Photo by Christopher Marrs
Rasheed grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the eldest of three children. He showed an early interest in reading poetry and fiction. Nikki Giovanni and Kurt Vonnegut were among his favorite writers. It was years before Rasheed had the courage to consider himself a writer.
While attending a Jesuit high school, Rasheed realized that he was definitely a homosexual, and he immediately aimed to become a practicing homosexual. No mean feat in Indiana in the mid-1990’s. Rasheed once spent several hours sitting in a coffee shop because he’d heard rumors that gay people frequented the coffee shop. His loitering was fruitless.
Rasheed is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he wrote movie reviews for the school newspaper, The Hoya. During his time in Washington, D.C., he also worked in the communication and media departments for several non-profit organizations, including the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. For five years, he volunteered with friends as a tutor/playmate at Grandma’s House, a group home for foster care children who were HIV+ or living with AIDS.
In 2002, Rasheed moved to Los Angeles and joined the entertainment industry. He worked as a production assistant; an executive assistant; an assistant to a showrunner; and the second assistant to a network president. He has an ID badge from every studio lot.
Rasheed’s writing career began when he partnered up with T.J. Brady, and together they were hired as staff writers on the Fox drama Lie to Me. As a writing team, Rasheed and T.J. have worked on Bel-Air, The Chi, and Narcos, among other drama series. They are currently executive producers and showrunners of Bel-Air.
Over the course of roughly two years, Rasheed wrote the novel My Government Means to Kill Me. It was a passion project that he wasn’t sure would attract a publisher. However, his literary agent, Jim McCarthy of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, saw potential in the manuscript. So did his literary editor, Nadxieli Nieto of Flatiron Books. Rasheed is grateful to both of them.
Rasheed lives with his husband and their two children in Pasadena, California.