Another one bites the dust…

I remember my cousin mentioning the Queen classic was being pulled out of some sports event it was customarily played at as it was deemed inappropriate for it so soon after lead singer Freddy Mercury’s death from AIDS. This was the late 1980s and “Another One Bites the Dust” had particularly eerie meaning coming from the voice of one of the more prominent artists among the many who had their lives cut short during that horrible decade when the disease emerged…

Mercury, who was gay, had released the song in 1980 — before anyone had ever heard of HIV or AIDS — and it likely referred to his and pretty much every other gay man’s near impossible quest for lasting love and companionship. Ironically, that would be the core reason behind the AIDS epidemic first spreading in homosexual ghettos as that reality meant gays led overly promiscuous lives quite conducive to infection sharing.

Mercury of course had no way of knowing his all-time best selling record would hold much deeper meaning only a few years after it “came out,” if you’ll excuse the pun! Nor that it would also come to symbolize — in my mind anyway — another gay “community” related phenomenon: The “found killed in his apartment” one.

From a few somewhat high profile cases to relatively frequent random ones, homosexuals — in Lebanon at least from what we here personally notice though this is likely a global issue — end up dead in our homes, often at a young age, under “mysterious theft-related circumstances” as “discrete” police reports tend to “conclude.”

Those of us living alone — not so much the norm in this country for single people who mostly remain in the family household — seem particularly vulnerable for the obvious reason that we are more readily able to let strangers into our homes for that occasional quickie that tides us over physically as we perpetually deny ourselves the right to love.

Us “have place” people, as most refer to themselves on the gay cruising websites, have the “advantage” of a location for sex, which comes with the minor inconvenience that we are at higher risk for various forms of assault or murder by the other mostly gay people we let in for that.

To be clear, these are not “hate crimes” of any sort — at least not in the conventional sense as we really are killed mainly by other homosexuals in those situations. Granted it can be argued that it’s homosexuals who hate themselves who do this, yet these are not so much anti gay killings as they are opportunistic ones. Homos — the absolute vast majority of whom are totally hiding who they are from almost everyone — will likely not tell anyone they’re “receiving” as they let in someone they only “met” often in the past hour or so online and getting them in vulnerable positions in that context becomes somewhat easy.

To be extra clear: these situations too are a direct outcome of homosexuals failing to establish foundations for lasting love and companionship — in the process subjecting ourselves to the dangers of extreme promiscuity ranging from minor sexually-transmitted-diseases to the ultimate price of our lives being taken by some anonymous person we picked up for sex on a street corner or online.

We essentially live like pigs. And we pay the price for it. From never-ending emotional distress, to loneliness, extreme vanity, diseases of various sorts all the way to early death by self-loathing or despair-induced suicide and murder. Studies have repeatedly found that we homos by far lead everyone else in those categories, even far more than so many of us in the fashion industry dazzle the world with our “fabulous” sense of style!

There is a reason for all this, and its core at least is totally not our fault though its perpetuity most often completely is.

The closet.

The much protected and blindly defended “right” to essentially lie about who we are throughout our lives really means most of us never quite build character nor a spine, and end up expressing who we are exclusively in sexual terms.

And our refusal to introspect about this only exacerbates the situation and guarantees its perpetuity.

As homosexuals fiercely protect their “private lives” as most like to refer to who they are, their entire lives tend to slip by either literally or metaphorically while they wonder why they’re wallowing in a dead end of non relationships, general underachievement and misery.

One excuse after another is readily recited by almost all. Promiscuity, they tell you, is not a gay thing. Heterosexuals are promiscuous too and men are just like that by nature, they insist. If heterosexual men could have as much sex as we do, well they certainly would.

Why tell anyone we’re gay? Heterosexuals don’t “declare” they’re hetero do they? Conveniently oblivious to the fact that heterosexuals lead normal lives free from self-loathing because of who they are or social/legal pressures to deny themselves.

Homosexuals will find the Romeo and Juliet scenario where open loving was made difficult because of different religious faith, family backgrounds or whatever and insist our problems are “common” to heterosexuals as well.

They will point out the most promiscuous men and women around, insisting heteros live as we do.

And most of all, they will staunchly deny that the closet has anything to do with our miserable state — insisting it is necessary so as they not “hurt” their parents or lose their “friends.” And that they are “happy” in their lives…

The levels of denial are plainly staggering among the gays, and I suspect should any studies on the subject ever be conducted that we would lead the world in this category as well!

Now of course in certain circumstances coming out may have detrimental ramifications. In places like Saudi Arabia or Iran, people could lose their lives. In certain social or professional contexts in Lebanon or even the “developed” world, a homosexual person may pay a higher than manageable price for openly respecting who they are.

But the fact remains that in so many cases staying in the closet — permanently — is simply an act of succumbing, stemming from self loathing and cowardice. Its main outcome is personal failure. That’s followed by collective gay “misery” of sorts as even openly gay homosexuals fail to find acceptable dating pools from which a companion or life partner may emerge.

Our invisibility has potentially “worse” repercussions as well. It not only makes it impossible for us to actually “live” in our closets, but allows our dehumanization by religious authorities and general masses to thrive. The parents, siblings, families, friends and colleagues of most homosexuals usually have no idea they have a homosexual among them. One they often like. One who can enlighten them about the fact that homosexuality is not about perverted sexual preferences, as they tend to believe, but about the same basic human need to love and be loved. Only in our cases by someone of the same sex.

