Judgement is a powerful emotion. It can fuel a rage that is uncontainable, causing a plethora of disastrous outcomes. We have seen judgement since the dawn of time, whether it’s from the thoughts we have about the Earth being flat, religion being the reigning rule while science means nothing, or that the pigment in our skin determines whether we are better than someone else.
We are all equal, and in the 21st century, we would think that we could unite as one to understand such a concept, but we are still targeting specific types of groups and creating an undeniable fear. It is with a heavy heart that this judgement and instilled fear in others goes long past the coast of North America, but into Egypt as well; they are imprisoning their citizens for being homosexual.
According to Human Rights Watch, “since September 22, 2017 at least 43 arrests under Egypt’s abusive laws that outlaw ‘debauchery’ and ‘incitement to debauchery’” have been made.
According to The Guardian, “Homosexuality is not illegal under Egyptian law, but homosexual acts in public are illegal.” So in other words, if you were to hold your significant other’s hand while walking down the street you should be prepared for a prison sentence.
How can a country let you be who you are, but arrest you for it at the same time? Well, it’s simple: in 1960 a law was passed to combat prostitution, it is simply known as Law 10. According to Human Rights Watch, someone who commits an act that defies this law is “sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than one year and not more than three years.”
Then again times change, therefore people become more fearful, causing them to make more drastic countermeasures. For instance, according to USA Today, “an Egyptian lawmaker introduced a bill this month to lengthen prison sentences for gay people from a maximum of three years to 25 years, alleging that there has been a recent increase in lesbian relationships.”
The insanity of being locked away for 25 years of your life for homosexual acts in public is absolutely ridiculous, when behind closed doors it’s perfectly legal. This brings about a whole new meaning to the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind.”
In an interview with the LA Times, a young, gay Egyptian man named Mostafa said, “The problem is that no one can tell the limit of this crackdown and how far it might go. There was an incredible amount of hate speech by the media and by people on social media. Everyone I know is depressed and fearful.” This fear of simply being yourself, doing what makes you happy and proud is atrocious. To have to close a door and be confined by four walls. To ensure that all windows are tightly shut and doors have been locked not once but twice, so that you may live your life, has halted some people completely.
According to The Guardian, “many in the community had shut down their social media accounts fearing they could be used by the authorities to target them.”
In this day and age we are still forced to be someone that we are not. Some of us have it easier than others by only having to worry about living up to the expectations of our parents. Others must hide behind a very well constructed persona to keep from being imprisoned or worse: executed for being the simplest of all - yourself.