(CNN)In the United States, you could count the number of mosques like Masjid al-Rabia on two hands. It's a small community built on "five pillars of inclusivity," including pledges to be "women-centered," anti-racist LGBTQ-affirming and welcoming to a variety of Islamic traditions.
In a survey of American Muslims, 0% identified as lesbian or gay. Here's the story behind that statistic
Mahdia Lynn, a transgender woman, helped found the mosque in Chicago in 2016.
For several years, Lynn attended a mosque in a small conservative Muslim community in Oklahoma, where people believed she was a straight, cisgender woman.
"There was always the risk of being outed," said Lynn, a Shiite Muslim. "But at the time, I just wanted to focus on my faith."
There are a few mosques like Masjid al-Rabia around the world, notably in Berlin and Toronto. But the number of LGBT-affirming mosques and Islamic centers in the United States remains small.
Muslims for Progressive Values has eight "inclusive communities" in the United States, from Atlanta to San Francisco. Berkeley's Qal-bu Maryam Women's Mosque, which calls itself "America's first all-inclusive mosque," opened in 2017. Other like-minded mosques have struggled to find consistent congregants in recent years and closed down.
Imam Daiyiee Abdullah, 65, is one of the few openly gay Muslim clerics. For four years, he labored to build a mosque for LGBT Muslims in Washington, DC.
Frustrated, tired and running out of money, Abdullah gave up and moved to the mountains of Colorado, where the nearest inclusive mosque is an eight-hour drive away.
Liberal Muslims say there are hints of change. The percentage of American Muslims who said society should accept homosexuality has doubled in the last decade, to 52%, and is even higher among Millennials.
Still, for many LGBT Muslims, coming out of the closet to their families and religious communities can be a fraught decision.
Ani Zonneveld says she receives calls regularly from young gay and lesbian Muslims who have been threatened by their family or are afraid to reveal their sexual identity.