The Last Two Souls

I named both of his eyes: “Forever” and “Please Don’t Go” ’cause I know this kind of love; I’ve been here before. It’s good for a while, ’til he walks out the door. 

But I can’t change, even if I tried; even if I wanted to. My love, my love, my love, my love.

He keeps me warm, he keeps me warm.

Same Love – Mary Lambert

In the wilderness, we travel, you and I. We don’t know each other, we never met. We are the opposite sides of a magnet, we’re on the other sides of the globe. You’re my ice, and I’m your flame. We walk, unknowingly heading towards each other, yet pushing away from one another; and our roads stretch ahead so darkening, so puzzling, but we keep moving. 

I climb the towers of Babylon, and I call your name. I didn’t know at the time that that was your name; deep within, I just screamed it; and it became your name. 

You came through oceans; as if you’re a mystical creature; you heard my calling and you came, the last two souls on planet earth were about to collide, you didn’t know your own name, but I named you, and you answered. 

As we reach each others; and on arms length; we reach to each others with a kiss, lip on lip, hand on hand, and you drawn in my arms; and I melt in yours. We smash into each others like two shadows that merge to become one. We fall deeper into the cursed kiss; and we, so hungry for love, so thirsty for belonging, tight our arms around each others, in a deep cold corner in this world. Around us, circles of green grass is growing, trees are scratching the face of the earth again. The ruins are rebuilding; a stone jumps on top of a stone, the stones rubs each other, as our bodies rubs each others. My hand, firmly grabbing your back, squeeze water from within the mountains and it explodes like a heaven of sparkles; from within the womb of the mountains, fish jump alive and beautiful. Koi fish, just like that one tattooed on my left arm, every kiss you print on my tattoo, another Koi fish comes back to life. 

.. I hold you between my arms, and I look long and hard into your eyes: you’re my unknown lover, my one and only, my deepest secret and my only hope; you’re the dream that I didn’t dare to dream, and the balance to all my fears; you’re my partner, my brother, my father and my son. I rest my head on your shoulder, and it becomes a garden of fresh grass and gentle sun, overlooking a beach of wavy sea; from the sea, a fish is brave enough to step out, and try, and from the heart of the ocean; life comes out once again. evolution has all the letters of love in it; and our revolution over our damned bodies and souls is love read backwards. 

ImageYou keep me warm. You keep me warm. You keep me warm. you keep me warm.

My love, my love, my love, my love.

… and we create life.

As the drams calm down, and the world is becoming heavenly again, we fall into the normal, we face the routine, we fall, we die within a little; then we start our journey once again, and I find you.

… or you find me. 

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. ❤

 

Because we have the right …

You took away my right to have a family with your traditions, with your religions, with your lies and your ordinary lives, you took away my right to be a member of a family that loves me no matter who I am, and no matter who I was born to be. 

You took away my right to enjoy telling my best friends about my love for my boyfriend, you took away the right to be out as a man who has love for a man; the right to join in the conversation without having to turn ever “he” into a “she”. The right to ask my mother for advise in my love life, to fall in her lap crying when my heart is broken. 

You took away my right to work without people looking at me from underneath their glasses, trying to figure out my sexual orientation. You took away my right to take a phone call from my boyfriend in the middle of the office, without having to run to the bathroom and whisper my “I love you” to him. 

You took away my right to walk the streets proudly holding hands with my significant other, to print a kiss on his face as we part ways heading to our work. You took away my right to introduce him to people as my boyfriend, instead of “my cousin”, “my best friend”. 

You took away my right to have a wedding that I dream of, you took away my right to mourn a breakup, you took away my right to be a human, just like you. 

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That’s why we fight now, that’s why we have the right to fight you, and your homophobia, and your ignorance, and your ugliness, that’s why we have the right to respond.

You started it, by taking away our right, we’ll demand it back, we’ll get it back, just wait and see.

Join in, blog, tweet, write statuses on Facebook, fight for your right, use the official hashtags: #LebLGBT, #DekAbuse. 

If you don’t know about the Dekwaneh incident, read more about it here: 

Lebanese official arrests and harasses gay and transgender people

 

Reinventing

I’m gonna break the cycle; I’m gonna shake up the system. I’m gonna destroy my ego. I’m gonna close my body now. I think I’ll find another way: There’s so much more to know. I guess I’ll die another day: It’s not my time to go.

Madonna – Die Another Day

 As our bodies shatter, we reassemble ourselves in all sorts of acts to recreate the glory that once was our souls. These souls, now hiding in the shadows, are waiting for the right person to put our body parts together. We recreate, we rekindle, we remove parts, we reinstall others, we redesign our faces, our feet, or big bellies, our fat thighs, our body image, and we reinvent ourselves, over, and over, and over, and over.

