Many gays do not consider their “double life” to be a matter of concern. We do what we wish to do in away from people, and pretend when they are present. We pretend until it becomes a second nature; not a temporarily state of which one must always remain aware. This may not be limited to gays in our society, but rather a characteristic of all Syrians. One must appear to be obedient to thier parents, faithful to their partners, honorable when with colleagues, ethical before children, nice with neighbours, a good believer before one’s God, practices religious rite as daily habits but not necessarily as soothing rituals that calm the soul’s pain or ease one’s tiresome.
We do have a seemingly utter moral system with many outlines that makes living accordingly an easy task since these laws cover most, if not all, aspects of one’s life; powerful and clear in presentation and thorough in detail. But the devil lies in the details, and many devils lay in our silent minds ready to be unleashed.
The existence of such a moral system gives away the delusion that everything is all right. Many rules to follow, therefore, breaking one or two or even a few won’t be a big deal considering that quantity is what matters, and not quality.
The members of the gay community have accepted to live their lives away from their lives, and to nod in approval to all statements made by those who “rank higher”, and then, do what pleases them with guilt filling their hearts. We have accepted the social ranks, whether within the family or society.
“Personal freedom” is conceived as a matter of sexual behaviour rather than life-changing decisions. Some do not even include everyday-life habits and practices in personal freedom, and abide with what society dictates.
The pinnacle of the problem, however, is not in the paradox between one’s two lives, the gay one and the “straight” one, but rather between their thoughts and their acts in life. Many in our gay community brag about their polygamous life-style that does not stop with sex but rather exceeds that to having several lovers. However, the worrisome issue is that many of those see the practices of a gay life to be morally and naturally wrong, not only outside of the norm, but rather contradictory to nature! Some even wish to seek “professional” help, but only after satisfying their needs, which evolve around their lust and sexual satisfactions, and maybe excessive emotional drama.
As many gays insist on hiding their true selves from family and friends, keeping a “good” image, a pure and moral one away from homosexual “filth”, in which they indulge, many also exaggerate in showing their homosexual identity in an impudent display of “nature”; nothing like a parade and more like a circus. They tend to yell at passers-by if they look at them, and scream in the streets in a desperate sign of power, false power. A very incorrect presentation of the gay community and rather a self-chosen representation of the gays to the Syrian heterosexual society that knows nothing about us except what we let out.
Instead of practicing activism and educational activity, we choose to hide our identities or show the worst of us. The society doesn’t accept homosexuality, and will not do that soon. Some families in Syria might embrace their children’s sexual orientation, but most of them don’t. And while some may passively remain in denial, others may actively try to force homosexuality out of their children’s systems, and quiet a few of them resort to violence as means to achieve that. Nonetheless, it is on us to accept ourselves first, and to reconcile with our nature.
Desire is natural in humans, and fulfilling one’s desires is highly recommended. Only the swap between the means and the end is what stops development from going on. Instead of being interactive and colourful, the gay person becomes one-dimensional, and homosexuality becomes their only feature rather than a rich characteristic, one among others; being gay becomes the alter-ego instead of a part of one’s life.
written and translated by: Sarmad al-Assi