10 Years Later…

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Reading the latest Bekhsoos issue, I started thinking of a way I could contribute to Part 2 of the Special Edition that looks back at 10 years of LGBT activism in Lebanon. And it hit me: It had been exactly 10 years since I came out to myself (and a couple of friends).

I was about 13 years old and, for some reason, conversations about gays and lesbians started popping out daily at school. I remember when, at first, we weren’t even sure about what the word for gay girls was exactly: “L’esbienne” or “Lesibienne?”

I was so interested in the subject that I wanted to learn more about people like that. So I started asking my friends if they knew any lesbians or heard any lesbian-related story and then I started thinking and linking things. Lesbians are girls who like other girls, who act boyish and wear boyish clothes and who like sports – yeah, your typical lesbian stereotype! Then I thought: Well, I’m attracted to girls. I dress like boys. I hate dresses and skirts and dolls and I love sports! Which basically meant that I was a lesbian.

I got so excited to have finally found a “name” for what I had been wondering about. Later I realized that this “name” was what was called an identity, it’s who I am. I’m not labeling myself. I’m just giving myself an identity.

Happy as I was to have at long last found a name for that unknown state I was in, I rushed to tell my so-called best friends. Shockingly, they didn’t believe me. They thought I was just saying that to attract attention and get kids to talk about me. I didn’t care about their response, and I carried on simply with the relief to have found my identity.

From that point on, I started analyzing every crush I had on girls (and teachers), every “close friendship”, every act, every thought… I accepted who I was and I was proud.
I knew I could never tell my parents about it because they’d simply freak out and deny me as their daughter but I was glad to keep that secret to myself.

10 years later, my friends accepted me as I am – well, most of them did. They now ask me to take them to Acid. They ask about Helem and Meem. They read “Bareed Mista3jil.” They tell me about how they stood up to homophobic people, how they signed the petition to abolish Article 534.

As for my parents, well, I told them. They freaked out, and took me to a shrink who basically told me that if I accepted who I was there was nothing she could do about it. After seeing her for a while, I told my parents that the psych sessions “cured” me; they think I’m straight now.

I’m planning another coming out though.

10 years later, I look back, and I’m glad those conversations came up at school.

10 years later, I’m a rainbow, a “khaskhousa,” a “khotesh,” a proud member of the most amazing LBTQ support group ever, Meem.

10 years later, I’m a resident of the most friendly, warm, loving, and supportive House of all houses.

10 years later, I’m writing for the ground-breaking Bekhsoos.

10 years later, I get chills when I think that I’m a small part of the change, the revolution.

10 years later, and this is only the beginning…

Contributed by Pisces

Guest Contributor

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