Global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists have slammed a YouTube video produced in the United Arab Emirates which allegedly depicts how gay men can be cured of their sexuality.
Ironically titled "Be Yourself," the video itself is unfortunately not subtitled, but appears to show a long-haired, effeminate-acting gay man being given a "straight" makeover by two men in traditional Emirati garb. The two men trim the gay man's fingernails, cut his hair and scrub his face with soap.
In the final scene, the men re-group, with the now "butch"-looking man less distinguishable among the crowd. As Pink News notes, his friends seem happy and proud of what they did and finish by thanking Allah, who helped bring about the "change."
The publication also spoke with several UAE-based LGBT rights advocates, who universally slammed the video's message. "It angers me no end, but it also saddens me," Abdullah, the 24-year-old founder of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights UAE, noted. "This video would have been devastating if my 16-year-old self had watched it...I can still hear echoes in my mind of mom yelling at me no to flail my hand too much when I speak, which only lead to me being robotic and stiff, feeling I must keep both hands down when I speak, something that took a long time to get over."