Start a Discussion Find support & help more people

Gay atheist in egypt

A+ A-

Hey everyone, I'm new here. I really hope I'm doing the right thing because if my life doesn't change in the next year I'm afraid I'll have to end it as almost every single day is torture for me.

I'm 23 years old and still in the closet, I'm afraid to talk to anyone irl as you know how it might turn out and that could ruin my life, you never know who's a homophobe which this country is full of and some stories I read scared me. Add to that my religious beliefs and you can imagine how lonely I feel. I'm not a devil worshiper or any of that crap, I just don't believe in a god. I'm very proud of who I am and am NOT ashamed of my beliefs and myself, but at the same time I cant keep living like this.

I'm getting increasingly depressed, those secrets are a HUGE burden I cant carry anymore. The problem is I cant even leave the country because I have to serve the military and you cant leave 1 year prior to that, add to that the 1 year (or 3, depending what you'll be chosen for) I'll have to serve in the military.

Also its affecting my social life (or my fake-self's social life), I try to stay normal but its very clear that I'm depressed and of course I cant explain the reason why, I cant even smile and it makes me look shy or insecure.

All I've said and I still cant explain half of what I'm going through, its just too much and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, so I feel sorry for everyone having to go through the same thing in the middle east.

I hope I can find help here, and I'll definitely do my best to help others and hope I can contribute to something big, something that will finally bring an end to this hell for minorities in the middle east.

Cancel
  • 17-24_f_w_h2_f1
    Advice

    You know, I found the best way to get out of depression is if I change my thoughts about the situation by being more positive. You have to relax and realize that your personal life is nobody's business, not even your family's. Don't think of your sexuality as a burden because it's not ALL of who you are. There are so many sides to our personality and we show different sides to different people. So be yourself, don't pretend to be someone you're not. No one will guess you're gay- I know, the paranoia is hard to get rid of but it can be managed. You'll figure your life out. It'll take time and patience, but you'll get there. One thing I keep reminding myself is that I'm still young (I'll be 23 very soon) and that I have my life ahead of me and nothing's final, just like the difficult life you're imagining for yourself. Be strong and work for your freedom. Face challenges head on and have fun wherever you can, even if it's just you grooving in your room. And when things get bad, tell yourself that this too will pass, because it will.

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Thanks edel, thats helpful & I really hope it will pass soon. I know I should live like this but its just the thought of what might happen any day, the constant fear of what my actions might lead to, the caution I take with everything I do or say, I'm not living life the way I should be!

      I'm not saying my sexuality is a burden, I love who I am and I wouldnt change a thing about myself, maybe just my bad luck lol.

      I know this sounds pathetic but its really painful when you have a crush on someone and know that there's nothing you can do, you just look at them like an idiot hoping they'll give you a sign or something. It might be something to laugh at the first few times but when it happens to you your whole life it becomes depressing. You begin to uncontrollably think that its you, how you look and of course that affects your self-esteem.

      You're almost 23, how was you experience like?

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_f_w_h2_f1
      Experience

      If by my experience you mean my love-life, or lack thereof, I'm in the same boat as you. I've been out to myself for a year now, so nothing happened before that- well except crushes and my first love who cheated on me and that hurt a lot, except I couldn't understand why and was scared and confused and didn't have a single clue on what to do about it. And right now I'm crushing on someone, and since I have a bit of an idea, I'm letting her feel my crush but it's pointless because she's so deep in the closet she'll never accept it. So yea, what you've said doesn't sound pathetic one bit, I really understand. It's very difficult and I have to remind myself that it's not me. I'm just hoping for some kind of miracle right now lol. But really, I think we should be kind to ourselves and give ourselves a break. This is pretty tough.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 25-34_f_w_h2_f4
      Comment

      I second Edel every words ramyahmed .
      you know me myself I have a deep crush on someone but acting silly because I am afraid of losing her if she finds out . that's feeling is killing me right now but I prefer to be in her life as a friend rather than be apart if there is no mutual feeling from her sides ! life is difficult but we have to face it's difficultes and be strong and think positively and pray for miracle ad Edel wish so as we can survive :)

