Don’t let The Gays into my country!

Reblogged by my dear friend Hasan, on this link: Don’t let The Gays into my country!.

This will be my profile photo on Twitter and Facebook because:

 

I believe that all citizens should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression.

 

I am outraged by the arbitrary arrests in Dekwaneh on Apr 21st 2013 where a transwoman and 3 men were detained, and subjected to verbal, physical and sexual abuse, their nude photos were taken by cell phones and sent to the media. The Mayor was present through all that and he then confesses to his crimes on national TV. All this is documented. No investigations or disciplinary measures were taken against the mayor by authorities.

 

I am disturbed by what our Minister of Defence has just announced: “Lebanon is against perversion (his chosen term for homosexuality), which is considered a crime according to Lebanese law. I wonder, now that France allowed same-sex marriage would we allow them to enter our country”. How could I be more knowledgeable about our laws than our Defence Minister. Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code penalize any sexual act “against nature” by up to one year in prison and has been historically used to criminalize homosexuality. In 2009, a Lebanese judge in Batroun ruled against the use of article 534 to prosecute homosexuals. He clearly flaunts his ignorance when he questions whether Lebanon should allow The Gays to enter our holy nation, as if the door has been closed and the recent achievements in France on the human rights front will open that door!!! I stand speechless.

 

I am encouraged to speak out because I know how many want to and how little support they have to do so.

 

This is an adaptation of the Lebanese flag. The red says “7okouk” Arabic for “Rights”. I also like how the two red bars form an Equal sign. I wish they could have added to the flag what would represent the rights of womyn, foreign workers and refugees, all of whom are also at risk to suffer similar brutality in our rotten system.

 

I will keep this photo till May 17 2013: The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

Equalathon: The Marathon for Equality in Lebanon

Here is the basic information: 

– In Dekwaneh, a small area off the outskirts of Beirut, there used to be a gay-friendly bar called Ghost. 

– In this bar, there were gay people partying. (I mean, duh!)

– There was a guy who doesn’t like partying, doesn’t love the fabulousness of gay people, doesn’t enjoy glitter, finds Britney Speaks to be a sad excuse for music, questions the gender of Cher, and was never touched by Madonna. 

– This guy got couple of men, and went to that bar, using an authority that he doesn’t have, closed the bar, and arrested four gay people, and one transgender woman.

– The gay people just all happened to be Syrians, given that in that area, it seems, there is a law against foreigners to go out at night. However, only not-so-special foreigners should obey the law, so, Italians, French and Americans are welcome to walk as they please, Syrians; Not so much. 

– The guy took his victims to a deserted area, known as the city council, and he had his way with them: He stripped them naked, too photos of them, and post it on social media, not to mention that he sat there making jokes about their gender and insulting them physically and emotionally. 

All of these stuff are now known on social media as the #DekAbuse. 

Now, there are a group of people, who are bloggers, online activists, and LGBT people in Lebanon. these people decided they had enough, and started to do something about it. 

These people are now known online as the #LebLGBT bloggers: and I’m proudly one of them. 

To join our efforts, you can: 

– Come with us to the sit in in front of the ministry of Justice, trying to remind the minister of the name of his own ministry, and calling for justice. Tonight at 6PM, come with, be part of the change you want to see in the world.  

– You can join in and write your opinion on our online campaign, titled: Online Marathon for Equality. 

1. Write your own thoughts about #LebLGBT and #DekAbuse.

2. Publish it on your own blog and email us the link, or email what you write/create to raynbow.org@gmail.com for us to publish.

Between the 3rd and the 15th of May, write your thoughts about homophobia, the Dekwaneh abuse, and the LGBT community in Lebanon, and be part of the marathon to equality in the country.

All the blogs are going to be published on LebIDAHO.com and shared on Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor.

The three submissions that earn the highest “Likes” will each win a dinner for two at Bardo. Results will be announced by The Monitor on the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17th.

Write in whichever language you like [Arabic, English, French, etc.] and in whatever form [Writing, Photography, poem, etc.]

– You can share our poster: 

ImageWhat are you waiting for? WRITE. SHARE. SHOW LOVE. ❤

 

Born to Become ..

Yeah, You could be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the king kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

Hall of Fame – The Script Feat. Will.I.Am 

I’m a true seeker; of what, I’m yet to know. Lost in this wonderland of Beirut, trying to gather the pieces of my own dreams again after what might have been the longest run in my life without a dream. I have been always searching for an independent, colorful path in my life; a story to be told through me. Sometimes I find it, others, I’m lost in the colors and the comfort of my existence, I let go of the fight for commonness; a home, a money-earning job, a dull easy life that I’d enjoy, but it will vanish one day; leaving no mark on the face of Earth as it disappears in the abyss of people’s minds; slowly, yet surely, I’d be forgotten, gone, my name, which I shared with seven grandfathers before me, will be given to someone else, and my grave will be reopened to welcome new comers as time welcomes its best friend and house cleaner, death, to the lives of the unaware people. 

Death has encountered me in many ways; left me wondering, who will remember me after I die, and I wanted to be remembered; not even in the same way I remember people I loved; I wanted to leave a mark big enough to change lives of those around me for ever; to have an impact on the world in ways no one ever before me did. 

This is a cheerful post, by the way, as death for me is not a sad end to my life, but rather a well-calculated result to the lifespan of average human beings with the outcome of the enigma of knowing that not even one percent of these people will have a bigger impact than being another face in the crowd. 

