Study abroad middle east: gayness?

  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Apr 12, 2010 6:19 AM GMT
    I'm leaving for Jordan in about six weeks for a study abroad lasting until the end of december. I'm curious if there are any Arabs or Israelis on here who are familiar with the region and could tell me how gayness is handled in Jordan. This is one of the issues I'm most nervous about since I know being gay in the Middle East is a slippery slope topic.
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    Apr 12, 2010 7:05 AM GMT
    I don't know much about Jordan but I think they are more relaxed on gay issues. Homosexuality is not illegal, but it is still taboo and something kept private. If you somehow make it over to Israel, go to Tel Aviv. It's as liberal as San Fan/New York (if not more) regarding homosexuality. Jerusalem, though closer to Jordan, is pretty conservative (full of Orthodox Jew freaks among many other scary people).
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    Apr 12, 2010 1:46 PM GMT
    Don't know Jordan's laws, but you should be careful there either way - you're white and gay. You'll be looked down on - a lot.

    Don't be worried, things shouldn't be any worse than you make them and you can have a REALLY good time. Just don't flaunt your gayness - and especially not your "Ignorant white-ness" -which is how they'll see you.

    People make the area sound DEADLY, it's not - it can be a LOT of fun. But you do need to understand things work differently on that end of the world. You're not in the west anymore and you need to respect the culture and customs.
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    Apr 12, 2010 2:17 PM GMT
    As a study abroad professional, I will tell you the same thing I tell to any openly GLBTQ student planning to study abroad: Regardless of what country you are in, its political leanings, its social norms, not all PEOPLE of a nation are open-minded (or closed-minded) on the issue of gender and sexuality. Hence it's important not to generalize a society based solely on what you have heard or read about it with regard to issues of gender and sexuality. This doesn't mean you need to go back into the closet or that you have to abide by a "don't ask/don't tell" policy while overseas in a place taht is reportedly very socially conservative. What it does mean is that you need to be vigilant about the people around you, your surroundings, and the kinds of interactions you have and see others having for a while before you disclose yourself. Use your discretion and your own sense of good judgement and timing.



    Have an awesome time abroad!
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    Apr 12, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    What the other guys said is great advice. The only thing I would add is that in your quest not to seem the ugly, ignorant American try to learn as much Arabic as you can, specifically the dialect they speak in Jordan (though standard Arabic, like spoken in news programs etc, would be good). The more of an effort you make to get to know the people and their culture, and taking the time to try to speak to them in their language goes a very long way.

    Also keep your head on a swivel for pickpockets and the like. You seem like a very nice guy and also like an easy target to have a wallet stolen from.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Apr 12, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    wow man, of all places, you choose jordan? any particular reasoning behind this choice?
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    Apr 12, 2010 2:34 PM GMT
    Jordan? I think you're crazy.

    I'd be keeping that shit in your pants if I were you. Wear blinders at all times. Get in, do what you have to do, then get out.

    Godspeed and good luck.
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:11 PM GMT
    reppaT saidJordan? I think you're crazy.

    I'd be keeping that shit in your pants if I were you. Wear blinders at all times. Get in, do what you have to do, then get out.

    Godspeed and good luck.


    Dude, that's a pretty fucking dumb statement.

    Exactly the "white (American) ignorance" that pisses people off. You obviously have no clue about any country in the world cause you've never been outside your own.

    Most countries that you think are "scary" are actually pretty normal, managable, liveable countries. I know cause I lived in a bunch of "scary" countries. They're just different from the US. Surprise, the US is different from most other countries in the world. And at the same time, you'd be surprised how much countries, people, cities actually function the same all over the world regardless of customs or culture.

    Walking the streets of Amman at night will probably be safer than walking a lot of American cities at night.

    So get your head out of your fat American ass and fucking look around.


    and P.S. I'm pretty sure "godspeed" is not the way you spell it lol
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godspeed

    icon_rolleyes.gif LOL

    And have you ever been to the Middle East? Well, I have, and I'm not far from the mark, so before you go spewing ignorance ... that's what the block function is good for. Goodbye.

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    Apr 12, 2010 4:19 PM GMT
    Off topic- reppaT is most assuredly NOT fat... icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    reppaT saidhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godspeed

    icon_rolleyes.gif LOL

    And have you ever been to the Middle East? Well, I have, and I'm not far from the mark, so before you go spewing ignorance ... well, that's what the block function is good for. Goodbye.




    Thats a lot of meanings for "Godspeed". Whatever, off topic.

