10 Years Down the Line

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Life is a series of variables. We can’t be sure of anything. We make plans and we aim for certain objectives in our future that we know for a fact we need to have ultimately. Despite everything that changes and everything that disappears, we know that eventually and ultimately we want to reach this goal. Yes, that goal is not the same for everybody. Some think about our careers and how we’re going to be hot-shot famous women with smashing jobs. And some think about how someday they will be able to be free from all their current restraints and responsibilities and will finally be able to live their lives like they actually want to and need to. And there are others who aim for one purpose and one purpose only: living la dolce vita after years and years of overcoming draining obstacles. Whatever it is, we all have a plan – or shall we call it hopes or dreams for those of you who don’t believe in planning?

I believe that we all have thought about our emotional, personal and social future at some point – yes, even those of you who are free-spirited and spontaneous. It either happened while watching a movie, seeing your friend fulfill her dreams, or seeing a mother walk her kids to school… Something, at some point, triggered that imagination of yours, where you jumped 10 years into the future trying to see where you’d be. This imagination that you let run free, what did it crave? Did you hold back? Do you see yourself confined in the “sanctity” of a heterosexual marriage? Or are you with your partner starting a new fulfilling life? Where do we see ourselves in 10 years? Do we even know? Do we dare think about it?

In a society like ours, it’s a bit difficult and somewhat emotionally draining to plan a future. That is because things are very unstable when it comes to the LGBT lifestyle. So we tend to not let our hope and imagination hang out, and we try as much as possible to stay grounded. However, sometimes you just want to break free. And the thoughts flutter in your head.

wwubWe’re all born and raised in different backgrounds. We all have different views on what life is about and how it should be lived. We each seek different goals and have extremely diverse ambitions. As queers, our choices and decisions are linked to a lot of social and familial variables. It is rare in Lebanon to find homosexuals open to their immediate family. It is even more rare for the family to be ok with it. But if you’re one of those rare few, like Lam Alif, you’ll find that it is easier to think about a future with a partner, when your present is more or less easy going when it comes to your family. When asked about how she perceived her future in 10 years as a lesbian, Lam Alif liked to get one thing straight first. “Whenever I do something or think about a certain future I don’t think about from a lesbian’s perspective,” she says. She hopes that in 10 years she will be settled with her “better half,” abroad and is successful for she doesn’t think she can live in Lebanon despite the fact that she’s open to her family. However when the topic of kids comes up she immediately answers, “NO! No kids! I don’t like them!” But she does admit that if she and her partner ever decide to have kids after all, she would go for adoption since there are lots of parent-less kids who need a home.

For people, who are less accepted by their families, thinking about the future becomes a bit harder, for they would have to not only face the Lebanese society, but also their families. Nevertheless, for some, this does not lessen the importance of a future with a partner and an assertive sexual identity. Pvy focuses on one main idea that she holds to heart. “I won’t leave Lebanon!” she says. “No matter how in love I was with my partner, no matter how bad I wanted to start a family and have kids and a house and all that, I would never leave the country to start a family elsewhere.” Pvy is an activist at heart. She believes that her sexual identity is not hers alone but all homosexuals who live in Lebanon and strive for a better future. She says that she would never think of a heterosexual marriage although some would consider it just to please their parents. It’s true that some think about this outcome, maybe even getting married to a gay guy and having some ground rules whilst each one continues on living their own personal life. “Parents should be the ones trying to please their children, not the other way around,” she says. To her getting married to a guy whether gay or straight beats the whole purpose of this fight and this activism! Hopeful and believing, Pvy sums up her future in 10 years as, “married to a woman with 3 or 5 kids, living an amazingly normal and happy life and still fighting for all of our equal right.”

There also people who have a plain bold goal when it comes to their love life in 10 years, no matter what the variables are, no matter what the outcome is. “I know I want to be in a queer, happy, healthy and passionate place,” says Deems, who lives abroad. “I would like to come back to Lebanon and balance a sustaining independent queer relationship.”

And there are people who are simply confused as to where they stand in life. The truth is when your family is not in the know and you can’t just be yourself with them, and when society doesn’t have a clue about the existence of your sexual identity, and when your choices are quite concise, you tend not to think about the future. And if you do, you try to see it from the eyes of an independent individual. When confronted with that question Candle is a bit torn. Part of her wants to stay single and roam the world, meeting very different people, maybe even living abroad. And the other part wants the “security” of having someone constant in her life. At the same time, Candle thinks about kids sometimes. Does she want them? She’s not sure. But she does know one thing for sure. “I love kids,” she says. “But for them to have gay parents, I don’t think that’s fair, especially in a society like ours. They will be treated really badly.” Candle doesn’t see herself in this “stupid establishment” called marriage. However, she can imagine being part of a committed partnership.

We all want to belong, want to have a sense of security, want to know that we have a safety net ready to catch us when we need to let go, want a warm bed to go to whenever the days become too draining, want someone next to us when we strike a high or hit a low. We all hope for a future where hiding is no longer needed, where happiness is a personal issue not the business of an entire society, where an identity whatever it may be is not a legal matter. Yes, we all think of a future. But the means to get to that future vary. In a way, we are all walking down the same line of activism and search for equal rights and tolerance, but ultimately each one of us is going a different journey.

In the end, does anything matter? As long as we find our inner and outer happiness, does anything really matter? We only get to do it once. Let’s do it right and live it fully!


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