Being Gay in the Middle East: A Letter


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,


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.



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43 Responses to Being Gay in the Middle East: A Letter

  1. Dear T,

    Life is worth living – and an all-powerful and all-loving God I truly believe in my heart, would not send you to hell for being what he created you as. If you are unhappy where you are – you should consider moving somewhere that there is a supportive environment if you can! There are people out there that will love and care about you! You have many friends yet to make – and if you aren’t here to meet them, they would be forever denied all those wonderful moments that your friendship would bring them! They ARE out there. There are people who support you – even from thousands of miles away. There are a lot of great resources online – google PFLAG for some – and lots of people will to talk to you – including me!

    Life is a journey of discovery – and sometimes we are taken down roads we did not expect – but sometimes the challenge is to find ourselves, to find out what is right in our own heart, and to grow beyond the expectations of even those who love us. It doesn’t make you a bad person – it makes you a brave person. And the world is in desperate need of brave people like you.

    All the best

  2. Ohh man you are to young to be thinking on those kind of stuff. I know its difficult but, I can guarantee you something. life is beautiful and later you’ll find people who will love you no matter what.
    and its true this is a challenge that you have to defeat you are not the only one in this kind of situation.
    believe me someday you’ll very very happy and the you will think what was I thinking?? and youll ve gratefull to be enjoying your like next to someone special :) so calm down everything is gonna be okay

  3. DO NOT let anyone to kill you man. just run away from where ever you are . try to find a friend , someone you can rely on and if you dont have anyone go and find him or her.Being gay is not a sin , those are patterns that have been created in your family .Love youeself . i give all my support from argentina.

  4. Hi T

    Please do know that, as Sam said, there are countless people who can and will support you, he does, I do, as well as so many others, regardless of their sexual orientation. You are definitely NOT alone. I’m not a religious person myself but some of my friends who are active members of their churches(Christians, Mormons etc.) are incredibly supportive of the LGBT community and equal rights for every one. I am not lying. In which case, I was convinced that there CAN be different understandings within the same church, based on the same teachings from God. I believe what you heard or were told was just “another side” of the story. I have no idea what your situation is at the moment but leaving your country for a place where tolerance(imperfect of course, but at least it will be better than where you are) is not a dream will be a great idea. You have every right to be happy and loved in YOUR OWN WAY, which will be accepted by tons of people. At least by Sam, and me. (the list is endless, for real.)

    I hope my comment will help make you feel at least a little better.

    Best wishes.

  5. Hey T,

    I know exactly what you are going through. I went through the exact same thing and I can really help you. I am from the middle east just like you and I can help you go through.

    If you would like to email me in private and I am welling to help you as much as I can.


  6. I’m gay, I live in Germany and even though it’s a rather tolerant and open-minded country, I can totally relate to T. from the Middle East. I’m 25 and haven’t had the courage to come out … to anybody.

    A few years ago my friends complained about me being so emotionless. Today I think that with them I couldn’t be myself and I was afraid they’d find out I’m gay. Now they’re not my friends anymore.
    It’s kind of ironic that the word “gay” also means “happy” or “cheerful”. But in reality we are often rather sad people. I’m not depressed, but I’m just like T. not cheerful at all. Probably even still emotionless.

    I don’t have any gay friends and sometimes I feel like I’m the only gay person on this planet. I often feel like I need a warm hug from a loving guy who understands me.

    But I also think that it will get better for us. In our hearts we know exactly what we need in order to be happy, but it won’t happen just like that, we have to endure and work hard for it, because it’s worth it.

    • Hi,

      I just read your comment and felt the need to contact you because I remember how it felt when I was in your situation and sometimes I feel like I still am. You probably won’t read this since its been a year but if you do and you still want someone to talk to feel free to contact me by just replying to this. I am from Berlin, 26 and nothing special … just a little nerdy.

