Why So Hungry?
As for the hunger, you can always blame the unavailability of queer women in Jordan, or the risks a lesbian exposes herself to whenever she outs herself to a new love-interest. One of the most frustrating aspects of being a single lesbian in Jordan is your consciousness that your gay-dar should never be trusted, since culture and religion draw a sharp line between a girl’s tendencies (what she likes) and her actions (what she’s willing to admit and act upon). I’ve come across quite the number of girls who are raging homosexuals in denial, banking on their self-control out of respect for tradition and God. As a single lesbian, I admit its extremely difficult to identify queer women in Amman, and even more difficult to approach them unless you have a common friend. Naturally, this limits your pool of candidates, and so don’t be surprised why groups of Jordanian lesbians tend to be extremely incestuous.
The Jordanian Lesbian Online Community
When I first got to Amman, I was disgruntled by how difficult it was to meet fellow queer females. There was no “correct” way of doing it. I resorted to facebook groups and other websites, such as afterellen.com, in search of Jordanian lesbians who would have mercy on the new lesbo in town. I found posts by foreign lesbians, who were in Amman for a visit, or a temporary stay. I found a couple of posts by Jordanian lesbians, who offered help. Given the how closed off the rest of the community was, I was suspicious of the Jordanians who were open to meet with new lesbians. My hesitance was later justified, when I heard stories from my acquaintances, who did fall victim to the welcoming posts, and found themselves in a car with two lesbians, and one bottle of vodka to be chugged. I am not saying you should not reach out to the online community; I am simply encouraging your precaution.
Online Resources For Lesbian Women in Jordan
MyKali is an invaluable source to the LGBT community in Jordan. While MyKali is putting in much needed effort into incorporating more female queer writers, those of us who are new to the lesbian scene in Jordan know that there is a lack of information for the female LGBT audience, whether it be lesbians, bisexuals, questioning or trans women. The limited information out there compelled me to start my own blog; Queer Girl’s Ink – Jordan (www.queerink.tumblr.com). My experiences as a lesbian in Amman have lead me to the conviction that if something does not exist in Amman then I must be the person to create it. Call it proactive.
The lesbian scene in Amman is hard to crack, but I have realized that being a gay woman in Amman is not as terrifying as I first thought it would be. You may have to rely on coincidence, common friends, and the internet to meet your first lesbian in Jordan. However, once you do, you’ll witness a small community germinate around you.
Believe it or not, our society is making strides. To say “I have a gay friend” is not as suicidal as it used to be. I have noticed that straight friends, near strangers and family members, who have been suspicious of my sexuality, put much effort into signal their suspicions, while letting me know “its okay”. I know it sounds condescending, but it is comforting in many ways. I do find the manner with which such sentiments are expressed beyond politically incorrect, but that’s beside the point. The sincere efforts at dialogue are unquestionably a step forward. Straight people are confronting my sexuality, instead of completing ignoring it and blocking it out.
So in summary…
Amman is a harsh city, but don’t surrender. Just be patient.
Alyah is a blogger and an in-house writer and columnist for ‘Lesbo & The City’ for My.Kali. if you want to read more of Alyah’s experiences as a lesbian in Amman you can visit her blog ‘ Queer Girl’s Ink – Jordan’ where she expresses her personal politics. Check her blog (here)