Being gay poses the question as well of family, which comes, naturally, with children, and being an Arab person living in Lebanon, without the privilege of a foreign passport, means that adopting is almost out of the question; I might, or rather I’d probably, become another childless old man, fighting with my partner in life about whose cane is that and if I remembered to pay the home nurse or not. So, the fantasy of becoming a grandfather one day, where I get all the fun with the children, while my children have to deal with their mess, is most probably calculated out of the math game that is my life.

Furthermore, I don’t want to be only remembered by my children for having children. I want to matter, to stand there and talk about my life and consider myself lucky I lived it. I want to become … 

… yet, still I’m not sure to become what exactly. 

I released couple of books before, short novellas and that like, in Egypt before, made a mediocre name for myself in the cultural scene there. I attended couple of workshops about sexuality in Turkey, and wanted to bring gay rights to Syria, which failed miserably, well, given the situation. I worked, for years, as a journalist, and reached as high as working for one of the biggest names in press worldwide. 

If no one challenged the status quota of their own existence  what is left of them anyways? The remaining of their human spirits, roaming around their skeletons as they decompose into nothingness? hovering around the souls of the living, screaming, hoping that someone would hear their ghostly voices. Yet, no one can; they did not make much in the world for the world itself to remember them. 

Image

She is up there, the eyes of the world on her. She paid sweat and blood to reach this height.

I was a fitness instructor, an actor in an independent movie, a singer in a choir, a movie critic, a gay-rights activist, a social media expert, and best and For most, I was a writer. 

Yet, I don’t feel complete yet, I don’t feel that I accomplished what I want to accomplish, which, as I stated before, is something that I’m  not even sure what it is. I am a magnet for all kinds of deeper wonderment, I am a wunderkind, I’m a pioneer naive enough to believe this, I am a prince in my way to my throne, destined to seek, destined to know. 

Little Did I know that …

Here we go again.

In the pursuit of happiness; a man goes many unpaved roads looking for a release, a shelter or a goal; however, many get lost in the way and get stuck in a hole. Temporary or not; this hole has an effect on this person, causing a butterfly chain reaction that might end up in shaping – or destroying – the very essence of this person.

I have been a traveler; a person of passion and a writer for years. I worked towards goals that sometimes I couldn’t fully understand or see, yet, I believe that I reached some; and I lost my way towards others.

Now, in this unbelievable period of my life; I have the chance to set aside and watch my life as it folds; stuck in a country that once was mine, and surrounded by forces that I cannot control; or predict.

Alright already, enough with the bullshit; let me tell you about myself; I am a man who is totally unique; just like everyone on this planet. The only thing that drives me to write this blog is the simple selfish desire to actually write and see people’s reactions to my writings.

Who am I? My name is not that important really, it’s rather common in the part of the world I live in. Names are just another way for people to label people; my name can tell you from which part in the world I come from and what religion my parents are; therefore, you will be able to stereotype me in some TV-enhanced idea about what kind of a person I am.

However, for the purpose of keeping you interested in reading my blogs; let’s just say that my name is Sama; a female name in the part of the world I come from, yet I like it and I will be called by it. Gender was never my problem and it won’t be my problem at the moment either.

I am a homosexual Arab man who lives in Syria at the moment. “Oh, wow, in Syria?” you might say, thinking of a way to politely ask me about my dead family members or the exchange of gunfire outside of my bathroom window. However, I will disappoint you; I live in Damascus; where the only struggle that I might face is to find a bar that opens beyond 2AM or to get over yet another fight with my father about my “sinful repulsive homosexuality”, as he delightfully puts it.

I traveled far and beyond, been to places and have stories to tell; yet I find myself stuck in Syria for now; in a country I was born in and had my first crush in and enjoyed my first kiss in. Little did I know that I’ll ever come back here and this return only lead to a relapse in my self-image.

I’m a child with a running nose trying to catch a snowflake; I’m a man of 27-year getting in a bus and listening to OneRepublic; I’m a lost teenager exchanging glances with an older guy; I’m a man with a younger boyfriend that sees me as his father figure. I’m off to my first day at school; holding my breath trying not to cry as I’ll be separated from my mother for the first time in my life; I’m an older brother; holding my 2-year-old half-brother as he falls asleep. I’m a child in a car with a fever; my father is driving me to the hospital and the streetlights look like fireflies; I’m a man driving a car; with two lesbian girls in the backseat making out while I try to avoid any suspicious eyes. I’m a child trying to be friends with a girl at school; I’m a man naked in bed; and my boyfriend is turning around and drowning his face into my chest. I’m in Beirut in my late teens; meeting the man who is going to change my life forever. I’m in Egypt telling my Egyptian boyfriend that I can’t stand him anymore; I’m swimming in the Indian Ocean; overlooking Malaysia; telling my Italian boyfriend that it’s not working out between us after three years. I’m in Turkey; making out with a nameless boy in public in Taksim Street; I’m in my mother house in Beirut; having a drunken sex with a stranger while my mother is sleeping in the next room. I’m a child sleeping my mother’s arms; I’m a man standing in the line for the visa appointment in the Italian Embassy; knowing that I will not get the visa. I’m holding my father’s hand as we cross the street; I’m older again; screaming at him: “I’m not a faggot; I’m gay; you’re sick with homophobia”. I’m stuck in a circle going round and round; falling in the gaps of time; and the only way that I can think of to make sense of my life; is to actually write it down.

And writing I shall.

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