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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 21, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 25
Not-so-sweet tweets - Egyptians fight homophobia on social media
Section One
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Not-so-sweet tweets - Egyptians fight homophobia on social media

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A recent Facebook event, created by an Egyptian named Ramy Youssef, sparked a heated Twitter discussion about LGBT rights in Egypt, according to posts on the website Global Voices.

'I invite you to an electronic campaign, including comment on homophobic posts in these pages, and tweeting, and posting on social media websites,' Youssef wrote on his Facebook page.

'We should say what do we think frankly about homophobia, say NO, express, oppose, get angry - this is the time for movement against homophobia.'

According to Youssef, a recent social media trend is 'Crushes' pages, where students express their feelings for others. Some began posting feelings for people of the same sex, drawing numerous homophobic slurs.

'The hashtag #AgainstHomophobia [rendered in Arabic] attracted many supporters and opponents as well,' Global Voices reports. Global Voices is a collective of activists who track, translate, and publish social media posts on current events.

WHO'S THE PERVERT HERE?
'You know what's the problem with the attackers?' someone identified only as Nadim asked. 'They don't vehemently attack extremists that live in blood, murder, and rape as much as they attack people who love each other in a different way. Who's the pervert here?'

'Because in reality, you're worried for your fragile masculinity and you're not against the concept itself,' Salma El Tarzi charged. 'The evidence is some men are excited by the idea of two women together but disgusted by the idea of two men.'

'Against homophobia, because those obsessed with rejecting anyone who's not like them, and obsessed that they're responsible for people and their choices have an issue with themselves, not with others.' Mona Sadek wrote.

'Against homophobia, so that a Gay person can declare their sexual orientation and lead a normal life, with[out] getting involved in a [heterosexual] marriage against their will and creat[ing] a broken family.'

'It's not a phobia, those are sons of bitches that don't believe in the freedom of a person in their choices and their body in the name of society or morality or religion. Screw you!' Maie Panaga wrote.

'It's a sin,' this means you're interfering with the two most personal relationships for people: their relationship with God and their relationship in bed,' Amr Jamil said.

'Because simply everyone has the right to 'cum' the way they like to,' Gharebon said flatly.

GRAFFITI REPURPOSED
Leil-Zahra Mortada posted a before-and-after photo of homophobic graffiti that was remade by some activists into an anti-homophobic message.

The graffiti originally read 'Cops are fags,' intended as an insult to Egyptian police who have been widely criticized for their brutal use of force against protesters.

After being retouched, however, the graffiti reads 'Homophobia is not revolutionary.'

Part of the comment attached to the photo reads:

'You won't believe how much the regime that we all fight against is based on a patriarchal idea that hates Gays like you. We all don't want to curse the regime only but also burn it down but don't use women, Lesbians and Gays, sex workers, belly dancers, because it's sexual discrimination and it's not revolutionary. This is an insult to your revolutionary comrades who stand with you in the face of a murderous regime. This is called chauvinistic lowness and backward thinking. The same mentality that we want to change and build a better society in its place. The same thinking that kills us.'

The #AgainstHomophobia hashtag operated for more than 24 hours, Global Voices reports, and attracted a number of angry, homophobic posts as well as progressive ones.

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