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Honey, thanks for replying. That's exactly what goes in my head, it's better to talk to him as a friend than not at all. :( thanks girls for the help, I wish we were close irl so we can help each other out. :)

      This was helpful! Flag
    • Hey!! You seem to have received some pretty uplifting words from our friends here. So, I'm just gonna add my voice to them in saying that you're not alone, I've been through exactly what you've been through (and mostly still am, as long as I'm in the mid-east, even if things are slightly better now). Anyway, I'm Egyptian and agnostic add to that the struggles to come in terms with my sexuality (at the time). I had a lot bottled up and no one I could talk to.
      My advice to you (and that's what I do) is try to have some long term goals to look forward to, someone to admire and look up to (preferably from the LGBT community) and keep doing this (I've never had this when I was 23), even if you're talking to people on the internet, as long as their words are real and intentions are honest I can't see anything more uplifting than this.
      Light TV shows with LGBT characters like will and grace and glee, are good morale boosters.
      Also music always helps, I always say that music saved my life on multiple occasions.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Thank you for your support, I'm not glad to hear you've gone through the same thing because it's the worst feeling ever, but I'm glad to hear you're doing better now. :) I definitely have a lot of big goals to look forward to, some might get me in trouble but they will leave me fulfilled and will be worth it, and the LGBT community is full of people to admire and look up to! :D btw how old are you? Are you still in egypt? and how was your experience as an agnostic because I can tell you agnosticism and atheism are getting a lot of recognition & followers in egypt thank god. ;)

      This was helpful! Flag
    • Thanks and it's OK, being different than the "norm" is always hard. I'm happy to see some communities trying to embrace the different instead of shunning them, but Egypt (partly because of the predominance of religion) is so far behind when it comes to that.

      I'm 26 and I'm in Qatar for the time being, but planning my great escape out of the middle east :P.
      Yes, and I'm so excited for that, I'm now finding YouTube channels of Egyptian and Arabian atheists, this was practically non-existent a couple of years ago.
      I've always had my doubts and always noticed the contradictions. Gradually I found myself losing my religion and finally, was asking myself "Why? Is this really something I wanna associate myself with?" And my answer was simply "No".

      My disapproval of the Abrahamic religions doesn't stem from my sexual orientation alone although that's a pretty valid reason. But, it goes way beyond that, these religions assume equality and "peace" while the're blatantly sexist, homophobic and a promotion (not solely, I must admit) for ignorance and violence and individuality has no place in their too. They can mask all that under the pretense of the " love your neighbor and turn the other cheek", but that only feeds into the contradictions.

      Not to say that you can't be religious and also kind and tolerant, you'll be like that in spite of it, not because of it.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Everything you said is true, ever since I was young all I was told by the name of islam was to hate, hate, hate everyone who is different, hate anyone who doesnt follow our beliefs. My lack of faith also doesnt stem from my homosexuality, I started having doubts and asking myself questions when I was 10 years old, back then it was simple questions like "Why are all islamic countries this way? Why are all those stories told in the religion class in school so childish?" etc. I really never bought them even when I was a child which is something I'm proud of lol. but now as I get older those questions are getting deeper and I find myself laughing at how millions of people believe so deeply in this.

      Before I used to understand the importance of religion in society even if I know it's not true, but the way people use it and how it's their excuse to do anything terrible and get away with it makes me think that it's time we got rid of it. Hopefully it happens in my lifetime so I can die happily lol.

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f2
    Experience

    hi ramy i am an atheist in an arab country as well and i share with you these feelings of loneliness. its always been really hard for me esp since i am out already to my family who abandoned me and really treat me badly. i had a bad break up a few weeks ago and its messing me up i feel more lonely than ever. we broke up becuz she had problem with my atheism and she was a bit religious we never let that get between us but one day she said she cant be with me as she doesnt respect my views on this. it wasnt the only reason but it was one of them. i feel really bad that i have no relationship or family im usually much stronger and optimistic but not after break ups like this. im very sorry you are going through this and that i cant offer any helpful advice except to say that ure not alone and am going through the same things. its hard for us out there but we have to tough it out if we want to survive the depression.

