Egypt’s Fledging LGBT Rights Movement

Posted: May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Bel Trew

Ramy Yosef, a 21-year-old man from Egypt’s Nile Delta, came out on Twitter last year. His family responded by forcing him from their home.

Tarek, 28, recounts being beaten and robbed for “dressing like a faggot”—and avoiding the police for fear that they, too, would target him for being gay.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, coming out has always been complicated and even dangerous.

But now, even as Egypt becomes increasingly Islamized under Muslim Brotherhood rule, young gay activists are fighting back by building a rights movement and initiating a more public conversation about a subject long kept under wraps.

Tarek, who asked to withhold his last name for fear of retribution, is spearheading an awareness campaign. Yosef, meanwhile, recently started an anti-homophobia campaign on Twitter, which quickly went viral—within hours it had drawn thousands of re-tweets and mentions, quickly gaining support from mainstream activists and celebrities, with…

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