- Posted November 9, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Middle East beauty
Gay rights in Lebanon
"Taa'a ta rakkbak a'ale" ("Come I'll give you a ride on it")... a very popular phrase often heard in the streets of Beirut, where homophobic individuals express their hate openly, as if not-sexually-"straight" people have no honor or beliefs longing to be respected.
Thus, it is, with a deep bitterness pounding in my heart, that I try today to unveil the truth behind the sexual discrimination in the so called "jewel of the middle east".
I am a gay 27 years old male having suffered, and still suffering, for years, from severe social discrimination and marginilazation due to the simple fact that my sexual preferences are "abnormal", as some may claim. I've been frequently insulted while walking in the capital, by men who consider me inferior or incomplete, and faced rude comments from family members and teachers, which thoroughly pushed me to leave university at 24. Moreover, I still can't find a respectable job in my country due to the simple fact that my sexuality is out of norms, which I find really sad knowing that most developed countries erected laws decriminalizing homosexual behavior and prohibiting discrimination against lesbians and gays in employment, housing, and services.
I can also never talk about my profound pain without mentioning that tragic bleak day in March of last year when I was wandering in Monnot and got suddenly assaulted by a gang of 4 thirty-looking guys. One of them grabbed me by the genitals and shouted in my face, as i screamed in agony, threatening to "decapitate" me if I ever frequent this region again.Briefly, a nightmare I wish I can forget.
British Lawyer and Politician, Lord Hailsham, once said:“I regard freedom of expression as the primary right without which one can not have a proper functioning democracy,” therefore I - and as a matter of fact, we - urge the people of Lebanon and the whole middle eastern area, to embrace homosexuality as a normal sexual behavior hence totally accepting gay people in society, and granting them full political and social rights.
And finally, I count on you, CNN, to help me reach the world in order to promote freedom of expression, which our area seriously lacks, even though many think of Lebanon nowadays as the democratic core of the Middle East.