Anonymous asked: What's your advice for lesbians who aren't out yet? And when do you think is the right time to come out? Take on mind the homophobia and ignorant society we have to live with.
My advice for lesbians who aren’t out yet…hmm
1) Its never the right time to come out. Especially in the Middle East. I’m not out. The double life I lead, especially due to the tensions between my writing and the nagging need to be an honest poet, and the sensitive job I have; family; society. I cant lie, the pressure entails physical and emotional dangers on my own well-being. But you try to cope…
2) My advice is to build a support base of trustworthy friends that you can come out to. Who can understand. That way you wont need to “come out” to everyone. You can make a safe-house out of the few people who are willing to love you for who you are.
Anonymous asked: i'd like to be your friend in real life.. :)
I’d like that too.
Anonymous asked: what would your reaction be like if you asked a straight girl out [ not knowing shes straight of course] and then she tells you that shes straight ?
my 2 cents…
a) There is no such thing as “straight”. Nonetheless, I do firmly believe that one’s sexual orientation is a very personal private decision. So if she wishes to identify as straight, then you’ll have to respect that. BUT…I’ve been witness to many situations in Jordan where a straight girl would obviously and relentlessly flirt with a gay woman, but would keep insisting she’s straight (sometimes they do that to pass off the flirtatious behavior as “cute” or “harmless”). I have problems with straight women who do that. I understand the fear and confusion that accompanies first-time same sex attractions, but you gotta have mercy on the queer girl. She shouldn’t pay for your complexities.
B) If you think she’s worth your time, wait for a bit, be understanding, see if she gets closer to you; maybe then she’ll start feeling comfortable. If you wait for a while and you’re still confused about what exactly she wants, just give up and move on (easier said than done).
What would my reaction be like?
The way I ask girls out is very subtle, I never do it in a confrontational way. I like to make sure she feels comfortable enough to say no, or decide we should be friends. Asking someone out should end up with an awkward situation. If I like her enough to ask her out, it means I want to witness her beauty in any capacity she allows me (a friend, a girlfriend..etc). Gotta respect women’s capacity to make the right decisions for themselves, be supportive of her even if she chooses not to be with you. You didnt like her cuz she likes you, you started liking her cuz of *who she is* (who she is *without* you). Stay true to that.
Anonymous asked: Have you, by a chance, heard of the poet Aysha Al-Shamayaleh?
Yes I’ve heard of her
Reblog: Let 2012 be the year we do something about it…
We meet up, exchange stories, struggles, brainstorm for some organizing beyond social circles. An organizing that is informal, cautious and secure (yet not paranoid).
Let’s be serious about who we are, lets learn from others, let our network effect grow to protect, enable and grow each other. Creating circles of trust, one large and many smaller ones.
Let’s know that everything is connected, and mostly shared,
- Struggling to find a space to be with your girlfriend is connected to all girls and women who are bound by culture to live with their parents after 18.
- Struggling to find someone to date, is connected to the culture of paranoia and not having a trusted foundation to start from.
- Struggling to fight family-pushed-marriage proposals, is not only shared, but has been fought by many others before you, learn about their experiences and how they did it.
An informal group of Queer women who identify as lesbians, bisexual women and transgenderes.
A support group for us in Jordan. Meet regularly, talk and share. Screen new attendees before they join securely. Educate and get educated about others. Get into the regional conversation and context on queer politics, and in the process define our own Jordanian context and discourse.
Let it be clear, that in the process, some of us won’t like some of us, that we might disagree, but it doesn’t mean we don’t trust each other.
Let’s know that we don’t live in isolation from the culture and people around us, their struggles are ours as well. Let’s be open that many of our heterosexual friends can support us as we support them and be able to grow on that support to help each other.
Who’s in for the first meet up early January, 2012?
(Reply that you are in and i will contact you privately to discuss details, I will personally screen you as others to make the first meet up as secure as possible!)
Anonymous asked: I saw your post on "Al`an fahimtkum" and I thought you might be interested in knowing that Foreign Policy magazine has an article by Laurie A. Brand and Fayez Y. Hammad up about the play/politics. I can't link to it here, but the title is "Just What Does Jordan's Abdullah Understand." I love your writing by the way, kudos!
Thank you so much, I’ll definitely check it out!
Anonymous asked: do your family know that you are a lesbian ? and if yes how was there reaction ?
One members of my family knows. To summarize their reaction I’d saying…tolerant but not accepting.
Anonymous asked: Allow me call your poetry breathtaking. I have just finished reading your poems, and I could feel my heart dropping and sinking, because somehow, I just could relate to most of them. How old are you, if you don't mind telling?
Hey, thank you so much for the message, it means a lot to me.
