Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, so life in the Gulf has not been easy. However, the 35-year-old has now come out in public and is perhaps the first Qatari person to publicly declare that he is gay.
Note that homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and can lead to several years in prison. The Gulf state is one of about 70 countries identified by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association as criminalizing consensual homosexual activity. Furthermore, in addition to the illegality, there is a lot of social pressure on any Qatari suspected of being LGBTQ +. They face social shaming, permanent expulsion from friends and family, threats of violence or worse.
But, after so many things, Dr. Mohammad decided to come to the media. “I don’t want to be anonymous,” he said Freedom In an exclusive interview. The 35-year-old, who now lives in San Francisco and works as a physician, said that for his own safety, he had no choice but to seek asylum in the United States.
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Dr Mohammed told the media outlet that he understood the personal cost which would almost certainly result in going to the public. He said any opportunity to reconnect with his estranged family would be wasted and his family could be publicly embarrassed. He is unlikely to return home to Qatar, he added.
However, Dr Mohammed also insisted that he had made the right decision. “For us to change things for LGBT + Qataris, we need to come out with more people,” he said. The 35-year-old added, “I would like to share my opinion with my name as a doctor and a Qatari citizen who still has parents and siblings in the country. They need to know that I am one of them and they do not refer to us as ‘Western Agenda’.
According to Freedom, One of the many accusations leveled at LGBT + Qataris is that they are trying to reinforce the “hate” attitude of the West’s “pawn”, an established religious, conservative culture. But it has been vehemently rejected by gay Qataris who argue that they only want acceptance from their own country.
Dr. Mohammed revealed that when he was living in Qatar, he started getting “boy crush” in his teens. But it confuses her rather than convinces her of her sexuality. “I didn’t have internet; There were no gay public figures. I was really confused – I didn’t know what was going on. “
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He said he could not trust anyone, nor could he give a date. He grew up “extremely religious”. She was convinced of her sexuality when she traveled to Las Vegas as a medical student in the early twenties and went to a gay club.
Dr. Mohammed moved to the United States in 2011, initially for residency training, but has since worked there and returned to Qatar only once a weekend. Coming out now, doctors are hoping to bring “visibility” and end the “cycle of denial” not just for LGBT + Qataris, but for everyone living in the country.