    And yes I've been to the area. You probably had some bad experiences. Or you behaved in a way that pissed off the locals. At the end of the day, if I'd have to live in either Amman or some town in some fly over state, I'd pick Amman.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Apr 12, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    Just returned from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I've no real feel for Jordan, however, from what Israelis tell me, Jordan is much more progressive than the rest of the Arab world. Amman is cosmopolitan and people enjoy a liberal lifestyle there, but just keep your PDAs to a minimum. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem-- well, we all know that TLV is a gay mecca, but Jerusalem, surprisingly, seemed very accepting as well. I spent 95% of my time in Jerusalem holding hands in public with my Israeli boyfriend, and I felt more comfortable there than I would in most of New York City.
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:28 PM GMT
    danisnotstr8 saidJust returned from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I've no real feel for Jordan, however, from what Israelis tell me, Jordan is much more progressive than the rest of the Arab world. Amman is cosmopolitan and people enjoy a liberal lifestyle there, but just keep your PDAs to a minimum. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem-- well, we all know that TLV is a gay mecca, but Jerusalem, surprisingly, seemed very accepting as well. I spent 95% of my time in Jerusalem holding hands in public with my Israeli boyfriend, and I felt more comfortable there than I would in most of New York City.


    Yes, I've been to Israel a couple of times, myself. It is completely accepting of gays. I've never felt uncomfortable there, but the rest of the Middle East is too hit or miss. It's easy to make a sweeping generalization like that when addressing Arab countries. Anybody saying Oman, Yemen, etc. are gay friendly is in denial.
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
    Jordan is probably better than any of its Arab neighbors in this regard.
    http://www.globalgayz.com/country/Jordan/view/JOR/observations-of-gay-jordan

    If you really want to let down your hair, though, head to Tel Aviv.

    Across the bay from Aquaba is Eilat, which is also gay friendly:
    http://www.glbt.org.il/tourisemContentItems.php?sectionID=708&parentID=674

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    Apr 12, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    Haifa's a great gay-friendly place to visit, too.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Apr 12, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    middle-eastern guys can be MOST appealing, in a dark, intense & hairy kind of way.
    ohh yehhhh! icon_cool.gif
  • ATLANTIS7

    Posts: 1213

    Apr 12, 2010 4:44 PM GMT
    You will love Jordan and the Arabs are always friendly!
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    Apr 12, 2010 4:56 PM GMT
    reppaT saidHaifa's a great gay-friendly place to visit, too.

    The beaches are much better than Tel Aviv's, too.

    http://www.glbt.org.il/tourisemContentItems.php?sectionID=704&parentID=674
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Apr 12, 2010 4:59 PM GMT
    forgive my Anatomy Igonormance..but...are mid-eartern guys apt to be more or less uncut than American guys? icon_confused.gif
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    Apr 12, 2010 5:12 PM GMT
    Most Muslims, like virtually all Jews, are circumcised.
    I believe most Arab Christians are, too.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Apr 12, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
    Hunter9 saidwow man, of all places, you choose jordan? any particular reasoning behind this choice?


    1)Because I've been taking arabic for three years.
    2) Because everyone goes to Italy and Australia. I wanted something different.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Apr 12, 2010 5:18 PM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidMost Muslims, like virtually all Jews, are circumcised.
    I believe most Arab Christians are, too.
    bummer icon_sad.gif
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    Apr 12, 2010 5:23 PM GMT
    I studied abroad in Japan, which isn't quite relevant, but no matter where you study, just get a feel for how people act in regards to sex and affection in general.

    For example, in Japan you don't kiss in public. You don't act very affectionate period in public. Gayness is very under the radar though you do see couples once in a while. It's just not as obnoxiously OUT as some places are.

    I think as long as you don't walk around proclaiming how gay you are, that's fine. If people assume, they will be polite and not say anything and there will be no problem. Tell your close friends and make sure you're friendly with the people in your program. They'll be a great source for venting and loose therapy when Jordan gets to you icon_smile.gif

    Have a safe flight and have an AWESOME time!
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Apr 12, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    I'm also just expecting that if any local expects I'm gay (which some just might because I don't ever talk about how hot girls are, which seems to be a universal male conversation topic lol), I'm hoping they'll just write it off to cultural differences and language issues, i'm glad i have those smoke screens going for me icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 12, 2010 5:40 PM GMT
    Ricky Martin liked it.

    My Lebanese friend visited Amman recently has become gayer than Beirut. Of course that's anecdotal evidence, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Look for Abdoun if you have time, most high-end district and where the nightlife is at. Always remember to use common sense.