17 Nov

Emanuel, an LGBTQ+ community member who refuses to surrender in the face of adversity

Emanuel: “I am homosexual! Everyone accepts me the way I am, and I create my own happiness!”

Emanuel is content with and proud of being homosexual; he is at peace with himself . Add to that, he is willing to confront all the negative vibes he encounters. Emanuel is a music teacher who creates a joyful ambiance wherever he is. He states that “my mission in life is to spread cheerfulness through music.”

He revealed his sexual orientation and disregarded other’s opinions. Although he was bullied and criticized in his surrounding and workplace, that did not affect him in any way. Rather, he stood his ground and went on with his life. He is unstoppable.

At first, he was fired from the school he taught in as a music teacher because of his sexual orientation. He was told that he was not qualified to teach. Then, he was fired from another school because he had a thin voice which was not suitable to speak to the students. Also, some parents had complained about him. It didn’t stop here; he even faced problems with his principal who would ridicule the way he behaved. Still, that did not affect or break him. Instead, he chose to work at another school to accomplish his mission, a lay school that would uphold and respect the rights of the individuals who belong to the LGBTI community. There, he didn’t face any problems with the administration or students. Everybody respected him and treated him as a professional music teacher. However, due to the current economic situation, the school was facing financial difficulties which prevented it from paying his dues. Thus, he had to leave.

There was nothing he could do, but be resilient. Today, he is working in his studio and giving private music lessons. He is not ashamed of his sexual orientation; rather he reveals it in public, “Yes, I am attracted to men.” And he affirms that he could ignore all the criticism he faces as long as he has a happy life.

He finds that society has accepted him as he is. Even his family did not stand in his way because of his sexual orientation. Rather, they embraced him, and he has an excellent relationship with them, but he preferred to move out and live on his own.

Emanuel says, “I am happy because I make my own happiness.” He never felt depressed, nor did he think of emigrating because of his sexual orientation. On the contrary, he wishes to expand his music projects, and he welcomes everyone who accepts him as he is and respects everyone who doesn’t.

Clearly, he is not living as an individual who is sexually oriented, but as a man who is in control of his behavior and does not allow anyone to interfere in his life. His motto is “don’t worry, be happy” which he learned from his father who always encouraged him to spread positive vibes and not to care about anyone’s opinion.

Emanuel turns his sad moments into joyful ones. He despises depression, and he refuses to surrender when faced with the most difficult situations. He has another motto: when there’s a will, there’s way, and every time, he gets his way.

He dislikes failure and knows very well how to deal with it. Emanuel is one of those people who succeeded in facing the society’s look towards everyone who discloses his sexual orientation. He won’t let anyone affect his positivity. As for music, it will remain his eternal friend as long as he is alive and kicking. Music made him a successful person. Thus, he will continue to use it to bring joy to everyone who turns to him, to teach it, and to listen carefully to others.

This story was documented as part of the “Enhancing the Inclusivity of the LGBTI community in Workplaces in Lebanon” project funded by the European Union and executed by SIDC in partnership with ACTED.

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