      Best wishes, BC

  7. Malik Williams

    I don’t know what this young mans name is, but my heart truly goes out there to you. Sam, is right, you’re not alone. Those feelings of depression, I know all too well and have attempted to take my life several times in my life (most recent August 2011).
    But, even though the world around you basically wants you to die, that doesn’t mean YOU should want YOU to die. There’s a better world out there and it’s gonna be a fight, I wish it wasn’t but you have to love yourself and accept yourself in order to win that fight because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

  8. Dearest,
    How does one answer to such a difficult situation ?
    One thing is for sure is that you must by all means continue to believe that things will change, no matter how hard things get. The situation is indeed unbearable and very difficult, and facing this alone is what makes it so tough, but reaching out to Sam and to the rest of us is a way to know that there are people in other parts of this planet who understand you.
    I don’t know if you have a job or a university degree, but I would strongly encourage you to save money and move into a different country where your life is not in danger ; I don’t think staying in your country is safe.
    Being Greek-French, I experienced more or less the same difficulties when I was a teenager in the 90s ; for me, ‘salvation’ was moving to France, where I knew things were cooler in regards of sexuality, and that is what I did when I finished school. Life may not be perfect and it certainly was not the ‘salvation’ I was dreaming or, but I did end up having the job I wanted, living the life I wish to live, and coming out to my parents who have accepted it. In other words, I think your best option from a very practical sense is to set yourself a precise goal to make your life better be that changing country or whatever it is that insures you’re out of harm’s way. If you already have a job, please be patient while you save enough money to do what it is you have decided. If you don’t, I hope you get one soon ; financial indepence should be your first goal.
    Meanwhile, the most important thing for you is to stay safe at all costs ; if that means NOT telling anyone about your orientation, then so be it. Patience is what you need and faith in what should be your primary goal, to be happy.
    So, my advice would be, first and foremost, to decide how you can live the life YOU want in the safest place, then come up with a strategy to achieve this goal, find a job, save money etc.
    Please believe in yourself and in the fact that you can change your life and make it better. No matter how oppressive the climate in which you live is, you own your life and you are entitled to happiness.
    don’t hesitate to contact me if you feel like talking.
    Until then, I’m sending you all the patience, strength, courage and determination you may need. And of course, all my love.
    Please be safe and hope to hear from you

  9. Dear T,
    I am 56 yo and I just came out to my family and friends. Fifteen years ago I attempted suicide b/c I had nothing to live for. I truly believed my religion told me I could wait to die and go to Hell, or I could end it early and get there sooner. Boy was I wrong!! I had to love myself enough to finally say I’m gay and I am going to live life to the fullest. You’re right, T, about God making you who you are. God loves us no matter what we do or who we are. Unfortunately, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, etc., don’t understand that this is NOT a curse, but a great gift from God. We all deal with trials and hardships in different ways from our families. Sometimes our nuclear families we were born into are NOT the families we become connected to in life. Believe me when I tell you that God put you here for a reason. You have to hang around to find out what His plan for you is. Remember we are all standing with you supporting you in any way we can as your other brothers and sisters around the world. I love you, T.

