Gang #violence, death #threats and #police on dating apps: The brutal reality of being #LGBTQ+ in #Egypt

Laila, who is trans, shared stories of facing harsh abuse and persecution because she’s part of the LGBTQ+ community. (BBC) The LGBTQ+ community in Egypt is under attack from violent gangs and authorities, and a landmark documentary is detailing queer folks’ “relentless courage” in the face of “relentless oppression”. While homosexuality itself is not technically illegal in Egypt, queer people living in the African country face high levels of stigmatisation and discrimination.  Courts have convicted queer people – who are just living their lives, dating or engaging in same-sex activity – using “debauchery”, a sex work law. In 2020, Human Rights Watch detailed how Egyptian authorities “routinely pick people off the streets based solely on their gender expression, entrap them through social networking sites and dating applications, and unlawfully search their phones”.  This oppressive environment forces many queer people in Egypt to live silent, secret lives for fear they will be caught by authorities. Reporter Ahmed Shihab-Eldin met with members of the LGBTQ+ community who have been targeted by authorities and gangs, for a new BBC News investigation titled Queer Egypt Under Attack.  The journalist grew up in Egypt for almost a decade, and he tells PinkNews he’s “painfully aware” of the “pervasive homophobia and transphobia that permeate society” in the country.

via pinknews: Gang violence, death threats and police on dating apps: The brutal reality of being LGBTQ+ in Egypt

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