Transgender beauty influencer Sofia Taloni (aka Naofal Moussa) encouraged people in her home country of Morocco to create fake profiles on gay dating apps and out closeted men in their communities. Now, at least one of those men has died by suicide, and Taloni couldn’t care less.
Quick backstory: Speaking to her 627,000 followers on Instagram earlier this month, Taloni instructed people to create fake profiles and identify themselves as “bottoms” to make themselves more appealing to closeted men. After collecting their pics, she told them to circulate the images on Facebook to try and learn their identities. As a result, gay dating apps in Morocco were flooded with new users.
Now, reporter Hicham Tahir reports on Twitter that a friend of a friend took his own life after having his identity published at Taloni’s direction. The 21-year-old had been studying in France but returned to Morocco to stay with his family during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mon ami parlant de lui "He was a wonderful person"
Les victimes d'homophobie au Maroc, ont maintenant un nom.
Et la loi, continue à être complice avec son article 489.
— Hicham Tahir (@HichamTahir) April 17, 2020
In Morocco, homosexuality is punishable with up to three years in prison. LGBTQ people have no legal protections and are often subjected to harassment and physical violence.
After posting the video, Taloni has her Instagram account suspended. Now, in an interview with The Moroccan Times, she says she sorta “feels bad” about what happened but she ultimately doesn’t regret it.
“In all honesty, I did not want to out them, but they started this war,” she quips. “The Moroccan gay community shared my profile on many Facebook groups and were encouraging people to report me so that my account gets deactivated.”
She adds, “They were outing me, out of jealously, because I am successful on various social media platforms and Moroccans started sympathizing with me. They put my life at risk.”
Taloni says that she “feels bad” for outed LGBTQ people who were just “living their lives normally” and “did nothing against me,” but “the other ones that reported me, I have no regrets whatsoever.”