    Salaam, Shalom, Peace
    John Snead
    Louisville, Kentucky

  10. I started crying after ‘why should I live hell twice?’ This is a very sad, heartbreaking letter describing things that no human being should ever be forced to feel. You are SO young, at 20 years old, your life is just starting now, you should not be feeling like this, you should feel the happiness of being young and healthy and sane and gentle and kind and loving and strong and brave and all of the things you are inside yourself. I have felt horrible and suicidal too like 99% of all gays everywhere and nothing no one said was making me feel better but I did get better. in time. Time is the perfect healer for everything bad. I am now almost 30 and for a few good years now, I am comfortable with myself and with others knowing the real me. The fact that you don’t have your family’s support I think is truly terrible and possibly the hardest but at the same time I think it makes you a more powerful, strong person deep down which you may not feel right now, but trust me, in time you will, one day you will suddenly realize that all this hardship you’ve endured has transformed you for the better. Your character will be so well-built and strong. You will get past this, you are NOT alone in this world, you are not….. The fact that you are in the middle east is possibly the most terrible thing of them all. Kids and young people and gay people of any age have it hard enough as it is even in the most liberal places on earth but to be living somewhere barbaric like the middle east, or Iran or some other countries in Africa where religion crazed societies still make a living hell out of the lives of our brothers and sisters – is still the biggest problem. My advice to you young man is to move! Maybe it’s not the brightest idea you’ll receive or the easiest to follow but if I were you that is what I’d do, I would finish school, even go to college, get my diploma, maybe win some money and then just LEAVE without looking back. If there’s no one important keeping you there then you have to ask yourself why you should stay in a place that wants you dead for being who you are. You have to choose between living a lie for the rest of your life or find a new life someplace else on this big earth where you will be accepted just the beautiful, glorious way you are. God loves you no matter what anyone says. Hell, if there even is such a place, is reserved for rapists, murderers, thieves, governments, the banks and oil companies’ CEOs, and others like them, not for someone who loves another one of the same gender. I am sending you all my LOVE and support and wish you all the best and to become someone and most of all, wish for you to be happy and to find happiness but you have to work for it! and then, to find love because it exists and it is looking for you too, I’m sure of it! :)
    And please try to smile even in the darkest hours. it is so important… You know who you are, you know you are a good person and the hell with what anyone else thinks. I’m with you. Stay safe. Stay strong and start planning for a new, better life!

    PS: Sam, you have my respect too and all my regard for what you do and how you do it and I love you for doing it!

  11. Hi,
    I am an Iranian gay, from the same culture and religion. I do not know which country u r from, I am guessing not Iran, the country that the government has the legal right to punish homosexuals to death. So my first point is, ur life is not the worst case, there are people in Iran with more serious problems, so think about ur advantage over the Iranian gays.
    I was living in a small town in Iran, I had the same feeling as yours. And not only depression but also, I was not masculine enough, I have some attitudes, which made me pointed out by others. I had though days at school, when other guys were hurting me and insulting me, and I did not have any support from anywhere. I was sitting on my bed in my room and cry many times, I did not have any social teenage life, b/c I was afraid of people, my parents always push me (In a kind and supportive way) to make me more social like by asking me to do the team sports, they registered me for many several sport classes, to help to learn some. But It did not work, b/c any move that I was doing in playing sport was too soft for a guy, that other teammates just would laugh at me… The story is long, so I stop here.
    Now I tell you my decisions, My choice was studying as hard as possible. That was the only way for me to escape and be successful. I was always the best student at school, that helped me a lot, b/c I had the respect of other students as a smart kid, and I was helping others in their studies, so I could made more friends, and they would not bullying me any more. I had the support of teachers at school, b/c I was the best student.
    Next step was university, I studied hard, one complete year, 365 days, for the national entrance university exam, with 500,000 participants each year, to get admission from the best universities in the largest cities of Iran.
    Then, I got admitted to the second best university in Iran, which was in the mega city of Tehran with more than 8 million population. That was a new life for me,the bigger the city is, more freedom you have, and people are more liberal. Like I am sure Istanbul is more liberal than a small town on east of Turkey, or Beirut more than any city in Lebanon….
    I was feeling more happy when I was student at the University, I was far from my hometown. Then, I decided to plan my next step of my future, and I decided to keep continue in the science again (Which is my passion and a way for success). So I decided to go to abroad for graduate studies. It was not an easy job, you know. I chose to go to USA, b/c of its best universities and science in the world. But, Iran does not have any political and other relation with US, no Embassy or even a flight to US. But I decided, and tried my best, I passed all the exams, and contacted many professors and universities. I got few good replies, and finally I got an admission with the financial support from one university in US ( I needed the financial aid from the university, b/c my family is not rich, just a middle class family in Iran), I got other admissions from some other countries as well. I went through a long and difficult process (as an Iranian) of getting US visa. And now I am here, in US. And my life get better a lot (At least in aspect of being Gay). I am 28 years old now, now I am an independent person from my family. I love them and they love me. And now I have to make the next though decision for my future life again….
    Anyways, all of this long story has two conclusion.
    1- Face your difficulties, make a plan, choose the best options, and work hard to achieve them, step by step you will see the good results. Never get depressed or hopeless. God is there for you, even you are Gay. (I was with God (Allah) and he was with me during all of this process). My suggestions for you: find ways that you can move to the larger cities in your country, find a job or university. You will be more free, and happy…
    2- Think of other gays, with even worse situations than you have, like Gays in small religious towns in Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. Then, you say, oh, I am lucky that I was not born in those countries… You have some good points in your life, find them and enjoy them…

    With Love

    • Wow, Sam, your post inspires not only T, but the rest os us along the way. :) Thank you for reminding me that change never comes easy and there ARE always things + God we can build on step by step.

