Tuesday, October 11

Coming Out Over There

Happy National Coming Out Day! To all those who have taken this difficult yet supremely rewarding step, congratulations. Here's some food for thought: A Lebanese magazine has recently become the first forum for gay Arabs to be published in the Middle East. As tough as it can be to embrace your sexual orientation in the West, imagine how hard these guys and gals have it. In much of the Muslim world,
homosexuality is seen as being exported to the region by a country whose armies and fleets have attacked Arabs: the United States, so homosexuality is widely seen as a disease spread by the United States and Israel to corrupt Arabs and undermine their religious faith.
Coming out therefore means facing denunciations not only for perversity and immorality, but also for being a traitor and betraying your nation and race. Ironically, it can also be harder in more moderate Arab countries where the sexes are not segregated. So as difficult as some of us may have had it, the kind of courage we're seeing overseas is definitely worth applauding.