Now it’s time to celebrate the 7th year of my campaign. If seven is a lucky number, I hope that I can finally have a proper meeting with Madonna. And to celebrate in the best way, I give you this gift: my 46th video! It has been one of the most difficult videos that I’ve ever made. And I speak from experience1: I’ve been through trouble at the Vatican, Wailing Wall, Red Light District, while paragliding, with a tiger in Thailand… even getting stoned for the first time! But this one was really hard because I couldn’t even hold my boyfriend’s hand while I was with him in Marrakesh.
Article 489 of the Penal Code of Morocco criminalises “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex”. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco and can be punished with anything from 6 months to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 120 to 1,200 dirhams. In total, 72 countries and territories worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 in which sexual relationships between women are outlawed. There are eight countries in which homosexuality can result in a death penalty, and dozens more in which homosexual acts can result in a prison sentence, according to an annual report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
Is it a crime to love? Was I being a criminal for loving my boyfriend? And the funny thing is that I saw lots of straight men holding hands and hugging each other, but this was allowed because is a demonstration of fraternity between straight people. And what about a demonstration of love?
The problem is not just with muslim societies. Everywhere religion has a huge influence has these kinds of issues. I am Dutch, but I was born in Brazil. If I hold my boyfriend’s hand in Brazil or kiss him in a public space, I will be watched with disgusted faces, or in some places can be attacked or even killed. This is the reality: Brazil is reported to have the highest LGBT murder rate in the world, with more than 380 murders in 2017 alone, an increase of 30% compared to 2016.
I thank my boyfriend Daniel for the love and support. Actually he was the one who asked me to be part of my video. And this was the best, because every little demonstration of love in this video was real. I thank my sister, who was great again, after being an amazing guest on my “Frozen” video. I also thank Diego, who played “Isaac” marrying me and Daniel. Diego is also a Madonna fan and can be seen in lots of videos of this campaign: Dress You UP, Love Spent, Papa don’t preach, Sorry and Deeper and Deeper.
Finally, I thank Eugenio (Diego’s husband) for his patience and also for being one of the witnesses of my wedding in the video. And of course special thanks to my unicorn witness, my friend and roommate Phil 🙂
Coming back to the video, my sister represents the Snake, the Temptation, the one who calls me to the Forbidden, according to the Bible or in this case to the Koran. You can see me running away and being chased, because I’m a criminal for being gay. But mostly you can see the celebration of love, despite any kind of punishment or condemnation.
In the end, God is (and has always been) LOVE! Amen!