Reply to a Syrian homosexual

Dear Lina,

I read the interview you had with Esra'a from Mideast Youth a couple of times. And every time I read it, I had mixed feelings.
First of all, I want to say "well done!" and I admire you. It takes a lot of courage and strength to come out as an Arab homosexual. Especially when you still live in the Arab world.
You risked your (social) life to be yourself and free. I can only applaud that.

But as I said, I had mixed feelings when I read your interview. Disappointment, sadness and confusion were those other feelings. Don't take the following as an attack. You can say and believe whatever you want. But I just want to show you some contradicting comments/remarks you made.

You seem to take a very harsh stance towards other gays who encounter the same prejudices you encounter in your daily life.
You say you don't agree with homosexuals who like to cross-dress and you even qualify it as "not very normal"
You clearly still fight against the concept of "normal" that is enforced by religious and conservative maniacs but in the meantime you, the "victim" of prejudice, turned into an aggressor by stating that there are limits of what is to be considered normal for gays!
Can't you see that you're making the same basic mistake as those religious/conservative maniacs? You're, in a way, siding with them by saying that what cross-dressers/feminine gays do is not normal. Those maniacs want to enforce their own limits of normal, which they base on their own irrelevant feelings and fairy tales, to create an atmosphere where people are the same without room for any diversity.
You're trying to do that as well. You're trying to use your own concept of what you consider to be "a normal gay" to decide what is "good" and what is "bad" gay-activism.
You say that you "want to see people to open their minds and accept humans in all their colors, preferences and forms."
Shouldn't start with opening your own mind and accept other kind of gays?
We will never see a less homophobic Middle East if we keep on battling amongst ourselves on what is normal and what not.

Another point of critique is about your last comment. You don't encourage other Arab gays to come out because you lost your family and others lose their lives.
First, let me tell you that we kind of share the same story. I too got rejected and kicked out of my family house when I came out. I too found a caring family that treats me as their own.
They protected me from the harassment and threats from my own family. And now their funding my education in a foreign country.
But eventually I'm happy with how things went. I'm free and independent to explore and dictate my own course of life.
It is of course a horrible feeling to live without your own family but that is the price we pay.
I encourage other Arab gays to come out as well. We should realize that we will never get accepted if we stay in the closet because of fear.
Coming out is the first step in the whole process of being accepted by our society.
Our stories (of the ones who did have the guts to come out) should be an encouragement for others to come out.
We are the proof that it is possible to be gay, arab, muslim and alive.

cross-posted on Mideast Youth

1 Comment:

  1. Loula la nomade said...
    Hello Londonian:-),

    I too had mixed feelings when reading the interview. Just the response I was expecting to read.
    Hats off I really like your blog, my kind of paradise in this crazy world.

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