 in the dining hall.

Is Wi-Fi available?

Yes, Wi-Fi access is available in all buildings at the retreat center. However, to create an immersive community experience, we kindly request that laptops and large devices be left in cabins during workshops and sessions.

What about cell phone reception and emergency contacts?

The center has reliable cell reception from all major providers. There are also landline phones onsite for emergencies. We will provide an emergency contact number for retreat staff as well. Phones should be silenced during sessions.

How accessible are the facilities?

We are fully committed to making the retreat welcoming and accessible to all. All buildings, including sleeping cabins, dining hall, and restrooms are wheelchair friendly with ramps, elevators and accessible routes between locations. Golf cart transportation can be arranged between sites if needed. Please indicate any accessibility requirements when registering so we can best assist you.

Is American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation offered?

We strive to make the retreat accessible to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Please indicate your need for ASL interpretation on your registration form. We will make every effort to recruit qualified interpreters to be onsite throughout the weekend program.

Will future retreats be held in other locations?

Yes, we hope to rotate retreat locations across North America each year to make them accessible to different geographic communities. Sites under consideration for 2023 include Seattle, Atlanta, Toronto, and Washington DC. Please share your suggestions! We welcome dedicated volunteers to help plan future events across the continent.

What if my partner and I want a shared room?

If no double rooms are available at the main retreat center, we can help arrange reservations at a comfortable hotel 10 minutes away. The hotel has an accessible shuttle that runs to and from the retreat center. You can attend all programming while staying close by with your loved one. Please contact us directly to coordinate these accommodations.

Can allies attend the Retreat?

Due to limited space, registration is restricted to LGBTQ-identifying Muslims and their partners. We know many wonderful allies support our community, and we welcome their involvement in other valuable ways! Allies can donate to our scholarship fund, volunteer to help organize future retreats, amplify our voices on social media, write letters to political representatives, and otherwise be proactive advocates for inclusion and justice.

What if I’m not religious?

Muslims of all ideological backgrounds are welcome – the Retreat is not solely faith-focused. Programming represents a diverse spectrum spanning the spiritual, cultural, political, and secular. You need not have any religious beliefs or practices to attend. We encourage participation in whatever you feel moved by, and support one another in taking risks to open ourselves to new perspectives and experiences within a safe community.

Will any media be present?

To protect privacy, no media are allowed on grounds during the Retreat. However, our PR Committee would be happy to arrange interviews with Retreat organizers before or after to help increase positive media representation of LGBTQ Muslims. We welcome respectful media inquiries.

Can I bring my family/children?

Absolutely, we strive to be family-friendly! A limited number of family cabins are available that can fit partners and children. Onsite childcare is also provided during workshops. Please contact us to register families and get details on associated costs. Having kids around reminds us of the beauty, responsibility and hope inherent in nurturing future generations.

Who is speaking?

Most workshops are peer-led, with attendees sharing their own wisdom and experiences. We also welcome proposals for special guest speakers who could provide meaningful perspective. Confirmed speakers will be announced closer to the event. Please share suggestions!

Do I have to participate in everything?

All programming is optional – you’re encouraged to do what’s comfortable. We know many have complex relationships with religious rituals. Healing happens by taking risks within a supportive community. You can move at your own pace while finding unconditional acceptance.

Will I be able to leave the retreat site?

Our aim is to create a spiritual environment and create a sense of community.  Leaving the retreat site will detract from this purpose.  We ask all participants to remain on-site for the duration of the retreat.  The retreat is in a secluded area and leaving the retreat site will be difficult. Please review the goals of the retreat

Can I smoke, bring alcohol or use drugs at the retreat?

Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.  These areas will be pointed out to you during the retreat orientation. 
No alcohol or illegal drugs of any kind are allowed on the retreat premises.   If you are found with alcohol or illegal drugs, you will be asked to leave the retreat premises – at your own expense.

Do I need to bring anything else besides clothes?

The retreat center provides linens, pillows, blankets and towels.  You should bring your own shampoo, toothpaste, soap – and any other necessary bathroom accessories.  Please remember that you will be sharing bathrooms with other individuals so you may want to bring a bag to keep your items in.
Please make sure that all personal hygiene products are “fragrance-free.” No candles are allowed on-site.

Should I bring any money?

You will not need any money at the retreat center, unless you plan on buying books or other items at the marketplace.
However please arrange for expenses during travel (i.e. ground transportation, meals while traveling and transportation to/from the retreat site). Detailed travel instructions will be sent to you after you register.
If there are any questions that have not been answered here please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How is the retreat funded?

The retreat is self-sufficient and is funded through registration costs, advertising, sponsorship and individual donations. The retreat is budget neutral and does not generate a profit.
If there are any questions that have not been answered here please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.