  12. Dear T,

    As far as I know, telling anyone about this aspect of your life over there will mostly just make things worse, so my advice would be to just talk to people online (and be very careful to erase any compromising conversations or browsing history on your PC …you never know) for now. You will eventually reach a point in your life when you will be mature and strong enough and capable to escape that environment and meet lots of wonderful people in the outside world. I am your age also and I know this can be such a damn difficult time. Trust me, buddy, you’re sooo not alone!

    You know what they say “home is where the heart is” so if you don’t feel like your family is helping you, just remember that while they’d love to help you, that’s the only way in which they know how to (because of what they have been taught). So try not to alienate them completely. And remember this too: there’s some 7 billion people on this planet. There certainly is a home for your heart, too, dear boy!

    I’ve been through a rough patch too, about 3-4 years ago (or more, but that’s when it generally started getting better). People said high school is awesome and that it’s the best 4 years of your life but guess what? That mostly applies to straight people. High school sucks for a lot of reasons and I learned that pretty quickly. But somehow all that crap taken from everyone only made me stronger. I eventually grew to be, if maybe a bit unempathetic, way more able to socialize and just generally live my life! Experience is a very good teacher, i found. :)

    You cannot kill yourself, you cannot make your life hell. Make the best of it. Always make the best of it, until you can make it even better because (and i’m sure you’ve already heard this from other people, but) it DOES get better. :D Sometimes maybe not that obviously, but always in that direction. And as it does, you’ll be infinitely grateful that you had the strength to push yourself to get there!

    Hang in there, my friend! Kisses and hugs!

  13. I hope the following article by the gay Moroccan author, Abdellah Taïa, might give you some comfort and encouragement:

  14. I hope the following article by the gay Moroccan writer, Abdellah Taïa, gives you some comfort and encouragement, dear T.

  15. Dear T, I’m so sorry you aren’t able to freely be who you are. There is nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong with being gay. You have thousands of supporters and fans. Lots of love.

  16. Dear T,

    I know exactly the way you feel. God is the most amazing, beautiful, loving being in my life. He is my foundation and strength and has never let me down! It is in these difficult times where he takes control and carries you. Let him work and you’ll see when all is said and done that he has had a purpose for everything. Just like Sam said you may not know the purpose but there is one! We grow from these situations and become the men and women that we we’re meant to be and even though I don’t know you I love and care about you. You’re not alone! Stay strong and you will be I’m my prayers! Take care, Manny

  17. “Just Stand Up”—by various artists

    the theme of this song is about fighting cancer, but the lyrics can be and is relevant to the subject here, which is never losing faith in yourself and always fighting for what you believe. Hope you’ll like it.

    And, good luck. Remember, aside from supporting you, we are all waiting for the day when you can happily be who you are, with no worries or fears.

    You, are NOT, and NEVER WILL BE ALONE.

    Best regards from China and the UK.

  18. You did not ask to wake up today. You did not ask for this form, nor for this world. Can I ask to be your friend T? I don’t know if I can help you, but surely we can get some where better, together.

  19. Hey T
    Don’t do that to yourself. Life is full of wonderfull things I know things may seem blealkbewut it will get better don’t give up. You are a wonderfull individual and you will find happiness one day. You are not alone you have sams support as well as mine. Hang in there and know that there are people that care.

  20. Dear T,

    I want you to know that you truly matter!! I hope one day every single person on earth can freely and happily be themselves without fear of consequence from their peers. This world needs more love and I’m sending some your way. I’m hoping one day soon you will be in a much better environment where you can be yourself without worry.

