LGBT activists in the United Arab Emirates are fighting back against the country’s reliance on ex-gay therapy and hormonal treatments to “cure” homosexuals with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for nations around the world to treat gay rights as human rights. The latest ex-gay push in the UAE appeared in the form of a six-minute video tutorial, titled “Be Yourself,” in which masculine men are shown transforming an effeminate man by teaching him masculine gestures, cutting his nails and hair, and lowering his voice. Watch the clip:
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual Rights UAE penned a letter “detailing the continued persecution facing the gay and lesbian community in the Gulf emirate,” in December. UAE law bans “obscenity and homosexual activity” and suspected gays and lesbians can be imprisoned for up to 14 years, receive the death sentence for “consensual sodomy” or be subject “to a medical procedure with no scientific basis, just for expressing their innate, human tendencies that are protected under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the letter notes. It goes on to quote from Clinton’s landmark speech on LGBT rights before the U.N.: “On December 6th, 2011, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton pointed out a fact that has been confirmed by a vast majority of the international, scientific community: ‘Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality.’ She further articulated how ‘gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world.’”
The group’s founder, Abdullah, has condemned the video, noting, “It angers me no end, but it also saddens me, this video would have been devastating if my 16-year-old self had watched it.” The video “brought flashbacks to me how on endless hot Friday afternoons I was forced to observe how men interact, or how they drink coffee by my father, so that I should emulate to make him proud,” he said.