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I’m sitting inside the bus, getting myself together for a trip that would last around 40 hours, not knowing that the seat I got is broken, and it can never incline, which meant that I’ll be sitting like a rock statue for the next 40 hours, resulting in a back pain that I would ignore while I enjoy my first hours in Egypt, a country I visit for the first time. I was 21 at the time, I was naive and heartbroken.

I pick up the phone, and I call Hussam, a short and tearful goodbye with promises to meet merely months after this departure, a meeting that never took place ever since. As I head to Egypt, I start to think to myself, maybe it is a new beginning, maybe I will be accepted, maybe I would stand against the stream and open my arms wide, and maybe, for the first time in my life, I won’t drawn.

For a year or two, as I go through life in Egypt, I struggle, as you do, in finding my place among people, and I struggle some more with finding myself among all the places Cairo can provide you: What am I? Am I the young romantic writer destined to become a columnist one day in one of the Egyptian newspapers? Am I the new hot dude in the gay community in Cairo? Am I a journalist with a thirst to the unknown? Or am I the Syrian who is missing his country and family and wants to go back? I needed around 5 years to find out the answer to that question: That was about the time that I left Cairo.

I’m sitting inside the airplane, getting myself together for a trip I did not expect, less than 24 hours ago I was standing in the middle of Tahrir square, reporting about what is happening there, and  now I’m on a plane I did not plan to evacuate Egypt to Jordan, I thought, from my whole heart, that I will be back in Egypt in couple of weeks, which never actually happened. I call Jimmy, and we have one more goodbye, we were dating for a couple of months by then, we were getting ready to move to the next phase of our relationship, when I went out the door and I never returned.

As I sit there, in my father’s living room, with my grandmother crying and asking me to stay in Syria and never leave again, I think to myself, maybe I will be able to find my place here once more, maybe I can have friends and family and become who I really want to become, maybe I will plan my life around Syria again, and maybe this time it would work.

For six months, I went through life in Syria, I struggled to find a good home and a good life and a good job; as I’m settling into this new life, getting to know real people, and having the best relationships I had in my life, I was offered to come to Beirut for work. Was it needed? Did I really need the change in my life? Did I have to? I cannot tell, what I know is that I couldn’t say no to this job offer. I packed my back, and in less than a month, I was out of the door.

I’m sitting inside the car getting ready for the three hours trip to Beirut, worrying that the police at the borders might not like me that much and I might end up in some unknown prison, I make a final phone call to my boyfriend, who will follow me in couple of months; I couldn’t handle anymore reinventing, I couldn’t handle reimagining my life, I wanted him and  no one else, and I did not say goodbye, I did not reinvented the world around me, I decided to put my life back together.

Now, as I plan to go to Canada, I know that I’m facing the struggles of settling in yet another new country, Beirut is expensive, heartless, yet beautiful and welcoming. I’m facing the struggles I’m going to face once more when I move to Canada, but at least, for once, I’m facing it with someone I love.

Aside

Wedding Bell Blues

You should marry me, I know you don’t agree. There’s no two ways about it. 

I should marry you, but I haven’t a clue, of just what to do about it. 

I know I’m tired of sleeping all alone, oh, you and I should really make a home... for two. For three. For four!! For more!!

Nina Simon – Marry Me

Late night Monday, two gay guys, and two lesbian girls sitting around the white plastic table. A dog, the color of Champagne, is sleeping on the dark brown leather sofa behind us, with her ears standing, monitoring the world, making sure we’re not going to run away. In our hands, we are holding playing cards; bored to tears with playing the same games over and over again; discussing the possibility of buying ourselves a “Clue” or “Monopoly” or something. 

What was it that brought marriage to the table?! I honestly can’t remember. We were listening to Adele on repeat; until we managed to phase it out into a whispering back noise while we play, so, I’m sure it wasn’t one of my collection of sappy songs. Oh, yes, the dress. We were talking about how the girls wear make-up and dresses to weddings; and how one of them really refuse to put any make-up on her face. I searched my memory, and the only memory of a wedding was so far deep in my past, I can’t remember anything other than me being so little, I was allowed to join in the women’s wedding side. I was maybe ten, and I was wearing a red bow tie that made me look charming.

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“I would like to have my own wedding.” I tell my two lesbian friends visiting, aiming the hint indirectly to my boyfriend, half joking, “I have it all planned in my mind.” 

One of the girls laugh, and she ask me to “tell us” about this perfect wedding of mine.

I want it to start in the late morning hours, I want it to be on a shinny Spring day, I want it to fall on a day when the weather is sweet and inviting. 

I want it to be on the river, a shiny bluish river where little boats goes around waving to us. On the other side of the river, I’d like to see an old building; to be the backdrop of photos to be taken on that day. A beautiful church, maybe, or an old historical building. 

I want to wear white, “but no dress for me, girls,” I want to wear a white suit with a bow tie that will make me look charming; I want it to be this sweet cute little suit, that will allow me to move freely, yet I’d look elegant in it. 

