The morning after Gay Pride: A sexuality survey of the ME's LGBT hot spots
No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody. ~Rita Mae Brown, speech, 28 August 1982
Gay rights is globally trending as one of the hottest and most controversial topics du jour. Everywhere you look, members of the LGBTQ community are fighting an uphill battle just to be treated as equals. At best LGBTQ individuals face discrimination, lack basic civil rights and are unable to lawfully wed, at worst they are forced to hide their true identities for fear they may lose their lives. Continue reading below »
Although the majority of Middle Eastern countries have become more modern and liberal in recent years, the subject of homosexuality remains a taboo for its conservative majority. The region remains a hostile place for anyone with a gender identity or sexual orientation that is outside of the accepted norm. Israel, Jordan and Bahrain may be more lenient towards homosxuality, but Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Iraq, Iran and the UAE punish homosexual acts by death.
Putting the Middle East’s “moral pride” aside, a number of Arab countries still proudly and bravely host gay pride parades in their colorful streets. Here’s a look at what’s it like to be gay (and hopefully proud) in 12 MENA countries.