Izzy Mustafa

Interviewed By Nadia Awad

Izzy's family-life intertwines heavily with his oral history and coming out process. The middle child of a Muslim-Palestinian man and Christian-American woman, he talks about the particular ways each parent's family shaped his upbringing and eventually his coming out process. Traveling to Palestine annually, he shares touching moments with his family members there as well as discussing his experiences traveling back for work. Drawn to New York by an appreciation of break dancing culture, he finds encouragement in New York's hustle. Finally, Izzy talks about his concerns regarding passing as a straight dude and a feeling of being outside from Queer community. (Summary by Kirsten Adorian.)

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Izzaddine Mustafa (00:01)
Albuquerque (00:43)
New Mexico (00:45)
Southwest (00:46)
Beeville (00:52)
Texas (00:55)
West Bank (01:00)
Palestine (01:01)
Jamma'in (01:03)
Palestinian (01:09)
Muslim (01:11)
Conservative (01:12)
Conservative (01:14)
Southern Baptist (01:15)
Christian (01:16)
conservative political (01:41)
Republican (01:43)
Born Again Christian (01:56)
Trump-supporters (02:03)
Pro-Israel (02:08)
Christian Zionist (02:09)
religious (02:13)
Occupation (03:38)
Albuquerque (04:24)
mountains (04:32)
church (06:26)
Jesus Christ (06:30)
Mosque (06:34)
Muhammad (06:37)
ethnicity (06:42)
9/11 (07:00)
Islamophobia (07:01)
Arab (07:20)
Muslim Spaces (07:21)
brothers (08:48)
skateboard (09:21)
net cafes (09:28)
Counter Strike (09:30)
boys (09:35)
skate park (10:01)
menstrual cycles (11:00)
sexist jokes (11:40)
wisdom (11:58)
gender (12:14)
high school (12:15)
gender (12:21)
skater (12:28)
parents (13:47)
family (13:48)
dating (14:30)
crushes (15:35)
trans (17:16)
neo-pets (17:40)
chatrooms (17:42)
Catfish (17:55)
dreams (18:28)
therapy (19:00)
Muslim (19:05)
Queerish (19:07)
Queer Woman (19:49)
sexuality (21:20)
dad (22:50)
trans people (23:06)
trans woman (23:12)
sexuality (25:23)
extended family (25:43)
Palestine (26:02)
Jamma'in (26:07)
cousins (27:23)
grandmother (27:25)
grandson (28:03)
matriarch (28:35)
supportive (29:34)
wife (29:39)
"normal" (29:55)
traditions (29:56)
village (30:03)
Arabic (31:52)
Teta (31:54)
uncle (33:23)
schizophrenia (33:26)
Salam Alaikum (33:51)
Habibi (34:30)
welcoming (34:59)
affirming (35:03)
two-gender (35:33)
Intersex (35:45)
masculine (36:09)
uncle (37:31)
Construction worker (37:40)
Israel (37:41)
politics (37:58)
Palestinian men (38:07)
Palestinian Women (38:11)
delegation (41:32)
Americans (41:34)
Palestine (41:36)
activism (42:07)
West Bank (42:15)
Jerusalem (42:16)
trans (42:25)
gender nonconforming (42:26)
social media training (42:38)
alQaws (42:48)
LGBTQ Organization (42:50)
support (43:05)
services (43:07)
LGBTQ Community (43:08)
social media (43:17)
digital security (43:18)
trans masculine (44:01)
trans Palestinians (44:21)
New York (45:36)
cultural (45:51)
break dancing culture (45:54)
LGBTQ (46:44)
Queer (46:45)
hustle (47:14)
physical transition (50:07)
transman (51:28)
passing identity (51:43)
man (52:52)
top surgery (52:53)
hormones (53:38)
mournful (53:39)
queer community (54:17)
queer spaces (54:31)
pronouns (54:33)
straight dude (54:41)
conforming (54:48)
straight masculine guy (56:06)
hetero-life (56:08)
boring (56:17)


Read transcript.

Interview Data

Date of Interview
April 11, 2017
Location of Interview
Nadia's apartment
Place of birth
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Birth Year
Gender Pronouns
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About This Collection

NYC Trans Oral History Project

NYPL's Community Oral History Project is teaming up with the NYC Trans Oral History Project to collect, preserve, and share oral histories from our city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. 

We'll be training a community corps of interviewers to collect these largely undocumented oral histories in order to build a lasting and expansive archive on NYC transgender experiences.

About the NYC Trans Oral History Project:

We are a collective, community archive working to document transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. 

We are inspired by the public history activism of the ACT UP oral history project to build knowledge as a part of our anti-oppression work. We believe oral history is a powerful part of social justice work, and that building an alternative archive of transgender histories can transform our organizing for transgender liberation. 

You can listen to interviews, search interviews tags (like #genderfluidity #self-knowledge #gentrification and #queerfamily), and soon read transcripts. We hope the interviews and tags will preserve and proliferate new knowledges about trans and gender non-conforming experiences.

Content warning: Many of the interviews here include personal accounts of violence, sexual assault, abuse as children, or trauma.