Homophobia in Tunisia: People Hate Gays Because of What Straight People Do!

By Rahma Sghaier

Rahma Sghaier, 19 years old straight girl. She’s a political and judicial sciences student who cares about Human Rights. In her article contribution, Rahma explores from a personal experience the different reasons behind homophobia in Tunisia.  

Homophobia in Tunisia is a very common unhealthy attitude. Unlike many people think, homophobia is due to various factors besides the religious one. It’s out of question today, as it always has been, to talk in public about gay rights.

Recently, bringing this cause to the political speeches, which is very rare, is seen as an immoral act; overly loathed and misunderstood. I can spend hours talking about the reasons of people’s intolerance. But I am here today to talk about a personal experience.

I spoke about the gay matter 5 times tops, it’s not really one of the favorite topics here… People I spoke to, mentioned “Any way, it’s a sin” as their last argument to end the discussion.

I was surprised to hear numerous arguments which are about the conducts of psychologically-disturbed persons or non-gay people. Some of them mentioned rape as the main reason why they despise homos.

I heard some stories as “you know they rape young boys” “they are a bunch of sexually-obsessed freaks”. Hold on, are they really talking about the right subject? Yes, many people here don’t know the difference between pedophiles and gays.

Other arguments were like “Men sleep with each other just for fun; in the end they will marry a woman”. First, they blindly think that being gay is all about the sex. They don’t believe that they can have other relationships, love or be committed to each other. Second, they forgot that some straight people are unfaithful; as well we can’t have all gays faithful and monogamous.

Moreover, it seems that those homophobic people don’t know that men who are willingly with men then with women are not gay; they are bi and this is another subject…  In fact, the unfortunate reason why “real gays” marry women in Tunisia is HOMOPHOBIA; the homophobic family and the intolerant society.

To sum up, people hate gays because of what non-gay people do! Back to facts, There is no convenient ways to do a “coming out” in Tunisia. Gays or suspected to be gay-persons are bullied in high-schools, called names and even beaten up. When they grow up, they are considered dangerous and corrupted men. They are marginalized and insulted daily. Being what they are is yet penalized in the Tunisian legislation. It’s difficult to find jobs and most of them end up to be desperate and suicidal.

5 Responses to “Homophobia in Tunisia: People Hate Gays Because of What Straight People Do!”
  1. Ouss172 says:

    When a man counts on another to do some favor for him, like:”call me when you decide to go, I’ll go with you” or “Could you help me in this stuff” or “borrow some stuff”, and he doesn’t do that favor, he’ll be called as gay, as if he fu**ed him in the back… It’s a whole insult !!

  2. Aicha says:

    The hole situation seems complicated
    But what is very clear for me is That those gays or bi or wherever their names were are human beings who
    Have the right to be respected even if they are deferent of us.
    One other thing That we need to be sure of is if what these people do is a sin or not it s not our role or duty to punish them or judje them but it s just the opposit we need to be grateful because

  3. Theo says:

    I am lucky to live in Scandinavia where discrimination of gay people is illegal and socially unacceptable. I have a Tunisian friend who describes the public threats, insults and violence he endures daily. It’s difficult to understand but I always come to the same conclusion. The rule of fundamentalist religion over law and the oppression this creates in their society appears to be at the center of the problem. Until there are religious reforms in Tunisia true progress in equal rights is unlikely in the near future.

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