    Don’t give up and take care

  21. Dear T,
    As a gay person who lives in Turkey, I also share your feelings. It’s really a hard think to overcome. I’m also feeling the same way in these days… And since I am always sad nowadays, 2 of my really really close friends asked me online: “what is wrong with you?” And they did not know that I’m gay, I also pretended to be a str8 person. And then I decided to explain this to them in some way and I wrote them a PM from Facebook and I said : “Guys, since we will be staying in the same room in the dorm next year, I wanted to ask to you….. I think I’m bisexual and that obviously means I am attracted to both men and women. So would it be a problem ??” And I added this : “If this disturbs you, I can really understand that if you don’t want to stay in the same room with me or if you don’t want to talk with me anymore..u_u ”
    So, actually I lied to them :(, But I thought it would be easier to go step by step, you know you think you’re half normal if you are bisexual which is such a silly thought but whatever… And they replied me that “there is no problem, we love you just because of you, and nothing changed about you actually, only what we know about you is changed “. And that was one of my happiest moments in my life.

    Sooo, the point is.. if someone cares about you, then your sexuality does not matter for them. And I’m sure that there is at least 1 person that cares about you. So I suggest you to talk to that person! You relax when you talk to somebody about it, believe me. Just choose the right person to trust.
    I still can’t accept myself completely but I think I should give it some time.. I mean we all growed up with straight world’s default knowledge(for ex.if you are a male they expect you to watch football), so I think it’s OK to think that something is wrong with me for now.. So please don’t hurt yourself physically or mentally. There are thousands of homosexual people in the Middle-East. We all share these feelings and believe me suffering makes us stronger and wiser. So don’t lose your hope dear. :)

    Hugs from Turkey!!

  22. Dear T,

    I know it’s really tough, but please keep hanging in there! I am 100% positive that God loves you for who you truly are.

    Can you think of something we can do in the U.S.A. to help you?! Let’s be creative! We’d like to make your life a little easier. Good times are ahead…there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we need you to stay strong and as safe as possible in the meanwhile.

    Hugs from New York!!

  23. Here is some information that might be of interest to those of you seeking to escape the terrible situation you’re in –

  24. OMG OMG OMG that is my story really it’s 100% and i also from middle east but i didnt tell anyone about my situation even my mom and i would not tell anyone i’ll live in pain 4 ever coz i can’t tell anyone they will hate me i don’t konw waht to do plz help :’( im dying …. what should i do ??

    • joseph, i don’t know why but i think you’re from lebanon. If so, then i’m here to help you, I went through the same thing as you and T, “100%” as you said, but i had surpassed all that and know I’m enjoying my life despite some difficulties. If you need help then contact me at my e-mail:, i have many experiences to share.
      Love, joy and faith.

  25. To anyone who lives in a country where you feel unsafe to be the person you are, I urge you to find a way to move to a more accepting country. Life can be beautiful but you have to meet it half way. Use the time and energy you use for worry and despair and channel it towards a goal of a happy and accepted life.

  26. Justin Cordwell

    So sorry to hear you have considered taking your own life all because of something that is just completely out of your control! You were born gay T,you didn’t chose to live your life this way it just happened as a part of who you are and I’m just sorry you live in a part of the world that refuses to accept you for who you are! It’s their loss though T for I am sure that you will overcome this hurdle given time and you will grow and blossom into the strong person you are destined to be.Take heart in all these messages of support from strangers the world over and just know that your life is just as valuable as anyone elses and you deserve to live it happily. :)

  27. Dear T,

    Courage, one day it will get better. Even if I don’t know you in the real life, I know that you will get through this because the way you wrote this letter shows that you simply want to live your own life. Even if I am not a believer, I believe in love and in the human being, even in the hardest moments people exist out there to help you, to support you. Never give up man because your life is important to me, to us.
    I wish you to find your way, and I hope you will realize that your life is precious, do everything you can to live it in your own way.
    Hugs from France .

