“Asked whether he meant this figuratively, he responded, ‘No, I mean they would kill me.'” And Gay Rights activists in the West continue to focus on Christian Fundamentalists.
“Gay Muslims Pack a Dance Floor of Their Own,” by Nicholas Kulish for the New York Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
BERLIN “” Six men whirled faster and faster in the center of the nightclub, arms slung over one another’s shoulders, performing a traditional circle dance popular in Turkey and the Middle East. Nothing unusual given the German capital’s large Muslim population.
But most of the people filling the dance floor on Saturday at the club SO36 in the Kreuzberg neighborhood were gay, lesbian or bisexual, and of Turkish or Arab background. They were there for the monthly club night known as Gayhane, an all-too-rare opportunity to merge their immigrant cultures and their sexual identities.
European Muslims, so often portrayed one-dimensionally as rioters, honor killers or terrorists, live diverse lives, most of them trying to get by and to have a good time. That is more difficult if one is both Muslim and gay.
“When you”re here, it’s as if you”re putting on a mask, leaving the everyday outside and just having fun,” said a 22-year-old Turkish man who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear that he would be ostracized or worse if his family found out about his sexual orientation.
Safety and secrecy come up regularly when talking to guests, who laugh and dance, but also frequently look over their shoulders. To be a gay man or lesbian with an immigrant background invites trouble here in two very different ways.
“Depending on which part of Berlin I go to, in one I get punched in the mouth because I”m a foreigner and in the other because I”m a queen,” said Fatma Souad, the event’s organizer and master of ceremonies. Ms. Souad, 43, a transgender performer born in Ankara as a boy named Ali, has put on the party for over a decade.
Kader Balcik, a 22-year-old Turk from Hamburg, said: “For us, for Muslims, it’s extremely difficult. When you”re gay, you”re immediately cut off from the family.”
He had recently moved to Berlin not long after being cut off from his mother because he is bisexual. “A mother who wishes death for her son, what kind of mother is that?” he asked, his eyes momentarily filling with tears.
Hasan, a 21-year-old Arab man, sitting at a table in the club’s quieter adjoining cafe, declined to give his last name, saying: “They would kill me. My brothers would kill me.” Asked if he meant this figuratively, he responded, “No, I mean they would kill me.”…