Heartbreaking goodbye messages shared by gay Palestinians
'Ahmad died of the airstrike, you died of heartbreak. Khalid, I love you, I loved the way you came out to me, how I came out to you...'
LGBTQ+ Palestinians have shared heartbreaking notes on an interactive mapping site – as bombs continue to pummel the enclave.
Queering the Map is a platform that allows those in the LGBTQ+ community to geotag spots around the globe with their memories, ranging from joyful recollections to soul-shattering tales.
One note posted online read: ‘I’ve always imagined you and me sitting out in the sun, hand and hand, free at last.
‘We spoke of all the places we would go if we could.
‘Yet you are gone now. If I had known that bombs raining down on us would take you from me, I would have gladly told the world how I adored you more than anything. I’m sorry I was a coward.’
Another, tagged near a pier near Gaza City, read: ‘A place where I kissed my first crush. Being gay in Gaza is hard, but somehow it was fun.’
One user shared their regret of not making a move and it went viral on X, before the note was removed from Queering the Map.
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It said: ‘I don’t know how long I will live so I just want this to be my memory before I die. I am not going to leave my home, come what may.
‘My biggest regret is not kissing this one guy. He died two days back. We had told how much we liked each other and I was too shy to kiss last time.
‘He died in the bombing. I think a big part of me died too. And soon I will be dead. To Younus, I will kiss you in heaven.’
Another spoke of the Nakba – or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic – referring to the displacement of Palestinians in 1948.
In some of the notes, Palestinians mentioned how they had been struggling to live ‘freely’ in their own land prior to the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
Members of the gay community could be sentenced to ten years in prison if caught engaging in same-sex ‘sexual activity’ in Gaza – though these laws have not been used to prosecute in recent years.
Yet as the bombs continue to rain down, LGBTQ+ Gazans are sharing their naked truths before it is too late.
‘The only thing that makes me patient about living in Gaza is the sea and you,’ one note read.
Another last note said: ‘Ahmad died of the airstrike, you died of heartbreak. Khalid, I love you, I loved the way you came out to me, how I came out to you…
‘In this life or another I’ll follow you, and we can unite, I love you to Icarus and beyond.’
Efforts to open the border for civilians to flee have so far not yielded any results, all the while Israel continues to target the area.
Rafah is the only border point in the territory not controlled by Israel, so tens of thousands of people have rushed there after warnings to evacuate from the north.
But millions remain trapped in the 25-mile Gaza strip, surrounded by Israeli troops on one side and the Mediterranean on the other.
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