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This article was published on February 19, 2008


    Gay Africans and Arabs embrace blogging

    Gay Africans and Arabs embrace blogging
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    Yesterday, Reuters published an article that provides another interesting view on the advantages of blogging. Editors Andrew Dobbie and Sara Ledwith have interviewed several gay Africans and Arabs about how blogs allow them to discuss and describe what they have to hide in daily life. As homosexual acts are illegal in most countries in Africa and the Middle East. Some leaders, like President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even deny the existence of gays.

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    “If you haven’t heard or seen any gays in Sudan then allow me to tell you ‘You Don’t live In The Real World then,'” Sudanese blogger Ali wrote in a message to other Sudanese bloggers on his blog Black Gay Arab. The blogging scene have become one of the safes ways for suppressed men like Ali to meet. Gug, writer behind the blog GayUganda, told Reuters that he ‘looked around for others until I found others’. Gug: “Oh yes, I do love the Internet, and I guess it is a tool that has made us gay Ugandans and Africans get out of our villages and realize that the parish priest’s homophobia is not universal opinion. Surprise, surprise!”

    This blog was created to allow access to the psyche of me, who represents the thousands of us who are unrepresented

    Next to supportive comments, the gay bloggers also receive hostile messages. Yet they keep up their diaries and news blogs, proving to their fellow citizens that African and Arab gays do exist. As a Kenyan man says on Ali’s blog: “The Kenyan gay man is a myth and you may never meet one in your lifetime. However, I and many others like me do exist; just not openly. This blog was created to allow access to the psyche of me, who represents the thousands of us who are unrepresented.”

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