The United Arab Emirates (UAE) LGBT group released an animated video featuring a personal story of growing up gay in Emirates and calling for a dialogue with the country’s government.
The video, released today (11 September), entitled 'Let's talk', tells the story of a gay boy who grows up in a society that sees him as a sinner and immoral, which leave a profound effect on his self-esteem which he said led him even to several suicide attempts.
The story is one with which many LGBT people growing up in the UAE can identify with.
In reality the video narrates the personal growing up story of Abdulla, the founder of the group, who faced many difficulties due to the hostile environment he found while group up gay in the UAE.
As a teenager, Abdulla felt alone and that he had no place for himself or his dreams because of his difference.
The video highlights then mentions universal declaration of human rights as a basis to move forward both in terms of the UAE’s treatment of its LGBT citizens as well as finding humanity, compassion and dialogue.
The animator of the video prefers to remain anonymous.
Following the release of the animated video, some of the members of the group spoke with Gay Star News.
Abdulla, the founder and chair of the group told GSN: ’The video is a response of sorts to the homophobic gay cure video that was released a while back, it showcases my personal struggle when I was growing up and identifying as gay man in a conservative Emarati society.
‘The message is an honest call for reasonable dialogue, it's a call to drop the name calling and hurtful campaigns that almost drove me (and other teens) to suicide, it is a message of hope to the community in that they are not alone, our demand is straightforward: let’s talk, because the future of our country lies on being able to talk about issues and working together to resolve them.’
Nasira, a 30 year old lesbian who is the managing director of the group stated: ‘Change can begin with a simple promise. A promise, that despite our political, cultural, educational and geographical differences we can draw from one other. Understand the values that each human being holds as a citizen of this world.
‘A promise that we will learn from our past atrocities and hurt; so we can move together to make our world a better place for us and our children. A promise that even when the cries and sorrow seem at times too loud, we will whisper to each other in the darkness, finding comfort in knowing that we did our best to understand, accept and respect each other as fellow human beings.’