A huge thank you to our San Francisco readers who ventured out in the rain last night to our SOLD OUT launch party for Salaam, Love! We’re incredibly grateful for your love, support, and wonderful discussion. A special thank you to our MC for the evening, Zahra Noorbaksh, and to the California Institute of Integral Studies for hosting the event.
Check out more pictures from our event on our Facebook page, here.
Next up – Los Angeles! View our full book tour schedule, here.
Our new book, Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy, will be released on February 4th. In the lead up to the release, meet our 22 contributors.
Today, meet Stephen Leeper!
An excerpt from Stephen’s story, “On Guard”:
It was the second year after I’d moved from North Carolina to California. I had moved to escape boredom and childhood memories, leaving Ashley, my beautiful non-Muslim girlfriend, behind. We had been a couple for a few months, but had known each other for two years. She said she would leave with me “just like that”—she didn’t have to see a five-year plan or a five-digit number in my bank account. My promise was all she needed. I left North Carolina in September 2009 and started making plans for our future. By January, she had left me for her white ex-boyfriend, a blow to the Original Blackman’s ego, a carryover sentiment from my Stephen X days.
The next year was one of grief and sorrow filled with bitter, desperate crying when I got up in the morning, in my car between meetings, and in bed at night. Unlike with the Prophet, neither my uncle nor my wife had died, but my hope had, and I grieved. When I met Aliyah the following autumn, I had healed a great deal but was fucking terrified of opening up again.
To read more, order Salaam, Love today!
Q&A with Stephen