My Bout With Homophobia at AUB

A couple of days ago, two friends and I decided to participate in a trivia night serving as a fundraiser for the Achrafieh blast victims. 27 teams participated, each made up of three people. A first round brought those teams down to ten and my team qualified. A second round brought those teams down to five and my team qualified again.

When it came to the last round, the questions were – to me at least – rather silly.The categories, in a jeopardy-like system, were: who made this (Macbook Pro, vPro processors, etc…), colors (black market, red lines, etc…), TV shows by cast (Michael C. Hall, Jim Parsons, etc…), 21st century hitmakers (who sings “Call Me Maybe?” Who sings “Teenage Dream?” etc…) and last but not least Glee Songs where they asked about some of songs sung on the show such as R.E.M’s Losing my Religion and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, among others.

My team knew the answers since last time I checked we don’t live under a rock. But it seems knowing the answer to who sings Teenage Dream and the title of the Journey song that has the lyric “Just a small town girl” is “gay” to some of the other participants who had their asses handed to them by us knowing basically everything.

So as we answered one question of useless pop culture after the other, the other team kept spitting derogatory terms at us. They guessed a Bruno Mars song so I looked at them sarcastically and asked: now how do you know that? Turns out that Bruno Mars song was a “straight” song.

Even songs have sexual orientations now. And they wouldn’t stop until one of my teammates threatened them to shut up. As we won the top prize and everyone congratulated us, they were not happy. “Law kenna 3erfin hal2ad lawtane ma kenna shtarakna” (If we had known it would be this gay, we wouldn’t have participated.)

The thing is though they would have known the answer if they actually had been fast enough to get a turn. After all, if someone didn’t know the character “Cosette” is found in “Les Miserables,” then that person is – at least to me – absolutely ignorant. The purpose of the whole night being a fundraiser seemed to have eluded them as well. But I know a few people who were shocked that such a thing would actually come out of AUB students, with the illusion of them being slightly more open minded than your average Lebanese.

As a former AUB student, I know how these students see themselves as the best of the best – being accepted at Lebanon’s version of “ivy league” makes them automatically better than anyone else. Now add the fact that these students are future physicians on top of that and you have an extra twist to the sense of elitism that they have – we are surely better than anyone else. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone.

It’s not like if they wouldn’t have known the answer to all the questions if they had put on Radio One for a few minutes this past summer. But I have to ask what would these obviously beyond mature future medical doctors do if they ever got a homosexual person to their practice? Would they shut them out just because they don’t agree with their lifestyle?

And this a specimen of Lebanon’s future doctors: homophobic people with an obvious lack of sportsmanship. So as they call my friends and I derogatory terms for beating them, we’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Assholes will forever be assholes. And this was the first time I’ve had homophobic slurs thrown at my face all my life which has gotten me thinking: what do gay people go through – at least in the medical field – just because they’re gay?

Then I remembered when an acquaintance who happens to be involved in the medical field said to me once: if I ever had a homosexual patient, I’d stop treating them. I asked: what if they die? The acquaintance replied: it would be for the better. That acquaintance was a nurse.

9 thoughts on “My Bout With Homophobia at AUB

  1. It’s so sad how many people out there judge others just for their race/ethnicity/sexual orientation…etc. I read the last part 3 times and I still can’t believe that anyone would say such a thing. “It would be for the better”. Didn’t you ask her in what way?

    Anyway, thanks for your post… =)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s