There are a lot of things in my life that I am proud of.
I am proud of the fact that I have been working since I
was 17 – okay, I work for my dad, but at least I don’t
wait for my allowance, I earn it. Concerning my
education, I am proud of what I was able to achieve;
although it is not much compared to others, I will get
there. I am proud of the way some people treat me and
respect me; it makes me happy.
I am proud to be gay,
I love it.
I am proud to be Lebanese.
I am proud to be a Muslim.
I am proud to be an Arab.
I know that everything I mentioned may apply to
thousands of people who are proud of the same things.
Nevertheless, I have to mention that I am particularly
proud of something which I wish I could share with more
people: I am proud to be a veiled lesbian from Lebanon.
I love the fact that I have worn it for the past 12
years, even though at one point I wished I didn’t have
it on, because we live in a country which expects you to
dress like a whore if you want to get a job. I reached a
point where I told myself that I might be more
successful out there especially in proving myself, if I
were without it. But with time, I grew older and
realized that if the job I’m going to get is because of
the way I look and dress then screw it. I want a job
where I can use my brain.
So yes, I am a
lesbian and I wear a veil. I’m not saying I’m very
religious; I just love God and respect some things in my
religion and yes I like to cover up. People sometimes
give me weird looks, as though I were an orphan or a
child whose doll were taken away from her. They think I
am oppressed. I hated it before, it annoyed me. What I
hated more and what annoyed me more was the way people
reacted when I was not covered like I usually am. I got
sick of it, so I came to the conclusion that I could
either listen, see and be affected, or just turn my back
and not care. Since I am this proud of my identity, I
think you know what I did; I stopped caring about what
people thought of my veil. It is mine; I am wearing it,
I love it and I am proud of it because the moment you
see me, it tells you a lot of things about me, including
some things that you may disagree with. It would tell
you I am Muslim, and because I am always out and hanging
wherever I am comfortable, it will show you that I am
not oppressed. Sometimes I wear my rainbow to show you I
am GAY and VEILED (a.k.a. “the oppressed little girl
that is not allowed to show her boobs and legs and wear
short cute summer dresses”). I don’t care because
without all of that, I would not have been able to prove
myself until now and let people notice me without
working on my hair and showing my body. So I have every
right to be proud of who I am…
So once, there I was with my friends watching After
Stonewall. Looking at gay activists on screen made
me lose myself in thoughts of how proud I was of what we
are doing in Meem, and the changes we are making.
Suddenly, there she was in one of the parades, a veiled
woman covered from head to toe, standing there. I don’t
know whether she was watching or working with them, but
she was there. She passed in front of my eyes; my
friends were right by me, cheering with me; I guess they
knew how proud and happy I felt at that moment. There
she was, a woman from the 90's in a gay pride parade…
And maybe soon, that will be me.
I am proud to be a veiled lesbian, and I am more proud
to feel it shown to everyone that veiled women have the
right to go with the flow of their sexual orientation.
Finally, as an afterthought, I just want to mention that
while writing this piece, I realized that I am blessed
with so many things. Therefore, I wish to formally
retract what I have been saying lately about not feeling
happy these days, because I am, and I should be.
I am happy and I am proud.