Currently he is dating a French telecom technician whom he met online at Manhunt.com, the major gay dating site in Europe and Africa. There was no problem because I think I was born gay and my cousin showed me that.
(French, along with Arabic, is the major language here; sophisticated Tunisians prefer to speak French.) Ari talks about himself expressively and pensively; restless and eager to tell his story of life from an early age (before 10) when he had his first carnal experience at the hands of a cousin, which Ari at first resisted then quickly liked after a few times. If I wasn’t gay I think I would not have felt the pleasure of it.” This went on until he was ten or eleven. I didn’t stay with him.” The doctor then thought Ari was depressed and gave him Prozac but it made him feel sleepy and buzzed. By the time he was twelve, in 2004, he was fully aware of what homosexuality is.
How funny life is so twisted.” Indeed, it’s a well-known secret within Muslim societies that young straight men are not virgins by the time they get married, having practiced on each other as teenagers.
Ari has encountered more than one of these eager learners in his youthful past.
When he finally told his mother she sent him to a psychiatrist who said he could cure him but only if he really wanted to change. The wide world of LGBT life is available to anyone with a computer.
A friend of his whom he had known since the age of 10, when the friend was 12, had seduced Ari into the more intimate world of sexuality with kissing, licking and eventually intercourse, which Ari says he liked from the very start.
Outgoing and expressive he does not stay alone long.Part of his ‘curse’ is being gay and privileged in a ‘third-world’ conservative Muslim country.Despite the early hopes of the Tunisian political revolution of 2011 subsequent elections brought an Islamist party to majority power due mostly to the secularists splintering into separate parties and unable to unite. More than one gay person believes the former authoritarian government was at least more tolerant of LGBT citizens than the present one.During our two hour talk his smartphone rang several times from friends at school as well as a couple of messages from his current boyfriend.He has mostly straight friends and a few gay friends with whom he talks, studies, shops, and hangs with when not in class.