This is the story of how all that I valued in life, all that I lived for, was one day, mercilessly taken from me, never to be returned.
I am a normal, average 22 year old who dared to love outside what society deemed normal. I dared to love another man. This was my crime, for which I must now mourn my love as I will never see him again.
I had met him during a trip to Dubai. He was an older man, in his 50’s, highly educated with a very suave demeanor. He was a local; owned several bookstores and taught English language and literature at a local university. Tall, very fit and with long, unruly salt and pepper hair, he was a vision, in his favorite flannel, scarves and loafers, a stark contrast from my jeans and T-shirt and one of the reasons why I was instantly attracted to him.
I met him one night and fell irrevocably in love with him 3 weeks later. Maybe it was his immaculate dress sense, his impeccable manners, his vast ocean of knowledge and wisdom or all of this combined, but I knew for a fact that I had finally found someone I could be happy with. I understood what true love really felt like, how it wraps you in its embrace and frees you from the chains holding you down. He showed me more of life in 3 months than I had learned in 21 years.
But alas, it was not to be. Fate betrayed me yet again, just as it always has. All my hopes and dreams for the future, a future with my man, were dashed and shattered into a million pieces.
The Middle-East is not known for its tolerance of gays. In fact, it is one of the worst places in the world to be anything other than strictly straight. And I learned this in the hardest, most cruel way possible. To save living costs, I was living with him within a week of meeting him. Eventually, everyone around us started noticing how close we were and word traveled fast.
As we were asleep, one particularly fine morning, we were awakened by a loud banging on our door. I had hardly cracked the door open when half a dozen men stormed in, grabbed hold of him and dragged him out.
I tried desperately to save him but to no avail. Everything I tried, just to be able to meet him for a minute, failed as the truth slowly started to sink in that I would never see him again.
Slowly I resigned myself to the fact that my love was lost forever, that it was never to be. But I wonder at how cruel the mindset that tore 2 lovers apart is. I wonder what the future of society is, when 2 people who love each other are forced to separate due to something as trivial as gender. Sadly, I may never get the answers to my questions.