I met this man a while ago in Damascus. We met through the net and decided to hook up. When I called him up, he pointed out that he couldnt speak freely beacuse of all the ”damn heteros” at his office and he asked if we could go to the gay part of Damascus to be with ”our” kind. We decided to meet up in Sha’laan. And because of his comments and will to be with his comunity I thought that this blind date was going to be a bigshot in the Damascus gaylife.
But the man that showed up didnt wore tight energy jeans or spikes in his hair, but was a very modest man in a grey suit. I felt instantly that this was not a sex or a love date situation, but got curious to find out the man behind the suit. We sat down in a café and his story began.
He was a married man in his late forties with two kids lets call him Farhad. Farhad found out in collage that he was gay, after a few ”close encounters” with other guys and him wanting more even after the sex segrigated school. The preassure to get married got closer and he tried to escape to Europe. The escape didnt work out so he had to face the fact that the only way to continue his life was within the ”holy matrimony”.
Farhads mom picked out a wife for him and he kept his gaylife on the down low during the first child. After a while and a lot of frustration was it impossible to fake his life anymore. ” I love myself to much to not hurt myself like that”. He started to network with others in his situation, and created a sort of network with other married men. They ususally meet ones a week and through the meetings make them real in front of eachother. ” I am 90% with my family that I love with all my heart but 10% is dedicated to my gaylife that I have to give myself to be able to exist”.
Farhads family doesnt know about this, and instinctively we might want to call him a prick. But remember that his marriage wasnt about love but a deal to make the traditions to go on. I got so happy to here a gayman that have to live the traditionel heteronormative life, love himself so much so he dont allow himself to be desperate and unhappy. A lot of the married men, I meet in the hamams and in the parks, that are letting off steam and make the sexuality between men to only become dirty, (I dont mind to be dirty but i want to have a choise), makes this man a hero in my eyes. ” Nobody can make me feel like a freak or tell me that im disgusting, I love who I am”.