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      hey skyflake, I'm so sorry to hear that, I can only imagine what you're going through but remember that you're experiencing life as your true self. :) You're very brave to live like this in an arab country but why dont you leave for a better country where you can freely express your thoughts & feelings? you're going to be much happier, you know? I dont know your situation well so excuse my question. :)

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 25-34_m_w_h4_f4
      Comment

      I think you can still live happily under these circumstances in an Arab country. I have dated several gay atheists in my life. They were the healthiest relationships I've had. They just surround themselves with people who are similar so that they don't have to sit around and tolerate those who disrespect them for their views and sexuality.

      They're not easy to find because not many people are very obvious about these things but you can still find them if you socialize and talk to people about their thoughts on such things.

      You can be happy no matter how different you are.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_f_w_h3_f2
      Advice

      True that, Samir.

      Ramy, I know it feels very depressing being in such an environment. It's enough that our sexual orientations are being judged but then our beliefs as well..

      Though I really think meeting the right people can help you make the best of this situation for sure. Amadeus mentioned an area in your region that I see is a great opportunity. You don't necessarily have to come out to them with everything at first but slowly get to know what kind of people they are and build a trust around that.

      I wish you the very best. :)

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
    Advice

    Hi Ramy,

    I totally understand your situation because I'm based in Cairo, and I could relate to your experience.

    I think you need to compromise a little bit if you want to get on with your life in the next couple of years. You have to build your own community, maybe of homos or people who tolerate homos, talk to them, hang out with them, etc... Lots of open-minded groups hang out in Down Town Cairo, that you could mingle with and get their company.

    On your family side, you have to compromise, or maybe find an open family member who you could approach gradually. If not, don't worry, you could live guilt-free by stripping yourself of the negative thoughts one-by-one/

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Hey amadeus, thanks for the advice but can you explain that to me more? how can I know the open-minded groups? I feel its too risky, what if someone knows me and tells on me? I'm guessing thats what you mean by compromise but maybe if you can tell me more I would appreciate it. :)

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
      Advice

      Okay I'm a Bi Atheist and I'll tell ya what I do. At least in the Upper/Middle class it's okay for you to doubt religion and from a topic like doubt with someone (but be cautious during the argument enough to not reveal the true side your on) you can tell how open minded someone is. you will find some open minded people in your friends circle OR family as for me I chose selective people who know about either my sexual orientation or my anti-theist view. Some know that I'm a doubter, some just know that I'm an Atheist, some know that I'm BOTH Bi and an Atheist, the ones who can accept your Atheism are a lot less than who will accept both and none will accept you Homosexuality alone.
      BTW if you have friends who happen to be girls, a bit open minded and if you can trust them with a secret, you can tell them that your gay they'll be more comfortable around you.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
      Comment

      one more thing, as for depression it depends on how depressed you are. if you still can fake it, then a complete change of atmosphere will do the trick. if you just can't even fake it anymore, you can just then you need a good psychologist who knows that sexual orientation and religion have nothing to do with psychological well being, (I once had a panic attack at school and the doctor diagnosed it with lack of faith. what he didn't know is I was claustrophobic).

      This was helpful! Flag
    • Default-avatar
      Anonymous
      Experience

      "You need a good psychologist" - any idea where we can find a psychologist who isn't too traditionally minded or homophobic? Most that I had contact with just told me "have faith in Allah and you will be fine before you know it!"

      I need a serious professional to consult with. I am willing to save up and travel to them if necessary. Can't we find any who do it online even?

      Flag
    • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
      Comment

      well I did see one a few times but he left egypt T_T

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • what you really need is a stable and loving social surrounding that let you nurture and become more and more of your true self . i know that sounds absurd because like hello we live in egypt and a few years back i was just the person you are now but then i realized : if i know that i have people who support me no matter what then thats all i need and it really did turn around for the better , my advise is look for a community where u can be comfortable and i dont mean like a group og gay guys who just look to have sum fun hooking up or partying , i say start with a gay friend , strictly friendship tho . u wouldnt belive how great it would feel to just let loose with that one friend who just "gets it" you know :D . hey it worked for me , give it a shot (Y) :D

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
      Comment

      You'll find these open-minded people very soon, Adham. Maybe if you frequently visited and revisited Down Town cafes/bars, you'll definitely get to know them!