  28. Dear T,

    Despite knowing this same story exists throughout many countries of the world, yours seems so heart-wrenching and close to home! I beg of you to not only keep striving forward, but to seriously seek assistance if need be. If you feel that your life is in imminent danger, please attempt to locate the nearest embassy or consulate general’s office in your country of a state open to granting asylum to LGBT individuals in your position. Canada is the first to come to mind. Although it may be difficult to leave your family, country, and all that you love behind, but there are other places in the world that are ready, willing, and able to accept, love and encourage the person that you are.


  29. Dear T
    I’m another gay guy from middle east 20 yo my story is the same as yours but i didn’t tell anyone about that even my family and best friends maybe i’ll do that later on because i’m studying now dentistry as you know dentistry need a lot of effort , time , concentration …etc. So i will concentrate now on my study to be a successful person and then after graduated i will move to US because i feel safe there it’s free country and there is rights for gay ppl my brother (straight) is already there i will try to find a job or complete my studying and get the US passport and live there for the rest of my life that’s my planing for my life in the future …. my life now is like a hell i was sexually abused many time BUT i’m stronger than this and i keep smiling my friends call me “funny guy” even though i’m heartbroken , pretend to be straight and i always crying in my room alone . Sometimes ppl bullying me and you will get shocked if i till you that at some point of my life when i was 14 yo my FAMILY bully me even my mom ,she said “you behave like a girl be a man like your brother” that words kill me coz i love her more than my self so it’s really hurts me even though i’m strong,keep smiling,cheerful and i always will be coz i don’t care ….

    My story is really long but i wrote in short what happened to me to give you hope and you are not alone we all with you be happy , keep smiling and don’t worry .

    Love <3

  30. Dear T,
    You are an amazing guy and there’s an amazing life running through your veins, life granted to you by God. I mean, you did not choose to live on this planet by yourself, right? Life was GIVEN to you and it surely was given for a reason. I don’t know every reason, but I am not God, you see. One of the major reasons you are on this planet is definitely to ENJOY life. We are at our best when we enjoy it. Today your life is not enjoyable at all, I see that. But look at all these great comments and people from all over the world writing to you willing to help! That’s great news already! These are other God’s lives trying to drag a beloved life from a very dark place to light. It did make your and my day brighter (not carefree, but brighter), didn’t it? Just hang in there for a couple of years and the joy will come to your life and so will the happiness. Amen.
    I could not hold my tears when I read your letter and the comments written for you. As always with Sam and his readers, they are exactly the people I always believed in: caring LGBT members and thinking hetero friends. We exist! Despite of all the uneducated, unscientific religious rants about sexuality and how miserable, selfish and emotionally damaged the LGBT are and despite all the glossy images of gay super models with cold poker faces on the covers of the magazines, here, within two days you already witness 30 LGBT, heteros plus Sam who are different – caring, thinking, not indifferent. (And there are thousands like them who just don’t happen to know about this post.) As far as I remember almost everyone suggested you to contact him or her whenever you want. So do I.
    Now to the place where you live. I myself live in the blessed country of Germany and we have an asylum law and an asylum procedure ( The procedure might take up to three years and they will scan your entire background, but there is a 33% chance that they’ll grant you one. I don’t know if you’d want to live in Germany, but it is an option.
    As for your depression, T, I can really see why it hit you. Even if other guys from the Middle East managed to battle it themselves, they say, it does not mean YOU are like them and do not require urgent help. I admire that you go to the gym. Sporting activities make your brain release endorphins which make us feel better. But if there’s any chance to talk to a liberal university doctor, please grab it. Depending on the stage of the depression, we, people, need some real medication to make our brain transmitters and neurons work as they should again. It’s like even your mind understands that the things are getting better, your body reacts in a weird way – you don’t wanna wake up, feel emotionless, powerless, no energy, etc. That’s because the lasting circumstances you’re in re-wired your body functions. It doesn’t mean YOU are weird. It just means that the circumstances you are in are really crappy and almost unbearable. Almost. But look, Sam is here and so are all of us. With God’s/Allah’s help you WILL survive and will be the great guy that you are!
    I’m giving you my warmest hug. Just close your eyes and try to feel it, T. I’m there with you. Do you feel it? You might get a hard-on, but well, who cares. :)
    Stay alive, T. I need you around.
    Arty (29)

  31. I’d love to share you my story. God does love you. is not against you. Heavens. God wants to set you free from all that condemnation and pain you are carrying with you. add me on skype name: carlos.bello507. I’d love to tell how much Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life regardless of what you think that He hates you. which is false

  32. Hello T,
    Just to sum things up: People can be assholes but God is not. Ok? Thank you for your letter, It did help me.

