Khalil /

“Hello, my name is Khalil. I come from Lebanon, I was born and raised in a place in north of Lebanon called Tabbaneh/ Tripoli. Tabbaneh for many instance considered the poorest area in Lebanon and the most conservative Sunni neighborhood in Tripoli. Since a young age I discovered that I have a different gender identity than my one year old youngest brother who used to be interested and in love with girls while I used to feel that girls do not attract me sexually. However my father used to treat my brother in a better way than he used to treat me.
I remember now as it was only yesterday, how my father for years used to physically and psychologically abuse me just because of my appearance and thoughts. When I was 8 years old he hit me because I walk like girls, he tied me once because I danced in my cousin’s wedding, my father used to be very manipulative and controlling person, due to my feminine gestures he used to be afraid that his son might be fagot as he used to describe; I have faced from him loads of physical uncounted abuse.
At school, I used to be neglected and nobody wanted to talk with me, they used to call me faggot at school; some students used to abuse me when he sees me walking in the school’s playground but every time I complain the director never takes action to protect me, until one day came and one of them sexually harassed me after that I have learned that my father used to pay these boys money in order to hit and abuse me, this way he used to think that I will be masculine. 
My adolescent age was not better, my youngest brother used to bully me and make fun of me in front of his friends because I used to look slimmer than him and he looks more masculine. Remember how he used to eat my meal and threaten me every time I complain to my mother that he will tell her that he caught me watching gay porn.
Luckily, I was able to pass all my school exams and graduated to go to university regardless all the ups and downs I have faced, while my youngest brother has chosen to drop out of school. When I went to university my father the first year has paid for my tuitions, however the second year he told me that my bother wants to get marry and he can no more financially cover the university, stating that my brother marriage is much more important than my university fees. 
I do not feel mad about that, because his action made me independent that I had to look for a job, in 2013 I joined an international organization working for Syrian refugees in Lebanon as a volunteer, after few months I got my first employment contract and started to move from a position to a better one; I was able to manage my time by continuing studying and working for refugees, this experience has made from me another person more strong and able to defend himself. 
I kept trying with my family to make them accept me the way I look and to stop their physical and emotional abuse but unfortunately everytime I end up a loser. In 2014 I decided to have an earring so I had to stay one year hiding it from my father, but when he discovered it he did not accept that, he spontaneously dropped me out of the house and I had to move to my Spanish friend place who hosted me; few months after that he was able to manage to make me return home by forcing me to do that. A year later my sister found out by mistake that I am dating a guy, she started threating me that she would tell my father about it, by blackmailing me and asking me for money.
In 2017, it was the second time I was dropped out the house by my father. For certain instance my father was convinced by my cousin who is a Chiekh (A muslim religious man) that there is a foreigner bad evil soul living in my body which I have got it from my international colleagues and friends, this bad soul is affecting all my behavior and it is the reason why I look different in the Muslim community and it is the reason why I look faggot for people, my father used to live in denial about my sexuality trying to find a cure for it. Thus I was dropped out of the house when also my sister started to be rebellion asking for her privacy from my masculine father and I supported her with her personal choices, what is funny is that my father was convinced that my bad soul is affecting my sister soul, so I moved out to live in a place out of Tripoli believing it is better for me to be away from that place;
Only few months later I was again being forced to return home by my father after he discovered my place, this time was the equation clear. My unemployed loser brother needs my money to raise his kids and however I was pressured the second time to return home. After that everytime I come back from work my father put Qor’an on a loud voice thinking that this way the bad soul would never affect the household.
I kept trying to survive and to cope with everything until I got in sorrow and bad mood, all these things have made me fall in depression, and moreover something happened I do not to share it here. After I visted a psychiatrist I have started medications. 
In March 2019, I saw my brother abusing his kids the same way my father used to abuse me; I stand up to stop him but badly he started to hit me on my face and body describing me as a faggot who is trying to spoil his kids and make them look like me; I have cried, I felt scared and started to run away from home to sleep at work where I used to feel safe.
In April 2019 I took the decision to leave Lebanon by travelling to the Netherlands to seek asylum and asking for safety and security; I had to leave my job, my position, reputation and very good salary, everything behind by packing my important belongings and taking the plan to new unknown destination.
Since two months I live in the Netherlands, here I feel safe and secure that my father nor my brother are able to follow me thus cause me any harm; It was a very twisting decision but I understand that safety is more important than any privilege you might have in life.”

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