A Year Since Sarah Hegazi’s Death! Has the World Changed Its Stance on LGBTQ+?

Published June 15th, 2021 - 12:28 GMT
LGBT activist Sarah Hegazy.
Sarah Hegazi, a prominent Egyptian LGBt activist socialist and writer. (Artist Ivan Debs/ Instagram)
LGBT activist was detained and tortured for three months after raising the Pride flag in a concert.

By Sally Shakkour

Queer community and human rights activists took it to social media, yesterday, to mark one year anniversary since the suicide of Sarah Hegazi. 

Sarah was a prominent LGBT activist, socialist and writer who committed a suicide on 14th of June 2020 after being exposed to arrest, jail and torture in Egypt.

The LGBT activist was arrested by the Egyptian police for three months for raising the Pride Flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo in 2017. Despite the fact that she was released and gained asylum in Canada; the Egyptian activist was never over her arrest and torture and ended up taking her own life in exile.

In Jordan, activists have planned a virtual event to discuss the rights of LGBTQ in the country and to mark a year since Sarah Hegazi’s death. The Jordanian authorities immediately contacted the ministry of interior and canceled the virtual session called “Activism, the Arts, and LGBTQ+ Rights.”

The online event was set to take place virtually on Monday, June 14th to honor the Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazi and speak about LGBTQ+ rights in Jordan. Later on, a Jordanian Member of Parliament noticed the Facebook event and immediately called to cancel it; saying they will never allow such an event that is against the country’s traditions, religion and social norms.

Nevertheless, this is not the first time Sarah Hegazi’s death causes issues to the Jordanian authorities; One year ago, some Jordanian artists commemorated the activist’s death by drawing graffiti on Amman walls. However, the Greater Amman Municipality called for the drawings’ removal.

LGBT activists worldwide have remembered the prominent activist yesterday. In New York, Sarah’s name was written on the floor surrounded by flowers, candles and the Pride flag.

In London, a vigil was released to remember Sarah Hegazi on Monday to mark one year on her passing away.

Several organizations including Bedayaa Organization which works to promote sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics' rights in the Nile Valley area, shared commemoration messages over Sarah Hegazi’s death.

Bedayaa Tweeted: “A joint statement recognizing the first anniversary of the death of lesbian activist Sarah Hegazi and announcing the inauguration of a Pride Day for Lesbian and Queer Women from the Middle East and North Africa.” 

Sarah Hegazi’s last words were: “To the world. You were cruel. But I forgive You”.


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