This Is What It’s Like To Be An LGBT Syrian Fleeing For Your Life

On Oct 22, 2015 BuzzFeed News reported: LGBT refugees from across the Middle East flock to Turkey, escaping Islamist militias, sexual assault, and death threats. But what they find there leaves many in despair. J. Lester Feder reports for BuzzFeed News.

ISTANBUL — M was standing at a bus stop on the outskirts of Damascus when a group of armed men pulled up in a car and ordered her to get in.

M wears thick-framed glasses and her black hair cut just above the ear. She stood out in a largely devout neighborhood where most women wore headscarves, making her a target that day in July 2014.

“You are not covered — and why is your hair short?” she remembered her captors asking, slapping her across the face and striking her on the back of her head. They demanded she recite a verse from the Qur’an to prove she was a Muslim, and she was lucky they picked one that she had learned as a child.

“Why are you imitating men?” they demanded. “All this entitles you to execution.”

They held her blindfolded for two days; she kept time by counting the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. Continued

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