Shout Out To Things That Made Me Cry is a brand new segment that I want to do where I basically talk about articles, essays and editorial pieces that made me cry.
This week, the thing that made me cry was Ahmed Danny Ramadan’s essay titled “Searching For A Home: One Man’s Story of Survival in the Syrian Civil War” (linked here for any of y’all who likes to hurting your own feelings).
How can you not feel for Ahmed, a dude whose homeland is furrowed beneath the weight of the Arab Spring, who not only has to deal with the theatres of war and military infiltration but has to lead this double life as a gay man in a thoroughly anti-gay environment? See in Syria people don’t judge you for being gay. They don’t make snide comments about your sex life or get uncomfortable around you; they take your job, they take your house, shit they’ll arrest your ass and nobody’s going to come to your defense because being gay is just another societal deviance that only prison can cure.
But he does a much better job of explaining all that in the essay.
I have nothing new to add. For I am probably the exact opposite of this guy: I’m not gay, I’m not a refugee (can’t say though that the looming prospect of Trump Rule doesn’t me wonder if I’ll be able to say that in years to come) and I’m not Arabic. But you don’t have to be for your heart to break for him and wonder if how many lifetimes is Ahmed and his fellow LGBTQ community away from the love and acceptance that is still hard to come by even in progressive countries such as mine.
But like all written works of tragedy and human suffering, this essay has an element of hope at the end. “As a former refugee, I feel responsible to be a successful citizen here [in Canada]; not just for me but also for all other Syrian refugees, and all the LGBT refugees will come after me. I want to show Canadians and westerners that LGBT refugees, with the right support, can and will embrace their new home. I want to show that LGBT refugees can give back to the community that opens its arms for them. To do this, I need to be resilient. I need to be strong.”