Start a Discussion Find support & help more people

Coming out is a privilege?

A+ A-

Hello everyone,

So, lately I've been reading loads of lgbtq literature, especially concerning MENA. I have come across many who think that coming out is a privilege (which I agree with but not in the same context), that it's been influenced by the west's binary roles: heterosexual or homosexual.

Many argue that the binary role is alien to this region and is mainly a new phenomenon influenced by the west, that they were mainly practices not identities.
and lgbtq people should realize that coming out, sexual identities and such are being imposed on Arabs.

Even if it's true, should that prevent activists and people who identify as such to "come out" and demand equality? How to reconcile your identity and culture? What do you think?

P.S. I have been recommended to read Joseph Massad's "Desiring Arabs" which explores this topic more in-depth, so has any one read it and what's your views regarding this subject?

Cancel
  • 12-16_m_w_h4_f1
    Comment

    Hey there,

    As far as coming out being a new phenomenon influenced by the west, thats true to some extent. Throughout historical arab literature, depictions of homosexual relationships were more prevelant in the past but during that time people did not understand homosexuality and thus did not think of coming out. And actually during those times homosexual acts were more acceptable in the middle east than western societies.
    On the other hand, coming out is a fairly new phenomenon throughout the world, just as our understanding of homosexuality recently grew.

    So the only way activists would be discouraged to come out is peoples beliefs in such things, however, i think that activists willing to come out should be encouraged in any way possible as that's the only way gay rights in the middle east can improve.
    Also, i don't think we should attempt to reconcile our culture, our culture is there to be shaped and you should try your best to shape it so that you can be proud of it.
    And you should be happy about your identity 'cause it's not a choice and you'll enjoy life so much more when you do!

    P.S. I admire how much effort you seem to be putting in to understanding lgbt subjects. :)

    Reply to Turing
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 25-34_m_w_h4_f4
    Comment

    I would agree that we have to be sensitive to the cultures that we live in. There are some norms that are unreasonable that are worth challenging and others that we have to observe and respect. I would disagree however that coming out is being imposed on Arabs, but it does depend on the extent to which you come out. Coming out to a friend or a sibling is different than making a nationwide announcement. Our way of coming out is just more controlled and reserved which is okay, it's the same thing with many heterosexual relationships too. Some people you can talk about your significant other to and to others you can't, regardless of your sexuality. You have to set your own boundaries.

    This was helpful! Flag
  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    Joseph Massad is an academic asshole who uses theory to defend the murders of the Assad regime in Syria
    BUT. But.
    His book "desiring arabs" is pretty damn great. I've gotten a chance to read a little bit of it and I would love to find it and read the rest.
    Also, if you're into this kind of thing, read Jaspir Puar's "Terrorist Assemblages" She does a great job of explaining the Western Gay vs. the East, etc. Its kind of heave on the queer theory head in the clouds, but its good.

    Reply to arabsest
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 25-34_f_w_h1_f2
    Comment

    I'd never read anything for Joseph !

    Reply to Dee
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 17-24_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    As a queer Arab living in the US, I a little bit feel like I'm being pressured/expected to come out or else I'm "oppressed". A lot of the mainstream gay movement does not understand having an identity that doesn't only focus on sex and sexuality. Those things are important to me, but the way SOME of them are like, "be loud and proud or else you're not a real gay!" makes me want to go "fck you, I'm going to go put on makeup and a dress just because of you."

    This was helpful! Flag
  • I find it strange to term homosexuality a "practice". Scales of sexuality are not a phenomenon: it is, and has been forever, a part of nature. By nature I don't mean just human nature - but within the broad scope of everything living and breathing. Homosexuality is not a learned behavior, nor is it an imposed practice endemic to Western culture. Sexuality is not adopted, it is not a choice, and while it is not the determinant of a person's identity, it's impossible deny that it is part of who they are.

    It's also impossible to deny that most MENA countries are incredibly sexually repressed, even in terms of "traditional" or "mainstream" sexuality. In light of the deep-seeded shame accompanying anything remotely sexual, it's hardly surprising that LGBTQ individuals across the MENA region aren't coming out. Of course coming out is a "privilege." It's also a privilege not to face state-sanctioned oppression, imprisonment, or executions for doing so.

    • 25-34_m_w_h1_f4
      Comment

      theres some cultural things that are not very fit for us like gay parades or nude parties things like this. this is more a practice than identity alone. but yes homosexuality itself is not a practice.

      This was helpful! Flag
    • 25-34_f_w_h1_f2
      Comment

      yes, you have to admit that those things would be extreme to some extend, yet again if you don't think so you have your place to express yourself !

      I think the perfect situation would include people doing whatever the hell they want, you wanna party and have gay parades go ahead, you think thats extreme then dont do it !
      SIMPLE.

      This was helpful! Flag
    This was helpful! Flag
  • 25-34_m_w_h1_f4
    Comment

    that comes with access to info and resources the more we are exposed to it the more we are influenced by it and to admit a lot of this info comes from the west whether its tv or radio or web content. slowly we are having a balance. we have to try and shape it ourselves so that it represents us more

    This was helpful! Flag

Hall of Fame