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
      Comment

      I mean this is an easy mission to find some open-minded middle class individual in Cairo, especially in Down Town. It's not mission impossible anyway. Just try to test some of your close friends in the beginning by telling them stories about homosexual/atheist third parties, and see their reactions. If they were positive or careless at all, you could unveil yourself to them. If they were repulsive and abusive, you'll filter them...

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • All my congratulations to you! I'm an spaniard visiting El Cairo, and I'm proud to know that here are atheists! I feel very sad for see how is present the religion in every place of the city, all my congratulations and best wishes for you.
    Good luck!

    Reply to mediterranean
    This was helpful! Flag
  • Hang in there Ramy and know that you're part of a growing group.

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Thank you omar, I really am trying.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Btw Omar did you read that article bassem youssef wrote? It's about the benefits of atheists in egypt and he mentions that they (we) are a growing group and that if the reader thinks there arent many then he should open his eyes more. :) He takes a different route of course and says that with athiests in egypt muslims should know more about their religion because more & more people are losing faith! :D I'm starting to hear many discussions from friends and family about atheism and many people are starting to recognize our existence, which is a good thing so that if someone comes out an atheist it wont be as much of a surprise.

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • i know this is generally a frowned upon idea but ramy ...we should hang out sometime , we're very like minded and you can find someone to be yourself with , also given our situations our social lives are never great and we need all the friends we can get :)

    Reply to adhamyasser
    This was helpful! Flag
  • Default-avatar
    Advice

    I can't say I understand or I know how do you feel, how can anyone how others feel. But, I wonder if you ever watched a movie called The Help, a line from that a movie is : You is kind. You is smart. You is important ..

    Never have ideas of ending your life ..May be your calling in life hasn't arrived or may be it's in front of your eyes, but you're too down to see it but I ASSURE YOU ! you're here for a reason in this life ! Open up for whatever life throws at you .. And being gay isn't a secret of burden, not everyone must to know you're gay, it's your choice to choose who should know and who shouldn't since we both come from a middle eastern countries. I'm here for you and we all here for you.

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      Thanks CowBella, I definitely know the reason I am here now :) It's giving me a purpose in life and I hope I succeed.

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • what i do is listening to music ..as silly as it might looks but it really makes me forget everything, you will find the right person one day, i a sure you he is out there, you just need to know how to look ;)

    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
      Comment

      It's not silly at all, I listen to music ALL THE TIME and it definitely helps. :)

      "You just need to know how to look", I wish I knew. :(

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
      Experience

      you will figure it out, sometimes you don't have to look for love..sometimes it comes right at you.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
      Advice

      Too many responses so I couldn't really read all, but anyway I'm 16.. and I'm out to most people, I pray and everything, yes I'm a Muslim, and let's say im 70% into guys, 30% into girls.. so I'm trying to get all my powers to get myself together, but if it all fails, then well I'm not ashamed of who I was in the first place, I liked a guy.. let's leave it at that, it's not the end of the world.

      I did see a psychologist and well, this one is open minded and able to talk to, and she's dealt with cases before and some people did actually go straight, but if you don't even wana change yourself or anything, or even try.. then I guess you can go to her to just talk and let it out, she'd be all ears really, and if you ever wanted to meet and talk it out, or even just talk it out on here or msn or whatever, I don't mind - I'm all ears! msg me sometime, I'd love to be a help, have a good day. It gets better Ramy o.o

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • I FEEL and Experience that kind of thing too .. the Arab people here in our school .. descriminate me and they have a very bad thinking about me .. Im a Cross Dresser .. im Gay .. so what i did was . i just ignored them eventually they will understand us ..
    and this is the other thing . they are attracted to me .. because i look like a girl . but if they found out that im a Gay .. i think they will utter some bad thing about me again .. i feel so alone everytime they are around me //

    This was helpful! Flag
  • im from PHILIPPINES ... and in the school that im entering .. there are a lot of foreign .. like ARAB People ..

    Reply to johnlloydnieva09
    This was helpful! Flag

Hall of Fame