Being Gay in the Middle East: A Letter

Hello,

I am a 20 year old gay guy. I’ve known that I’m gay since forever but I always denied it and still do. I live in the Middle East, and let me tell you the Middle East is hell for homosexuals. I am a straight-looking masculine guy and everybody thinks I am straight.

As I grew up, I used to hear my parents, relatives, and friends say that being gay means God is against you. The more I heard these stories, the more alone I felt in this world with no help or support from anyone – not even God.

This loneliness made me depressed. I have been suffering from depression since I was a young kid. I did not live my childhood at all as I was always suffering from the dreadful thoughts coming to my mind about how I am gay and why.

As I became more depressed, I started failing school because I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I lost all my “friends” because I was never cheerful anymore. Now I am all alone looking for one sign of hope.

After suffering too much I decided that since I will be in hell eventually, or so I have heard, why should I live hell twice? So I decided to tell my mom because I was sure at that time that she would be supportive as she is supposed to “love me no matter what.”

I thought that even if God was against me and hated me, at least I still had my mom to love me.

When I told mom, she laughed thinking I was kidding. Then she knew I was serious and told me to drop all this nonsense from my mind, be straight and live a normal life. Two days later she arranged an appointment with a psychiatrist. I was really mad and didnt go to the appointment.

At that moment I knew I was all alone in this world.

No one, and literally no one, would want me or help me or support me. Even God, who is all-loving, was against me, although He created me this way and I cannot do a single thing about it. She also told me that I must not say anything to my father or brother because they will literally KILL me. It’s tradition here to kill the disgraceful members of the family. Although we appear as a very modern country but traditions are kept.

So I thought to myself, why let my family kill me or live all my life in inner pain, which is worse than being killed. I decided to commit suicide.

I was very afraid to do so because I felt on the other side I am going to be in hell. I really do not know what to do. All these years that have passed, I was working out at the gym so as to clear my mind for an hour or so per day AT LEAST. Now I dont feel like going to the gym anymore. My situation has reached the worst it can ever be.

I feel I want to sit in my bed and cry all the time. Tears are not coming out and I dont know why. I want to cry but I cant. What I want is to get a knife and stab myself right in the heart.

My life is all black around me. I watch your videos; they give me a little hope and I want to thank you for that. I feel I just want to hug you and cry because you understand how I feel. You make me feel better than what I think of myself.

I want your help, just a little message of hope I can keep in front of me all day. I need your help.

Please. Please. Please. I ask you with all my heart. Save my life. Please.

Best Warm Regards,

T

My Response:

Dear T,

Thank you so much for your message. You may not know it, but writing this letter   was a very brave thing to do.

There aren’t many people who can talk about their feelings so eloquently, much less talk about them with a total stranger. I am flattered that you trusted me enough to do so. Thank you. :-)

I know how alone you feel. The loneliness you describe is commonly felt among gay people as they grow up feeling ostracized from their loved ones. I personally felt completely detached from reality and the world around me. Like I was just floating in some sort of purgatory. It’s like you said; you just feel emotionless, as if crying is just a waste of energy.

But guess what? You aren’t alone. And things can change for the better, but getting there won’t be easy. Then again, nothing worthwhile ever came easy.

I know you want your family’s love and support, but sometimes life gives us these challenges for a reason. Trust me, there is a reason you are suffering right now. You don’t know what that reason is, or how life could ever feel happy again, but that’s why you have to stick around.

I decided to publish your letter on my blog because there are literally thousands of young men and women going through what you described. Someone else out there will read your letter and feel less alone. In fact, your letter could save someone’s life.

You do have options, and one of those options is to get out of where you are right now. It won’t be easy, but for your personal safety and emotional well-being, you must.

There is life out there for you, where you’ll be surrounded by people who love you no matter what. I promise.

Sometimes the people who are supposed to love us don’t know how to love. Their love is driven by antiquated laws and religious practices – not human compassion. It’s a horrific fact in life, and you have every right to grieve. But do not let those people prevent you from finding happiness.

I send you all my love and joy during this difficult time. You have so many people out there supporting you, and I hope you take comfort in their comments below.

Please stay in touch, and feel free to email me whenever you want.

Sincerely,

Sam

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