Now, we, the amazing gay men, tend to be divas at certain points. Even those who say they despise divas and drama still enjoy the company of divas and drama queens; it’s quite amusing sometimes. For a while, I was nothing but a diva with a laptop, doing nothing but following the news, trying to keep the slightest amount of memories about the days of real freedom during the first days of the Syrian uprising.
It was not that easy to leave Syria the way I did. Once I arrived to Istanbul, Syrian mukhabarat started arresting my friends one by one. I was lucky, but some of them were not. Bad news kept coming in, and my fear of violent resistance started to materialize. Some fighters, who had previously defected, started calling themselves Free Syrian Army, FSA. The media picked up on that; nonviolence is boring, while war and clashes sell better. Fucked up racists bigots, such as the Saudis and the Qataris, started promoting the fighters as the only solution towards “the liberated Syria”. For six months of nonviolence, the media coverage was only interested in the number of casualties, while the brave courageous movements were completely ignored, the arrests were completely ignored, and the real young nonviolent activists were also ignored.
All the media focus was directed towards the new heroes, and some idiots working on some Facebook pages started channeling everything towards the FSA. To me back then, and even now, FSA is nothing but an idea. How can you call a group of tens of people an army? How can anyone call unconnected groups of fighters an army? Yet, I, like many others, were forced to use the term FSA when we talk about them, the new trend just overshadowed every cry for nonviolent we had.
I saw the work many of friends had strived to do being demolished; all the risks they were still undertaking were being marginalized. Syria was being pushed towards a war between an army that was only being trained for the sole purpose of protecting the Baath nation, and some groups of dreamers whose knowledge of politics equals my knowledge of a vagina.
This is how I was feeling but was not able to express back then. It was all due to the post-traumatic stress disorder I was going through. I was not ever able to sleep; I only fainted of exhaustion. I used to wake up with headaches, fears, and images of my friends flashing before my eyes. I used to turn on my laptop even before I started making coffee, and used to light up a cigarette after another without having something to eat, but, I was not able to afford eating and smoking every day as well, cigarettes were more important to me. I was in a complete mess, but it was a diva’s mess.
I was never coherent, and I still sometimes drift away with my thoughts even in the middle of serious conversations. I started blabbing and acting like a different person. I cannot know, even now, what was going in that messed up head of mine; crazy thoughts, ridiculous ideas, and total insanity sometimes. Nothing seemed to be working right for me, and at the same time, the uncertainty of the future added more to my struggle.
I tried to make friends in Turkey but the language was always a barrier. Even when it was not, I never connected well to Turks. Only the gay Turks were eligible for friendship, as gay men all over the world have more in common than anyone can imagine. However, even those were not easy to be friends with. Turks, no matter how they struggle to prove otherwise, are still living with Islamic mentality; a Middle Eastern one, which is unfortunate for the rest of the Middle East, because here drama queens become drama sultanas, outranking any other bullshit that anyone can possibly know of, but that’s another story, for another post.