I’m a Saudi student studying in Missouri. I’m gay too and I have two more years to finish my studies and return home. I’ve been in Missouri for a year and for the first time in my life I have a boyfriend. I have the freedom to pursue such wonderful things and now I worry about going back home and losing my liberty to be me. My boyfriend is american and a little naive thinking saudi arabia is some other benign country. I don’t suppose I qualify for asylum. How do I tell my bf it’ll be over soon?

I could just cry. I am so very happy for you, my brother. 

People in the West can’t comprehend the despair, loneliness, and terror suffered by gay brothers and sisters in the Middle East. It breaks my heart. Over the years I’ve been running this blog, I’ve been contacted by numerous gay people trapped in that part of the world. I never know what to tell them except to encourage them to do whatever they can to get out.

You were someone who managed to do that via college. You won the lottery, my brother. You must cling to this lifeline with both hands. 

I don’t know if you can apply for asylum through the United Nations (or if you’ve done it already). It took the U.N. 1.5 years to get my baby boy to safety, but given that you’re already in the U.S. legally, you might not have as much trouble.

The other option might be to marry your boyfriend, forcing the U.S. to recognize your status. Nothing is certain with the current wicked administration, but that might work. 

If these options don’t work, then I would go underground and overstay your visa. Desperate times require desperate measures.

You simply cannot go back to Saudi Arabia. You’ve tasted freedom. You’ve experienced the possibilities of your true self. Going back into the cage of the Middle East after having that freedom is even worse than never having it at all. 

My thoughts are with you, brother. Don’t give in. Don’t give up.