LGBTQ Arabs Fear Backlash After World Cup ‘Spotlight’

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11/29/2022

With rainbow flags and “OneLove” armbands, World Cup fans have protested against host Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ policies, but many queer Arabs fear a Western solidarity push could do more harm than good. Gestures in support of the local LGBTQ community have unleashed a torrent of homophobia, activists and community members say, creating new risks for people who have long relied on discretion to survive. “It’s not great to live in the shadow, but it’s also not great to live under a spotlight,” said a 32-year-old entrepreneur from neighbouring Gulf nation Bahrain, who requested anonymity for safety concerns.

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