Monday, March 21, 2011

The Gay Arab World

Hey everyone,

Haven't written in the last week, just been busy a little bit and also I felt that my last four part story was enough to get my some time off. :)

Anyways, there is been a lot of talk recently about gay rights in the USA, about DADT, about DOMA and other issues that have a big effect on the gay community and on civil rights in general.

My question is different, while we know about the USA and the progress that is made, what do we really know about the gay world in Arab nations?

Is the fact that there seems to be a changing of guards, and that the people seemingly have been trying to bring down the dictators of the Arab world going to make a difference in human rights in general and gay rights in particular?

I know that in his visit to Columbia University, the Iranian president, Ahmedinejad was asked about gay population in Iran and he came back with a great answer: "we don't have any of those in Iran". There is no doubt that human rights in most if not all Arab countries is terrible and is decades away from the modern world that we know.

We know that people can be killed, stoned or jailed for being gay, yet we never really hear facts and really never know how much of a issue it is among the citizens and not the dictators.

I mean, of course my feeling and I think yours also is that the citizens also don't accept gay people and gay rights in those countries and that it's a struggle just to stay alive if you happen to be gay.

My thing is what will happen if the Arab world moves a little forward after all the political and leader change that is seemingly happening. Does that mean that gays will have a chance to live a normal life, will they ever be able to live in public or is the Arab world consumed in thoughts and ideas that won't change no matter what happens?

I know that I struggle with the fact that if people knew I was gay it could really damage my career. There are a lot of people that are afraid of being mocked, fired or condoned by friends and co workers, but did any of us ever think that being gay can just get us killed?

Not because some homophobic people decide to beat up a gay person or because of hate crimes, but because that's the way of life? Just because gay is something that isn't accepted by governments and leaders in most countries in the Arab world?

It's hard to accept that something I believe isn't even up to us, and I mean being gay or not, can get us killed, or just force us to live a lie 24/7 for our whole life.

Now I'm sure that some Arab countries are better than others and are a little more modern, but still the issue is so problematic and so untold, I guess we will just have to wait and see what the day brings as far as the political changes in the Arab world.

I remember that the president of the football world association asked gay couples not to behave in a manner that will hurt the people in Dubai come the world cup at 2020.

Since it's illegal to be gay in Qatar. It only leaves us to wonder what will happen in the next eight years, I'm sure a lot will, just hope it will be in the direction we all hope and pray for.

2 comments:

  1. The US has come along way, over the last few decades, but there are many places where, as you mention, it is still illegal to be gay. That saddens me.

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  2. Reality check for everyone: homosexuality is rampant in the Arab world, regardless of what Ahmedinejad says. Men have sex with men prior to marriage for pleasure; men have sex with women to bear children in marriage. This is well known and accepted. However, men do not partner or "love" each other. That is the "gay" reference Ahmedinejad makes. It's crazy, but it's true, well, in their minds anyway--having sex with men does not make you gay.

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