“I feel love with such strong feelings…” All of which sound within normal limits for an active young gay person in a randy and random gay world (real and virtual) with no role models or guiding mature peers.
Despite the early hopes of the Tunisian political revolution of 2011 subsequent elections brought an Islamist party to majority power due mostly to the secularists splintering into separate parties and unable to unite. More than one gay person believes the former authoritarian government was at least more tolerant of LGBT citizens than the present one.
One said the ousted president Ben Ali was privately tolerant of LGBT people as long as they didn’t get involved in politics.
Ari readily admits that he is easily urged to love and passion by his heart: “First by my heart, then my cock then my brain is last,” he said laughing.
Such impulses lead him to slippery feelings for other men, with shallow judgments and intense desires.
He is from a well to-do family who know he is gay and are accepting of him although it’s mostly dealt with by silence: don’t-ask-don’t-tell. All his friends know he is gay and he has no difficulty finding dates when he’s not putting long hours in at school.
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Currently he is dating a French telecom technician whom he met online at Manhunt.com, the major gay dating site in Europe and Africa. There was no problem because I think I was born gay and my cousin showed me that.
His major complaint is having to hide his truth and feeling negatively judged by society.
“Guys talk about girls all the time and are frustrated because society says no sex before marriage.
Discovering one’s gay self in Tunisia is an uneven and unclear path especially when living singly without a community or tolerant society.
On the other hand, neither he is socially isolated.