Saudi Arabia’s LGBT + Community – The Athletic

Faisal arrived at the family home and his father once again asked him why he refused to marry a woman. He was no longer a teenager, and in Saudi Arabia men are expected to settle down, marry and have children.

Yet Faisal, as a locked-in homosexual, delayed. His father, described by his son as a “mighty man” in the local community, had friends in useful places. He got in touch with a psychiatrist, who Faisal said usually worked at a public hospital specializing in the treatment of mental illness and drug addiction.

Faisal alleges that his father asked one of the specialists at the hospital to befriend his son. He asked the doctor to take on the challenge of “determining” why his son had refused to marry. He suspected that his son might be gay. The medical professional came to the family home, where Faisal finally revealed his sexuality.

At the family home, the “treatment” began. “Torture” is a strong and loaded word, but this is how Faisal describes the process of attempting conversion therapy. The methods inflicted on “patients” are physically vicious and psychologically cruel.

“These were the psychiatrist’s tactics to defeat my inner gay demon,” he said sarcastically.

The psychiatrist began by asking Faisal to watch gay porn and masturbate. The catch, however, is that Faisal has been ordered to multitask; specifically by vomiting at the time of ejaculation. “When I was physically unable to vomit, the doctor suggested associating gay pornography with videos of people vomiting. He also provided me with a pill that made me vomit almost instantly. His idea was that I would come to associate homosexual attraction with vomit. Just having this conversation now makes me sick. I feel like I’m still traumatized.

Faisal is one of the lucky ones. He escaped.


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