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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > November 2016 > Chemsex


As LGBT+ rights progress in the UK and the US, it’s easy to forget that a large portion of the world is off-limits to us, and that there are countries where just being yourself can lead to arrest – or worse, death. Many of these countries exist within the Middle East, where countries including Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq criminalise homosexuality and restrict the rights of LGBT+ people to live freely.

Adding to the legal challenges faced by the LGBT+ communities in these countries is the threat of ISIS, who have spent the last few years publicly executing people due to the belief that they’re gay. There are some safe havens for the community, though, such as Tel Aviv, commonly referred to as the ‘gay capital’ of the Middle East, which holds one of the biggest annual Pride events each year.

Here, we speak to two LGBT+ activists, Khader and Khalid, who have grown up and experienced first-hand LGBT+ life in the Middle East, and American author Chivvis Moore, who spent several years living in various countries across the region with varying degrees of tolerance, and find out exactly how difficult it is living in a country where your sexuality could mean a death sentence.


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