As homosexuals appease their seemingly hostile environments with their “discretion” (their preferred euphemism for hypocrisy) about who they are, they’re really just ensuring those social circles never evolve or ever understand our right to be. That they never provide us with essential social support for relationships to survive and grow in the open, instead of their buds shriveling up and dying in the dark leaving us permanently alone in the process while our heterosexual loved ones lead full lives.

Also, as gay groups continue to focus their lobbying efforts on abolishing laws against homosexual sex acts, they really fail to raise awareness of the core issue: Our basic humanity. Our need to be. To live. Our commonness with the rest of society. The fact that our self-destructive promiscuous lifestyles are results of society denying us the right to be, and not a product of any unique insatiable sexual appetite. That we really are just like everyone else. And only want what everyone else takes for granted: A life.

Just this week a heterosexual friend of mine informed me over lunch that a 38 year-old gay acquaintance of hers has been found killed in his apartment, joining the ranks of several others we both know personally.

“Why can’t gay people just understand that they have a right to love and be loved,” she said. “And when will you and all the other gays I know stop receiving strangers in your homes for sex.”

Yes indeed, when will we?

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5 Responses to “Another one bites the dust…”

  1. Tarek Chatah Says:

    I wonder if the situation of homosexuals in Lebanon can get any better as long as they live in the closet.
    I totally agree with you.
    Best regards,
    Tarek

  2. Maya Tabet-Noun Says:

    Dear Jean, these thoughts are very well written. I admire your openness and courage.
    Homosexuals need to lead their lives with dignity and respect. And yes they deserve to love and be loved like any other human being in this world…
    The Task is not easy ,but they need to be true to themselves and stop behaving like sexual maniacs and acting like freaks… On the other hand their close surrounding need to be understanding, compassionate and tolerant so gay people can feel confident enough to trust and be in healthy relationships like any other sane person. By the way this also applies to heterosexuals… Anyway i wish yu only the best.

  3. Manoug Says:

    Good article. But I think the main issue iss not related much on “coming out” as more it is an issue among the gay society. I think gays are not respecting each other ( I just can talk about Lebanon) so how come expect others to resepct them. Of course, here I have to clarify that am not generalizing this on all Lebanese gays, because I encoutnered a few who were really resepctful & knew the real meaning of friendship, but unfortunately most others were the total opposite.
    In any case this is an enormous controversial issue & has many puzzling happenings in it.

  4. Randy Says:

    A friend of mine who was recently in Lebanon and met you gave me this blog address and I have to say it is a pretty interesting read. Sorry for the long response but you got me thinking.
    I think I have to agree with you on most of your post and think it would be very interesting to compare the experiences in different cultures with different levels of acceptance of homosexuals. I don’t necessarily mean the difference between east/west or Arab/non-Arab but in areas that have a higher acceptance of homosexuality as part of the human experience. I find that living as a gay man in Philadelphia (USA) is completely different than other locations in America that I have lived. Philadelphia is an interesting city in that it is an extremely Liberal city, and yet there are many extremely conservative groups and organizations here as well. When my partner and I moved here we moved into a part of the city which is very conservative and Catholic, we were very careful about how we were seen in the neighborhood. Over time as we met people and went to restaurants and bars around us that were mostly local establishments we made friends. Most of them were very un-accepting of homosexuals in the beginning, however as time went on and they saw us living a normal life, out of the closet, just being normal everyday people those attitudes changed. So much so that recently we were in our neighborhood bar and a new person came in and was drinking with some friends from the neighborhood, who were also our friends. The new guy at one point made an insulting comment about homosexuals and our friends actually stood up to him and told him that it was not OK. These are not sophisticated people, not stupid but just not really involved in larger movements, more concerned with were they will get the money to feed their family for the next week. But they took us by complete surprise and stood up and did the right thing, and then we found out that it happens even when we are not there. By living an out and normal life, not preaching, not being aggressive with activism we changed the way these people viewed homosexuals. Activism and aggressive defense of our rights as humans are certainly required to change governments, but to change hearts we need to live out in the open.
    That I think is the problem with the closet, it is a vicious circle. Society makes us feel like we cannot be our true selves in the open because we are not normal or healthy; which makes us hide who we are and live in the shadows, we go out and fill our needs for intimacy with one night dangerous interludes; we end up with a disease or hurt and feeling sorry for ourselves; which only reinforces the view of the larger society of us as something that needs to be fixed and not normal. The only way to break that circle is for more and more people to come out, which is much easier to say than accomplish. There are many parts of the world where to come out would be a death sentence, but for those of us who can safely live out of the closet we have to make the world better for the rest so that they too can come out. Since I have come out I have learned a lot about growing up, all the lessons that are learned when you are young that I did not because I was faking it, all the ways to act in a relationship that I did not learn when young I had to learn again, this time while being honest with myself. Now I have been in a relationship for almost 10 years, we have problems like any couple, but we have learned how to be in a loving relationship, based on honesty and integrity, and that makes me feel so much better and complete than the time of my life in the closet.

  5. dilmunite Says:

    So moving and sobering in a way… Been there so many times…

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