  33. Hello T,

    I’m also from middle east, and I know what you are feeling cause I went exactly through the same thing. If you would like to email me in private, this is my email: I’m willing truly to help you cause I have many experiences to share. And have this two things in your head:

  34. Hi T,
    I know exactly were your coming from. even though it may be hard to see the light you MUST LIVE FOR TOMORROW. Just like your story, mine is not finished yet,im 18 and I feel your pain. You have came too far in life to just end it all. I leave you with a little poem from the heart.

    “though the shadows of evil swarm all around me, I stead fast. Showing no fear and letting my heart lead, I shall prevail.”

  35. Hello T,

    I’m a Muslim and a Greek-American and from my experience around my brothers and sisters in faith, I can understand the religious language people use that make you hate and despise yourself. Thankfully my mom has been very supportive of me, but the few people I’ve come out to at the masjid/mosque have not given me support. They say they will help me if I want to change, but if I want to embrace my homosexuality they will not be my friends. What they have told me and what I have dealt with has left me hurt and depressed. My muslim friends are another family to me and it is hard seeing my relationship with them change.

    What has helped me is my mom, my friends, and my boyfriend. My advice is to get out of the unhealthy surroundings you are in. That might mean leaving your country. I don’t know how realistic of a possibility that is for you, but if anything, you have people right here who are standing behind you. The internet can be a great source of strength for you in the meantime.

    Everyone is born different and we all develop different talents through out our lives. Someone told me that I need to view my homosexuality as a gift from God. If God has created us into nations and tribes, creating us each different from one another, we know that the reason for that is not to spread hate. If is a challenge for our humanity. It is a challenge from God: will you hate this person because s/he was born different or will you want to know and understand that person, showing them love, rather than hate? And also…despite the fact that we feel like aliens (ghuraba) in our societies and among our families, it is a challenge for us: will we still love ourselves?

    Love yourself T. You have a gift. Be safe and don’t ever hesitate to ask for more help and words of encouragement. The dark tunnel you’re in is difficult and long. But you have people here who will hold your hand as you go through this period of time in your life.

  36. Pingback: Middle Eastern and Gay | Not Adam and Steve

  37. Dear T

    As I read your letter I felt like getting to where you are and giving you a hug, letting you know that their is so much support and loving fellow people that are in your corner for you. It breaks my heart to hear such a awesome talented person in such a state, The gift you have can certainly save so many lives of people that are in the same situation as you, feeling how you feel. You have to be who you are and do things that make you happy as life is so short. My grandmother used to tell me: “What Doesn’t Kill us Makes Us Stronger”!! And she is so right. This is a storm that is beginning to end, Just let the sun shine through and know that you are Beautiful, Talented, and have many valuable attributes to offer and show the world.!

    Darling you are going to make it through this!!!!!!
    Hang In There!!:):):):)

  38. Hey T,

    I used to be a muslim and im gay and im from the middle east but live in netherlands….

    So yeah i had the same i never lived my life i just judged myself like a movie everything i did or present was fake….i started going on dates later after i gathered the courage i met an awesome person who helps me and talks to me on whatsapp , also Sam does the same he showed me the way but before that i tought i had to marry and have kids and live unhappy n shit so i was like fck it yolo i did drugs and went out with a gay friend and a bi girlfriend we went out twice a week all our money was gone after that i toight what am i doing? I cant even call myself a muslim anymore and i dont want to cause when i see how yhose ppl are against me…after i said im gay….they are the sinners not me.
    I dont think no wait i know being gay isnt a sin butyeah thats mostly it

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