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Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Dies Aged 30

Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Dies Aged 30, Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Dies Aged 30

Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Dies Aged 30, Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Dies Aged 30

Young LGBT+ activist, Sarah Hegazy, was found dead in her home in Canada, where she’s lived in exile since 2018.

She sadly took her own life on 14 Jun 20, leaving behind a note handwritten in Arabic asking her loved ones to forgive her:

“To my siblings – I tried to find redemption and failed, forgive me. To my friends – the experience [journey] was harsh and I am too weak to resist it, forgive me. To the world – you were cruel to a great extent, but I forgive.”

Her death and note were later confirmed by her lawyer Khaled Al-Masry on 15 Jun 20.

Hegazy caught the attention of Egyptian authorities in October 2017, when she held a rainbow flag at a “Mashrou Leila” (Leila project) concert in Cairo. The band’s lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay and an advocate for LGBT+ rights in Lebanon. Egyptian authorities arrested her for her role in the LGBT+ show, which sparked backlash in the largely Muslim, conservative country.

Egyptian authorities also arrested up to 57 people following the rainbow flag incident in a campaign against the LGBT+ community. People were charged of “promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery.”

“It was an act of support and solidarity — not only with the [Mashrou Leila] vocalist but for everyone who is oppressed,” Hegazy had said to NPR in 2018.

“We were proud to hold the flag. We wouldn’t have imagined the reaction of society and the Egyptian state. For them, I was a criminal — someone who was seeking to destroy the moral structure of society.”

Although the iconic and queer activist was eventually freed on bail, her three-month experience in prison had been physically and emotionally taxing, leading to a development of severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a failed suicide attempt.

Activists paid tribute to Hegazy on social media, with some using the hashtag #RaiseTheFlagForSarah.