Friday, September 9, 2011

My compassion and solidarity for Palestinian Arab and Iranian gay men July 8, 2011

I feel great compassion for gay Palestinian Arab Muslim men who are beaten and brutalized by their fathers. I have been emotionally brutalized in a very severe and systematic fashion by my father, and so I can empathize with these men who are beaten and abused and rejected by their fathers too. I have often fantasized about gay Israeli soldiers falling in love with Palestinian gay men and rescuing them from their brutal fathers and bringing them to Israel to live in freedom and save their lives. I am glad that Israel treats gay Palestinian men with compassion and frequently allows them to remain in Israel where they can be safe from their brutal fathers. As survivors of horrendous child abuse and persecution for being gay, these men need a lot of love and compassion and emotional support to heal from their trauma and suffering.

They also need to be able to live in freedom - in Israel or America or Europe - in other words, among the Jews or the West. I feel like I can hear their cries for help and their pain and their pleas for love and understanding. If I ever met a gay Palestinian, I am sure I would be moved to rescue him immediately from his brutal father. I would want to hold him in my arms and offer him emotional support and tell him that I would never let his father hurt him ever again.

My heart goes out also to Iranian gay men who are threatened with death by the Iranian regime and who are forced to flee for their lives to Turkey. Being gay is practically an automatic death sentence in Iran, which is why Iranian gay refugees urgently need political asylum in the West in order to save their lives. I have seen the harrowing pictures of single gay men in Iran who have been so brutally beaten on their backs from lashes - and I know that rescuing them is literally a matter of life and death. I also saw the haunting pictures of Iranian gay couples who were arrested together and beaten so brutally - and I know they need so much financial and emotional support.

I have also read the harrowing stories of persecution that Iranian gays have suffered inside Iran - both at the hands of the regime and at the hands of their own families. I read about one gay man who was raped by his own professor, and another gay man who was beaten by a cleric in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom. I read about the pain and fear in their eyes and souls - about their inability to acknowledge their gayness even to themselves. Most of all I can relate to their overwhelming sense of trauma and fear - and their deep yearning to live openly in freedom.

I think that gay people have the right to love and hold and touch and care for their same-sex partners, and they should have the same rights to marry and adopt children as straight couples. No one should be beaten, persecuted, harassed, or deprived of housing or employment for being gay. And certainly no one should be imprisoned and killed for loving another member of the same sex. Anything less than full equality is an affront to the dignity and humanity of gay and lesbian people. I also think gay and lesbian people should be allowed to bring their same-sex partners to the United States just as married straight couples can. And I think that gay people should be equal in the eyes of the law with straight people. Also gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military just as they do now in the Israeli armed forces and many other Western armed forces. If gay people are good enough for the IDF, certainly they are good enough for the U.S. armed forces.

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