Saturday, February 3

The seriousness of the GLBT community in Iraq

Through these five years or so of the Iraq war, all the debates, tyranny and desperation; seeing the atrocities and the bloodied bodies on the streets on television/web/newspapers---not once, not once have I thought about the GLBT community. Some where here and there, I would think about being gay in the middle east. Things I didn't think one would dare to admit or such a structured community would exist. Apparently there is a thriving community in Israel, somewhat openness (at least enough to have an open Gay male pop music singer) and clubs. In reading this month's article in GQ (the one with Jake Gyllenhaal on the cover), it is just plain alarming. I'm even scared to even speak about it. I had pick up the magazine, firstly mearly because of Jake but then saw in the yellow box--'Gay in Iraq.' I thought I had misread.

One time, I was filming a woman urging parents to come to a non-profit organization that helps GLBT youth and she would say stuff like 'it is the safe place to talk about this.' Now being an ignorant American, I thought 'she is like saying it isn't safe to talk about gay things' but I was informed that in some places it isn't. Case in point, Iraq. The article details about a man who was forced by his government to spy during Sadam's reign and tell the specific details about other gay/lesbian/transexual people he encountered, even his lover. Some or most would later be shot, slained or disappeared off the face of the Earth. One transexual was burned alive. That is what scares me. The scarry e-mails he gets, the state of refugee he has been forced to take and the many many loop-to-loop perils he has gone through to get out of the country. Hiding in one country to the other with little or no money.

Of course being an optimist, I instantly want to help these poor souls that need to get out of the country. They are getting no help at all. One in the interview compares themselves to the Jews during the Nazi reign. But it all seems impossible and need of the knowledgable, experienced, and willing and unfortunately our government either won't help or won't admit help is needed. The article even indicates that it is still not safe in Iraq during these times because of other groups. I highly suggest to read the article!!!