Tag Archives: Festival Chéries-Chéris Paris

In conversation with Mahmoud Hassino

“I don’t see myself as a gay refugee”

These are the words Mahmoud Hassino casually remarks just minutes into our conversation. Oscar and I look quizzical: this is the man who’s made a name for himself by founding the first gay Syrian blog Mawaleh, starring in the documentary Mr Gay Syria, and fighting tirelessly for LGBT and refugee rights. How is it, then, that he can so easily shed the term ‘gay’ when that forms such a significant basis for the activism upon which his right to asylum rests? The answer is that this is not a denial of gay identity, but an empowered decision choose one’s own labels, rather than have them imposed: “homosexuality is just some thing, some part of my identity… we have many ways of introducing ourselves; I can say a journalist or blogger or writer. Sometimes you choose something that is more necessary.” Continue reading In conversation with Mahmoud Hassino