Here in the West, religious fundamentalists like to try to “pray the gay away.” But apparently in the United Arab Emirates they think you can exfoliate the gay away.
In the above tutorial, ironically titled “Be Yourself,” some righteous young Muslim boys try to de-gay their friend by scrubbing him down, trimming his nails and giving him a haircut.
Hey, in New York you have to pay upwards of $300 for that kind of service!
Once in the villa’s living room, the effeminate man is told that he needs to change his personality. One of the traditional-dressed men asks: ‘will you change it or not?’ He replies ‘yes but how?’ And is told ‘leave it to us’.
They proceed to show the effeminate guy how to mimic masculine gestures. Later he is given a ‘make-over’ where his hands and face are almost violently scrubbed with scouring cloths, and then his nails and hair are cut. After the make-over the still effeminate guy gets a slap when he is about leave for saying ‘bye guys ’ in his high pitch voice, and given a tip: ‘Thicken your voice!’
So these guys take someone who looks and dresses like half the straight boys in America, clean his nails, cut his shaggy hair and stick him in a long flowing robe—and they think that’s de-gaying him? Cultural relativism sure is a bitch.
Pink News writer Daniel Littauer spoke with several gays and lesbians from the UAE about their reaction to the clip.
Ali, 25 year old law student from Dubai was outraged by the video. [He said,] “I was gutted at the confidence in the faces of the actors on the fact that they can treat homosexuality just like that.”
I want to address this “to all of those who think they can treat homosexuality by grooming, abusing and hurting: “Are you proud to be homophobic people? Leading people into an illusion that being gay is all about flapping your hands and having a girly voice?”
Penalties for homosexuality in the UAE vary but are uniformly severe: In Abu Dhabi—you know, that glamorous oasis Carrie and company visit in Sex and the City 2—you can land in jail for 14 years, or face flogging, deportation or worse. (Dubai’s practically permissive, with just a ten-year sentence.) Meanwhile the UAE penal code’s Article 354 allows for the death sentence to be meted out for consensual sodomy.
We hope President Obama and Secretary’s Clinton gay-rights agenda isn’t just relegated to sub-Saharan Africa.