Human Rights Watch No Longer Alone
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[Human Rights Watch No Longer Alone]
Hello, my name is Khalid Abdel-Hadi.
My name is Steph.
My name is Elie.
My name is Dalia.
My name is Hamed Sinno. I’m a musician, I sing in a band called Mashrou Leila from Lebanon. And I’m queer.
I define myself as a gay man.
I don’t like to categorize myself by my sexual orientation, but I’m gay.
Omar Sharif Jr.
I’m a brother, I’m a son, I’m a grandson, I’m an actor and I’m gay.
When I was very young, 5 or 6 years old I knew that things were just different for me.
I remember the moment perfectly. It was Halloween. It was the first time I wore my sister’s skirt and my mom put makeup on me. I still remember that day. How happy I was and how comfortable I felt.
I went on the internet and I started searching and searching.
I found this [Facebook] group that had many Sudanese [lesbian] girls. I wrote, “Where are you people?” I realized I was not alone in the world there are many people like me and I was very happy. I think that night I was so happy I didn’t sleep.
I come from a very conservative family. Religion was very present in our lives. My first thought was, “What will God say?”
It was a journey. My beliefs were completely in contradiction with my being, with my attraction to women.
I felt like a freak of nature. That there was something completely wrong with my existence even. People would make fun of me, hit me. I used to feel very alone.
Walking down the street, people would laugh at me call me names, like, “butch.”
IRAQ Source: LYBIO.net
“Don’t do this because it’s what women do.” “It’s shameful for a man to do that.”
I was physically attacked while out with a group of friends. Most of us looked different and it was clear we were LGBT.
I was sent to the “Raqi” [a religious healer]. Sometimes he used to hit me, it hurt a lot. And he used to say, “Get out, get out.” That there was a woman inside me that needed to get out. He would hit me all night but nothing in me would change.
At the beginning I was at war with myself, trying to change myself. In reality, it’s not a choice, I cannot change.
What I didn’t understand was that there is nothing wrong with me. It’s the people around me who were wrong.
Some people say it takes a lot of courage but what it really takes is…willpower.
Most people don’t even know what the world “gay” means. They say “sodomite” or “abnormal” and your job is to calmly and rationally explain. If they understand and accept it, case closed. If not, you walk away.
I developed thick skin because of all the things I heard and went through. It’s like water, it doesn’t stick.
I never thought that one day, I’d have the strength to face society and say, “I’m gay whether you like it or not.”
That’s when I started feeling a bit more comfortable and after a while I came out to one of my schoolmates. I told him I’m gay. He said, “No way, I don’t believe you.” After a while he said, “I love you the way you are, I don’t care what you are.” I said okay, good.
My father was against me in every way. But he transformed from hateful to accepting and tolerant. He accepted me as his daughter and loved me unconditionally. This was in itself a miracle.
I felt as if someone had lifted a giant weight off my shoulders – just by admitting it to myself. It helped me accept everything, accept my life. Accept that I’m a person who deserves happiness, love, existence and rights.
I went from thinking about suicide to my parents knowing and accepting me. The change needs time, it doesn’t come easily but you have to be patient. You are not alone, we are with you. You’ll meet many people, heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, who will stand with you. You are not alone.
To lesbian, queer, or bisexual women: I want, first of all, to send you my love. If they don’t like what you are, they are wrong.
You’re gay, it’s not a disease. You’re not against religion or Islam. You’re not against culture, or the state, or your family.
The path to knowing and accepting yourself allows you to see how beautiful you are.
I’m human like everyone else. And I have rights. I will defend those rights.
It’s hard when you are young. And it stays hard, but it gets easier.
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Human Rights Watch No Longer Alone. I’m human like everyone else. And I have rights. I will defend those rights. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.