Amrou Al-Kadhi is a writer, performer and filmmaker in London. He is also a Queer Arab who does drag. Which is a double whammy because not only does he face discrimination in the gay community, Strictly for being a visible minority. But in the Arab community.
He recently wrote a piece for The Independent about his ethnic identity. He was recently at the baths when (in his words)
I heard a group of men speaking my mother tongue of Iraqi Arabic. Once we all got talking, it was liberating to freely speak the dialect in a gay environment. Growing up queer in my household was traumatic and silencing; verbalising any feelings about my sexuality was just not an option – when you did, there were consequences.
So to visit the language of my childhood as an out and proud gay adult was reparative. For a moment, I felt genuinely at peace in my intersectional identity. But it turned out the men were there as some sort of “repressed” dare, and proceeded to taunt me with insults like a gang of bullies; I was left vulnerable and humiliated. The suppressed voices of familial rejection infiltrated my queer refuge, and my illusion of a harmonious intersectional identity was quickly shattered. I’ve since felt fragmented.
This is really a fascinating and terrific op-ed by Amrou Al-Kadhi on being a Queer Arab. To read it in its entirety go to What speaking Arabic at a gay sauna in London made me realize about my identity
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