Thursday, November 23, 2017

Interview with Omar Sharif Jr.

In 2012, Omar Sharif Jr., the actor, media personality and campaigner used his public profile to come out as both gay and half Jewish, through a poignant letter in Advocate magazine. On its own, coming out in his native Egypt takes an immense amount of courage. Homosexuality isn’t specifically outlawed, but there are morality laws in place, carrying a sentence of up to 17 years in prison and, in recent years, the LGBT+ community has been the target of a fierce state-sponsored crackdown. Fearing persecution if he stayed, “Egypt’s favourite son” (as he was often called) was forced to leave Cairo and seek sanctuary in America. It would have been easy to retreat into the safe, relative obscurity his new home offered, but instead he recognized his platform and used it. Last year, he made more history by becoming the first openly gay man to discuss his sexuality on an Arabic news program. Not only was it his first appearance on Arabic TV, it was probably the first time many of those watching would have heard directly from a gay man. MORE

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