(P.S. I really wish I could answer your question, but i hope you understand i have to stay anonymous…)
I understand you now ~ Jordanian Play heavily criticizes the Government
I went with my family to watch a play yesterday -my first Jordanian play, if you will. I wasn’t expecting much, because from my experience, the art scene in Jordan is disappointingly limited. cliche-full, and child-like, as it has not achieved any sort of maturity, let alone originality.
The name of this play was “I understand you now”. It was political satire that drew a contrast between the average Jordanian’s frustrations with the government (including lack of true democracy) and his abuse and dictatorship as the “man of the house”.
Frankly -and this is a big statement for me to make, as I am very difficult to impress- the play was one of the best written works I have ever come across. Every line was purposeful, and offered a unique -sometimes even poetic- social or political critique of our people and/or governments. Much of the criticism was daring, as it targeted ministers, prime ministers and even the king himself (who attended the play a couple of weeks ago). Knowing how fear-struck artists in Jordan are about critiquing the government (due to Jordan intelligence threats) I was taken by surprise.
As an artist and writer, I believe that play was a leap forward for Jordanian artists. I can imagine that the playwright, director and cast took a huge risk upon their decision to bring all this criticism to stage.
That daring trust in the truth of the average Jordanian’s life makes me question my own work and how comfortable it is to lay under the headlights exposed and honest.
Homeless for the Holidays: New York City’s Homeless LGBT Youth
Executive Director, Ali Forney Center
Published in the Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-siciliano/homeless-gay-youth_b_1158040.html?ref=gay-voices#s555253&title=Envy
You weren’t born to be abandoned
You weren’t born to be forsaken
You were born to be loved
You were born to be loved
Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with homeless LGBT youth. Each young person was, at the time I met with and photographed them, struggling to survive out on the streets as they waited for one of the few youth shelter beds in New York City to open up to them.
Their stories do not fit in the traditional narratives of the holiday season. No warm family gatherings for these kids. No presents, no feasts. No “sleeping in heavenly peace.” Many have been cast out of their homes, driven out by homophobia. Made to know that being LGBT makes them unlovable in the eyes of their families. Made to know that being gay made them disposable.
Nor do their stories conform to the traditional narrative of “coming out” that the LGBT community likes to tell. Coming out for these kids was not primarily experienced as liberating and freeing, nor was it experienced as finding acceptance in the broader LGBT community. For these kids, coming out meant being driven from their homes, denied love, denied all economic support, made to suffer utter destitution. And, shamefully, despite the numbers of homeless LGBT youth across the nation reaching epidemic proportions, their plight has not been at the forefront of the attention of the LGBT community.
And their stories certainly belie the notion that the citizens of our city, state, and nation can find some safety net to protect them. I noted with sorrow that, as I was photographing these abandoned children on the piers and streets along the far West Side of Manhattan, I could often gaze upon the Statue of Liberty downriver, with its promise:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Alas, there has been little political will to protect these kids. In New York City there are merely 250 youth shelter beds funded by the city and state, though there are 3,800 homeless kids, 40 percent of whom are LGBT. Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have sent the distressing message that these kids do not have any right to be sheltered, with the governor having cut New York State support for youth shelter beds by 50 percent in the last year, and the mayor having repeatedly attempted to cut youth shelter funds in half, as well. How fitting that these kids, whose desperate conditions speak so profoundly of unjust economic priorities, so frequently found refuge with the Occupy Wall Street movement when they could not find a shelter bed.
To be a homeless LGBT youth in New York City means battling the cold, desperate to find somewhere warm and dry at night, knowing it would be a catastrophe if your shoes and clothes get wet. It means being exhausted, suffering chronic sleep deprivation as you try with little success to rest on the subways and train stations and on the streets. It means being terrified, afraid that the police will kick you out of the subway cars and train stations, afraid of violence when you have to sell your body, afraid that you will be beaten or robbed while trying to sleep on park benches or under bridges. To be a homeless LGBT youth in New York City all to frequently means being hungry, forsaken, alone, brutalized.
Is there a more terrible expression of homophobia in our times than tens of thousands of teens being cast out of their homes and made homeless in our streets? How horrible it is that kids are made to experience such brutal abuse, just for being who they are? I believe that these youths are, without ever intending to be, unsung heroes of the LGBT movement. They are heroic because of the terrible price they pay for their honesty.
I thank all of the youths who told me their stories, and allowed me to look into their eyes and photograph them. It was courageous of them to do so — for many teens being abandoned by their family and becoming homeless is experienced as humiliating and shameful, something you don’t want people to know. I hope that we will care enough to listen to the devastating stories these kids have to tell. I hope that we will have the courage look into their hurt eyes. I hope that by doing so, we can find the compassion and resolve to protect them.
Every young person deserves to be loved. If so many LGBT youths are denied love by their families, then the LGBT community needs to give them love. We need to assert their human worth and value, despite actions by their families and their government that speak to the contrary. We cannot allow them to be left to fend for themselves in the cold.