Khalaf / Jordan
“It is painful and sad to be a different human being and to hide your reality from others because you don’t want them to show you their worst qualities and bad manners. So you became a person with tow personalities and different faces, so you live with your true natural face and leave your spontaneous personality to live it in secret, while you live with your fake face and your delusive personality in front of society in order to please them and to protect yourself from the trouble they will caused you, and protect yourself from any kind of abuse from them just because you are different. While you don’t know that by using your fake face you are hurting the closest people to you, and you hurt the people you love. But you don’t pay attention that the bad opinion of people about your real life is an abuse for themselves not for you, because your real life doesn’t hurt them, so you discover that the problem is in these people and not in you, for that I decided to come out and took off my fake mask and to show people my real personality, As a result, I became a subject to verbal abuse, insults, beatings, and racism. Then I lost my family, friends and country, but I gained myself and I felt the real life for the first time because I am myself for the first time not a fake person.”
40 year old Khalaf a gay man from Jordan. He fled from his family to Lebanon: “I came here escaping my family. After I came out, my older brother came to my house with three of my other brothers. He showed me a gun and said ‘you destroyed the honor of our family, be prepared to die’. They beat me – they kicked and punched me, I lost a lot of blood from my nose.” Khalaf is from the Bedouin tribe where family honor is considered very important. His brothers went downstairs to his parent’s house and started talking about how they plan to kill Khalaf. Their plans were overheard by Khalaf’s wife and mother who were next door. His wife came upstairs, pale and sobbing: “Your brothers want to kill you – wait until they have left, take your passport and papers and leave!” “I was really afraid. I thought my family would have a bad reaction, but not to kill me!” Khalaf’s wife knew he was gay, he had told her five months earlier. But he came out publicly during an interview which was shown on social media. “All my family and everyone who knows me saw the interview. For the first time I accepted myself, for the first time in my life the real Khalaf was talking to the world. Before I had two faces, the secret one, and the one I used everyday.” “When I was 30 I told a Sheikh (Imam) about my sexuality, and he advised me to get married – that this is the devil doing this stuff – so I got married.” “I thought I was alone. I used to have these feelings for men but I thought I was the only one. I had no idea that there were other people who had the same feelings. I had no idea about even the name of this thing.” “My wife knew I was gay, but she still loved me, even now we are divorced she still loves me. The worst part of the story is I feel I was unfair to her.” Since arriving in Lebanon he’s been out of work and living in poverty. He’s been surviving off donations from friends. “Life is difficult here, I have lost my family, but, I have no regrets. I feel free from the oppression”.
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