I’m a Lebanese guy, born and raised in Lebanon, in a somehow conservative family. Left Beirut at the age of 18 and currently living in the US away from family and close friends.
I have always considered myself as one of the more “openly gay” people in Lebanon and by that I don’t mean that I was a lady; I was out to my friends in school and a few family members which is more than most gay guys in Lebanon. I had different reactions at school, but no one really threw stones at me. Some friends were totally cool about it and some others built a wall of ice around them to block me out.
When more members of my family found out, one declared war against me and the other calmly suggested therapy. That’s when I knew the fun had ended and life isn’t going to be easy in Beirut. After I moved to the US, I was relieved. I was so happy to be away that I wanted to express my gayness in any way possible. I came out to everybody and whoever had a problem with it, I told them to go to hell and it felt amazing!
Homophobia exists everywhere, in the East and in the West, and I think it’s the lack of education and knowledge which leads to homophobia. Parents, schools and social organizations should teach children that homosexuality is not a taboo, is not a sin, is not against the law and is a natural way of living. With this education, things will start getting brighter.
If homophobic people would use 50% of their energy to fight crimes against humanity instead of harmless gay people, the world would be a better place to live in.