Hasan Al-Akraa had a good life in Aleppo, Syria. His family owned a big house but the war changed all that. In 2011, they fled to Malaysia carrying only their clothing. Over the past 7 years he’s made a name for himself by helping others. He recently came out as gay and gave us permission to share this post from his personal Facebook page on our blog:
“I came out few days ago, and I don’t know how to feel about it. I received hundreds of love messages and support. I also received death threats and people wanting me to leave Malaysia. It’s not easy to come out especially when you are a public figure and many people consider you as an icon. I had to sacrifice my life to come out. This is life, we have to sacrifice for things that our hearts wants. I felt scared at first, so I hid my post.
Today, I felt I don’t have to hide my coming out post; why care what people say? If I ended up being beaten or killed, I know for sure I was killed with dignity and pride. To all my LGBT friends here, never ever feel scared. I know all these scary terrible things are happening around us, but remember why are you living; remember to have dignity and respect yourself no matter what.
I’m not here to claim myself as perfect. No one is perfect. I’m here to help others stand up on their feet and never give up on their lives.
Below is what I have posted, just for you guys to know the reason I came out. And please, please – if you need any help just let me know. I’m ready to help with anything I can.
“Yep, I’m gay!
For so many years I have been holding this secret. I came out to my parents when I was 15. My father beat me to death with big wood and iron. I was warded in hospital for 2 weeks. No one knows about this. Went through a lot of physical and emotional abuse.
I ran away from home. Lived in the streets and restaurants. I tried to commit suicide; first time I stood at the top of a high building; second time I tried to jump in a deep river; third time I tried to run into a highway; fourth time I tried to behead myself.
None of these worked, because every time I try to suicide, I remembered the people I love. I remembered my mother and my siblings. I remembered my dad. I remember my friends and relatives. Suicide was my only solution at that time.
No one was there for me; my parents did not give me a chance to talk. They did not listen to me. All I wanted at that time was someone to talk to. I was really scared. Scared of everything, even my own self. I was just 15. Yes, 15.
I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my sexual orientation. It was with me since I was a little kid, but I didn’t understand it.
I know there are so many youth who are LGBT out there and very scared like me. I’m scared, but not anymore. Today, I decided not to hide this anymore. I want to fight for our rights too. I want us to live a happy and peaceful life.
I don’t care what people will say about me; I don’t mind people calling me Kafir or fagot. I’m still a Muslim, in a peaceful way.
It’s okay if anyone of you don’t accept this; take your time to make a decision. I have made my decision to come out, and I’m crying really hard writing this.
It took me almost a day to think of writing this post and coming out to all of you. I’m just so tired of hiding myself. I just want to be happy and be myself.
It is enough – recently I have seen horrible things happening to the LGBT community, this has to stop. The reason I decided to come out is to help other gay youth. I went through this and it’s not easy at all. They need our help.
Please don’t comment or message me anything negative or anything against me; all you have to do is just go to my profile and click on the unfriend, unfollow or block. I don’t mind; I totally understand your opinion against me being gay.
And if you wish to still be my friend and continue to support me and my social work, I really respect and admire that!
I’m so sorry, I can’t hide this anymore. Please understand my situation.” #PersonalStories
Learn more about Hasan by clicking here.
Edited by Charles Chan Massey, PSP Executive Director