I'm From Driftwood

The stories on I’m From Driftwood send a simple but powerful message to LGBTQIA+ people everywhere: You are not alone. I’m From Driftwood combats isolation and creates empathy to build a more understanding and accepting world. These are our stories, told in our own voices.

Latest Arabic / Middle-Eastern Stories

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After Homophobic Assault, Gay Middle Eastern Man Refuses to Hide His Identity. “Yes, I Identify as a Gay Man.”

by Jawad Bandar

After Homophobic Assault, Gay Middle Eastern Man Refuses to Hide His Identity. “Yes, I Identify as a Gay Man.”

My name is Jawad Bandar. I’m from the port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. When I was 15 years old, still living in Jeddah, I happen to be the one of my friends who had the bigge...

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After Coming Out to Wife and Daughter, Gay Man’s Life Changes for the Better. “We Have a Very Modern Family.”

by Andre Khan

After Coming Out to Wife and Daughter, Gay Man’s Life Changes for the Better. “We Have a Very Modern Family.”

I’m Andre Khan and I’m from Queens, New York. I was 32, married to a woman and had a five-year-old daughter. I used to travel a lot back then in work and through those travels,...

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Queer Iraqi Woman Breaks Down the Closet Door. “This Is Not a Way to Live.”

by Alaa Wasfie

Queer Iraqi Woman Breaks Down the Closet Door. “This Is Not a Way to Live.”

I’m Alaa Wasfie. I’m from Baghdad, Iraq. In 2003, I was 13 years old during the American-Iraqi war. My grandmother wanted us, the entire family, to be together in one house so ...

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After Escaping Certain Death in the Middle East, Gay Man Faces New Challenges In America.
After Escaping Certain Death in the Middle East, Gay Man Faces New Challenges In America.

It was 2003. It was a hot summer day. I was coming out of my work where I worked with an American company, crossing the bridge, trying to take a cab to go back home after a long da...

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Story Update: Khalid El Khatib On Coming Out And The Importance Of Self-Care & Empathy.

by Khalid el Khatib

Story Update: Khalid El Khatib On Coming Out And The Importance Of Self-Care & Empathy.

Nathan: Hello and welcome to this week’s Story Update. We’re going to be speaking with Khalid, but before we do, let’s take a look at his story. Khalid: My name is Khalid E...

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Tolga Discusses Sexuality and Religion “Whatever That Is That Defines You, It’ll Be Better Once You Embrace It.”

by Tolga

Tolga Discusses Sexuality and Religion “Whatever That Is That Defines You, It’ll Be Better Once You Embrace It.”

Nathan: Welcome to this week’s Story Update. Today, we’re going to be speaking with Tolga who shared his story with us several years ago, but before we speak with Tolga, let...

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Gay Man’s Journey To Acceptance: “I’m Muslim. I’m Gay. And I’m Totally Okay With That.”

by Tolga

Gay Man’s Journey To Acceptance: “I’m Muslim. I’m Gay. And I’m Totally Okay With That.”

My name is Tolga and I’m from Malatya, Turkey. It’s a small, conservative town and we are all raised conservative as well. I remember every time I was going to school, some of ...

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“To Close Off Is Not In Our Blood.” Parents Flee Iran, Accept Gay Son.

by Eric Namaky

“To Close Off Is Not In Our Blood.” Parents Flee Iran, Accept Gay Son.

My name is Eric Namaky and I’m from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. My parents are originally from Tehran, Iran, where they were political activists in the late 70s. In 1979, the Shah shut ...

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Romanian Orphan Uninvited To Christmas By Adoptive Parents After Coming Out As Gay.

by Florin Helf

Romanian Orphan Uninvited To Christmas By Adoptive Parents After Coming Out As Gay.

I’m Florin Helf and I’m from Bucharest, Romania. I was born in a Romanian hospital, my mother gave birth to me, falsified her identification, and fled the hospital. She left me...

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Against Therapist’s Advice, Son Comes Out To Devout Muslim Father.

by Khalid el Khatib

Against Therapist’s Advice, Son Comes Out To Devout Muslim Father.

My name is Khalid el Khatib and I’m from Dubuque, Iowa. I always tell people that I had a sort of unconventional life in a very conventional place. I was different than everyone ...

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Google Earth Satellite Image of Israel

by Uri Horesh

I’m From Herzliyya, Israel.

Today was the fourth day of my third Cairo visit. Getting a visa to come here was an adventure  in and of its own, but I’m going to focus on a little story from today. As I’ve...

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I’m From Tel Aviv, Israel – Video Story

by Yoav Schlezinger

I’m From Tel Aviv, Israel – Video Story

I’m Yoav Schlezinger and originally I’m from Israel, grew up in Tel Aviv. Most Israelis, when they finish the Army at 21, they go and travel and experiment with a lot of drugs ...

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Unfortunately, this is all the stories we have in the Arabic / Middle-Eastern category.

I’m From Driftwood is producing new stories on an ongoing basis. Want to help us find more stories Arabic / Middle-Eastern stories? Let us know!