Tata writes: Maybe you could help me understand a phenomenon. In the Middle East and especially in the Gulf countries, homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty and decapitation. Paradoxically, I have often heard that the Arabs of the Gulf have many homo relations between them because they do not have access to women. It seems that it is rampant in the Gulf, and apparently the fear of dying does not stop them.
But I read a bizarre story about a Gulf prince who got caught in a fight in a gay nightclub in London with his lover. This guy is a hypermasculine Arab man, and he doesn’t look gay. But maybe Arabs have too much testosterone and are always horny, that’s why they put a tent on the head of their women and could fuck anything. I don’t know, it’s just a reflection.
The prince is in London, and there are no obstacles to have contacts with women, dozens of women if he want. He drives a Ferrari, he is rich, he is a prince, but he continues to go to gay nightclubs and avoids women? Why? Another rumor is of another prince from the Gulf who allegedly murdered one of his employees with whom he had gay relations. It seems that there is a mentality in the Gulf that if the guy is active rather than passive, he is not gay. Are these guys gay, bi or straight? Can a hetero sodomize a guy and be hetero nevertheless and continue to act full macho? I find this crazy and I do not understand this mentality.
I have heard that in the Arab World, you are not considered gay if you play the male role in gay sex. This is true in Morocco and Egypt at the very least. 20-30% of young Egyptian and Moroccan men have played the male role in gay sex. The guys who play the passive role are considered faggots. They are not necessarily persecuted though. It’s more that they are used sexually as a surrogate female by straight men.
William Burroughs and Paul Bowles lived in Morocco for years. Allen Ginsberg visited Burroughs in Tangier. I have also heard that Oscar Wilde went to Morocco with some other European gay men and had sex with teenage boys there. All of these men were basically gay. All of Burroughs neighbors knew that he was gay and was having sex with teenage street boys, but no one ever turned him in. I never heard the dynamics of the type of sex that Burroughs, Bowles and Wilde were engaging in with those Moroccan street boys. Apparently there was quite a bit of this going on in Moroccan society, and as long as you were very quiet about it, no one cared.
There is a lot of gay sex in Saudi Arabia. There are even quite a few of what could be termed gay bars. I am not sure of the sexual orientation of the men who are doing such things. Obviously if you prevent men from having sex with women, a lot of them are going to start screwing guys instead. That’s just the way men are.
Supposedly nothing is done about all of this gay sex in Saudi Arabia as long as they are very quiet and discreet about it. When they start getting loud about it, the authorities crack down. There were a number of arrests in Saudi Arabia recently at a gay wedding of two Saudi men getting informally married. There were female impersonators there, and the whole thing got out of hand pretty fast. The authorities raided the party and made a number of arrests.
Similarly, a group of gay men threw a wild gay party on board a boat on the Nile River recently. This was considered to be flaunting it, and these men were arrested, tried and sentenced to a few years in prison. The trial caused quite a fuss.
But I have heard that there are quite a few gay couples living quiet lives in Cairo. Everyone knows about it, and no one cares.
I read a recent article by a gay man who went to Egypt on vacation. He was on the Nile in Lower Egypt where he was renting boat boys to take him out on the river. He told how some of these teenage boys were openly propositioning him. Later he met with a gay couple living quietly in Cairo. Everyone knew about them, but it was accepted as long as they were discreet about it.
I read another piece by a gay man who went to Kuwait. He said Arab men of all ages were openly propositioning him. He was shocked at how open it all was. He went down to the beach at night, and he said there were all these gay men there cruising for sex on the beach, and quite a few of them were actually engaging in sex on the beach. No one was doing anything about it, but it all had to be kept on the down low.
Nevertheless, it is different in every country. The Shia take a very hard line against gay sex, and many gay men have been murdered in Iraq.
~8,000 gay men have been executed by the clerical regime in Iran.
In Iraq, Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa saying that gay men should be killed. After that, there were a lot of murders of Iraqi gay men.
Hezbollah is normally pretty liberal about the things that they allow under the rule, but they take a hard line on male homosexuality too. They don’t kill gay men in Hezbollah areas, but they do beat them up.
Male homosexuality is not accepted at all in Palestine, and gay men are often murdered in the Palestinian areas. Some have even sought refugee status in Israel as a result of this, and Israel did grant some of them this status. Male homosexuality is frowned upon in Syria and Lebanon, but there is quite a bit of it anyway. There are quite a few gay men among the Syrian refugees in Beirut, but they live in absolute terror as male homosexuality is frowned upon on Lebanese Islamic society.
They were also persecuted in Syria. I know of one case where gay men were arrested by Assad’s regime and imprisoned for a while. They were made to have sex with each other in front of Syrian police at the jail while the police sat back and laughed and ridiculed them. Of course, ISIS has been executing gay men in areas under its control, usually by throwing them off the top of tall buildings.
I know nothing about male homosexuality in Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Sudan or in the Islamic parts of Africa. Nor do I know much about it in the rest of the Islamic World, but I do know something about male homosexuality in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is quite a complex situation. Maybe for a later post.
I’m not much of an expert on gay rights because as a straight man, the subject does not interest me much.
However, it has long been rumored that the leader of Oman is a gay. He has never admitted it, but many think he is anyway. I understand that people in Oman don’t care much one way or the other about their ruler being gay.