My best man is going to be my best friend in the whole wide world; Nadia. My girl is going to be my best man, she is the one for the job. 

I want the centerpiece on the tables to be a small rock bowl, with clear water in it, and on the face of the water, I want Lotus, tons and tons of Lotus just swimming in that clear water. 

For the tables; I want them all to be big and welcoming; with no nametags on them, you can sit anywhere you like, no one invited will clash with anyone else. No seating plans ahead.

DJ or band? I really can’t decide. Maybe both? as long as it’s cheerful songs to fill the air and for people to dance. 

“I know my vows,” I smile as I tell my friends, “I know them by heart, and honestly,” I look to my lover, sitting across the table from me, making silly jokes one after the other while I’m describing my wedding blues, “I got them all inspired by you.” 

I’d like to have my wedding sometimes in my 30s. I’d like to have it in a place where my friends, from across the globe, can come and visit. I want to marry my lover, my man. It’s crazy for me to think about it, while living in the Arab world where the tiniest of gay rights are ignored. 

But here is hoping ….

The Enigma of Sex

But swimming in your world is something spiritual. I’m born again every time you spend the night.

‘Cause your sex takes me to paradise. And it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah. Cause you make feel like, I’ve been locked out of heaven for too long, for too long

Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars

Sex, or at least the way I’d like sex to be, is something brutally honest; something that is overwhelmingly powerful, yet sweetly performed; it’s something that ranges between prehistorical needs and futuristic values; it’s the stream that divide the world apart, yet the chain that holds the oceans together. Sex, however, is only merely something; no matter how perfect it can be, it’s only a part of a much bigger dynamic in a relationship where sex plays the role of a physical connection, yet it does not replace or even measure up to the emotional, spiritual, mental and social connections that a relationship requires.

Yet, gay people in Lebanon, and in the Arab world, pay too much attention to it; and not just “it”, but the minimum requirements of it: the most important aspect of an Arab gay man maturity is knowing the “role” he wants to play in sex: am I a top? a bottom? versatile?

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What brought me to this topic is couple of things:

Firstly, my friend Pierre is visiting from Syria, and has been living with me and my boyfriend for the past week or so. Pierre, bless his soul, is a traditional gay man from the Arabia, he is trying his best to educate himself about his sexual identity, and he has developed a good sense of that. Yet, he still result to labeling others, especially gay men, according to his perspective of their sexual preference in bed; I will admit that I am guilty of doing the same thing personally multiple times before; mostly jokingly; yet sometimes, I find myself even doing it in my own mind; this guy is a bottom for sure, this guy might be versatile and so on. I don’t like labels, and I train myself not to fall for labeling anyone; as stereotyping is the main concern of an LGBT activist in the Arab world; yet you find yourself labeling certain people with certain personal and physical trends with certain labels regarding their sexuality; while I’m educated enough to understand how fluid the sexuality of any person can be; and how changeable it is. The smartest thing I learned to do is to adapt to change; especially in our world of constant changes; so why am I not giving the same doubt to the sexuality of other people?

That brings me to the second point I have, which came from an Egyptian friend of mine, she was visiting Beirut couple of months ago when I introduced her to a lesbian friend of mine; saying exactly that to her: “This is so-and-so, she is a lesbian”. The question, which turned out to be both logical and valid in my Egyptian friend’s mind, is simple: “Why did I need to know that? Why did you tell me?” Knowing my friend, she won’t change the way she treats so-and-so based on sexuality, so, why would it matter to my Egyptian friend if so-and-so is lesbian, bisexual, straight or trans? I tried to logically explain to myself why was I labeling my own friend; and while I managed to come up with an excuse about coming out of the closet and normalizing and all that nonsense; I still felt weird about this trend in my own personality. I do point out sometimes to my friends that this actor or that singer are LGBT. Some based on true knowledge, others on pure rumors. Why do I do that? I’m not sure.

One of the main jokes of my friends is  to try to subtly, but fail miserably, find out who is the top and who is the bottom in my own relationship. I heard jokes about the matter, friends even made assumptions of their own and ran with it; which I kinda found both weird and somehow rude. I made a speech once, half drunk, how firstly, my sexual relationship with my partner is fluid and changes according to desires and needs of both parties; and secondly that my private life is called private for a reason.

Let me quote Homos Libnani on this one:

No one can be purely bottom or top. And no one can stay in a relationship where they are only perceived as far as their categories. Human sexuality is much more fluid than that, and it takes a lot of courage and commitment to accept it’s just a part of you, but not you. There are other parts to look for besides spending your life proving to yourself and around you that you’re the best bottom or the best top.

Finally, it seems to me that this problem is not limited to the Arab world alone, here is an example, of a funny, yet somehow wrong, video parody of the beautiful “Girl on Fire” song by Alicia Keys.

Be careful, this song is surely not suitable for work environmental. 

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