BEIRUT, Lebanon—We were filming an interview on a Beirut street with Youssef, a 21-year-old Lebanese man from a conservative Shia family.
A car slowed down. “Foufou!” the driver screamed in our direction.
“He called you foufou?” I asked. “Yes,” Youssef answered. “Foufou means ‘fag.’”
Youssef then told me that when he came out to his family, two of his brothers kidnapped him at gunpoint and held him hostage in the family home for weeks. “It was their honor in the garbage,” he said.
Youssef is a rarity in the Middle East. He is openly gay and says he doesn’t care who knows it.