While the privileged gays in developed countries fight for surrogates and marriage, as a gay Palestinian living inside of Israel, we're still fighting for the acknowledgement of our nationality, our sexuality and the legitimate right to be called Palestinians while still holding Israeli citizenship.
We can ask for the world to think Beirut is as important as Paris, or for Facebook to add a "safety check" button for us to use daily, or for people to care about us. But the truth of the matter is, we are a people that doesn't care about itself to begin. We call it the new normal, but if this normality then let it go to hell.
Jack Shaheen, one of the world's foremost authorities on media images of Arabs and Muslims, is the author of the groundbreaking documentary film Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. His book Guilty: Hollywood's Verdict on Arabs after 9/11, was named the 2008 social sciences book of the year by Forward.
When a Hollywood superstar strives to help heal the world, just a little, I'm impressed. But when a movie star does it over and over again, uses her influence to create projects that help bridge the divide and help us understand "the other" we're so often afraid of, I can't help but call her a heroine.