Was Oman’s Late Sultan the ‘Only Gay Monarch’ in the World and Why Do People Care?

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01/12/2020

Although Sultan Qaboos’ sexuality has been open to question for decades, the recent death of the 79-year-old Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said on Friday night has re-ignited a conversation surrounding his life. Ruling Oman since 1970, Sultan Qaboos’ sexual identity has been has often been the subject of speculation, mainly because the Sultan had only one short childless marriage to his first cousin Nawal Bint Tariq. Over the last 40 years, rumors claimed that the Sultan was leading an openly gay life, without coming out publicly. Although never confirmed or supported by proof, details about Qaboos’ affairs with several men have often been discussed online. Even though many online commentators describe the Omani Sultan’s sexual identity as an ‘open secret’, homosexuality remains illegal in the conservative gulf Sultanate and is punishable by law.

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