Life As A Lesbian In The Middle East

Life As A Lesbian In The Middle East

Countries like India, USA, Germany, Australia have legalised same sex marriages in the recent years. Such nations are now thriving in rainbow. But many countries from the Middle East still refuse to follow our suit.

In 2015, a private school named Talaee-Al-Noor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia painted their rooftop with stripes of the rainbow. However the school was asked to pay a fine of 100,000 riyals i.e. $26,650, by their government. All because the school showed off “the emblem of the homosexuals” on their building. Furthermore, one of the school’s administrators was sent to prison and the “offending” rooftop was repainted into a rainbow-free blue sky.

This case of the rainbow painted school is an example of how one part of the world’s progress can have unsuccessful effects in another part. It also serves as a reminder that such places exist where the link connecting rainbows and LGBT rights is still new or not discovered.

This week, Fifty Shades Of Gay had a chat with an Indian lesbian woman, who spent her entire childhood and teen life growing up in the Middle East.

(Note: The identity of the person is kept anonymous as per their request. )

Realising her sexual identity:

“So growing up as a very young and energetic girl was always very attractive! And I say attractive in the wrong way. Confused? I’ll tell you.  Usually as a young girl, one of the things you that expect will excite you is the touch of a man. You know you’re first boyfriend, your first kiss is meant to be a beautiful, exciting memory for life. But when you feel the same male touch is ‘wrong’ way, then what you feel is the exact opposite of excitement. This is how I realised I was different.

What truly excited me even more is the same fact, that I get to experience a different kind of love! So pure, so true and with so many of beautiful feelings involved. ”

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Image Courtesy: The Commentator

This realisation never scared her:

“It was never easy because I couldn’t ever express it to any one. In fact I couldn’t say it to the one I was feeling these emotions for!

However, that never stopped me from exploring myself. I finally found the courage to express my feelings, and continued to voice them ever since. It was never easy, because of all those questions asked. Although I had answers for all their questions, I choose not to fight because there is no point! My life is what I shape it to be. I do not need anyone’s consent to live my life the way I feel it makes sense to me.”

Her relationship shaped her into what she is now:

Although she’s dated many women, her first love and first heartbreak taught her many valuable things about life.

“The first time I was approached by a girl I felt really different, but a good different.  I was in a relationship with her for about two years. Well that went on about 2 years. But let me tell you guys, those two were most amazing years of my life. They are some of the best memories and even hold a special place in my heart. The reason is my first love was not just my partner, she was also my best friend. ”

“When I first started dating her, I thought this is what life is all about. But again good things are never meant stay in your life forever.”

“After my first relationship with this woman my ideas and thoughts about life did a complete 360 degrees. I accepted everything and anything that happened in life ever since. Every relationship teaches you a lesson, it depends on how to react to them. Some you take, some you leave behind.”

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Image Courtesy: Foreign Policy

Coming out to her family:

“Dating women was definitely not easy. Since I never really officially came out to my parents. I did not once have a sit down with my folks about my sexual identity. However, I never lied to them or hid myself from them. I guess they just knew it.”

Being gay in the Middle East:

“To be honest gay relationships are not truly accepted anywhere. Not then not now! I’ve lived most of my life in the Middle East. But same sex relationships did not matter much. I believe this notion will change soon, since there is definitely progress in the way same sex relationships are treated. And there is even more progress to come in the future! As long as homophobic people don’t make a problem for us, then change is inevitable.

“However, India has come long away! Honestly, the recent happiest thing I heard was decriminalisation of section 377. I’ve always wanted to limitlessly explore myself and moving to India made that possible for me. But, I don’t regret my years in the middle east. I did what I had to. ”

Never look for love, let it come to you:

“So just a quick tip to those who are struggling or still can’t come out – just do what you feel keeps you happy! And go looking for love. You’ll never find it before you’re meant to. It just happens when you least expect it to and when it does, remember to go with the flow.”

Next Read: Meet Ayushman: Lawyer By Day And Lush Monsoon By Night

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