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Is job searching in the UAE worth it for an lgbt person?

 
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oreochicken



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Is job searching in the UAE worth it for an lgbt person? Reply with quote

I am a highly qualified native speaker ESL teacher with an MATESL degree from an American university and years of teaching experience. I'm starting to think about teaching abroad for a couple of years for a variety of all the good old fashioned reasons. The ME is my first choice and I am posting this in the UAE forum because the opinions of friends as well as what I have read here seem to indicate that the UAE offers some of the most "liberal" conditions in the ME.

I am a lesbian, and I have no illusions about being able to live "out" in the ME. But I do have very real questions about what might happen to me should I land a ME job and someone finds out - or even just suspects. Would I be fired automatically? Could I be arrested? Harmed?

Does anyone out there know if there is any lgbt expat community in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Again, I am not expecting to be able to be open, I'm just wondering if there is any community at all.
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Edited to replace the very pedestrian words in my post which were bleeped. I didn't realize these boards were this conservative. Hope my existence hasn't offended anyone. To me questions which deal with personal safety are justifiable even if you don't like people like me...
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 644
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea what would happen to you if "caught," but how would anyone catch you if you kept it to a relationship with another foreigner? Discretion goes a long way. Even in a breakup, when emotions get hot, the other person would be just as "guilty" as you.

I've lived in other Gulf Countries and saw lots of locals visiting the "boy" teachers living quarters, which was asking for trouble if you ask me. Never with a student of any sex.

Why wouuldn't I like you? You sound like a reasonable woman.
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Ka-CHING!



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to the UAE in a few months, but that will be my first trip so I can't offer any specific advice, although I would tend to think that discretion would be of a lot of service. As long as you're very, very private...

I am curious, however, about what words were bleeped. I reread your post (several times) and couldn't find any, um, eupemisms. I thought it was just the proverbial seven dirty words that got ixnayed.
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'd have a problem so long as you're discreet. When I lived in KSA I knew of at least one ex-pat lesbian couple, and while they certainly didn't shout their sexual orietation from the rooftops, they made no real secret of it either - at least among fellow ex-pats. And if you can get away with this in KSA, I reckon you could get away with it in the UAE.

Remember that these societies are strictly segregated by gender. It's perfectly normal - indeed, for many, it's the only option - to spend all your time with members of the same sex. Therefore, things which might arouse 'suspicion' elsewhere are totally unremarkable here. For example, you often see local men walking hand in hand or kissing on the cheek in public, and nobody thinks anything of it, nor do they suspect they might be gay (which is almost certainly not the case).

Homosexuality is a capital offence in KSA - for men, that is. I don't know what the situation is for lesbians. I would guess that, like in other countries, the concept of female homosexuals simply does not exist, and there is probably nothing on the 'statuate books' to cover it.
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