For Pride Month: 5 Fictions Online

For Pride month, five queer fictions you can read online:

She He Me

By Amahl Khouri, translated from the Arabic and French by Amahl Khouri

She He Me is a documentary play based on interviews with several transgender people in the Arab world. Witty and affecting, and in many ways, surprising, it focuses on the challenges encountered and discoveries made by three unique individuals who “just want to be themselves,” in the words of director Lina Abyad. 

From the play:

OMAR as ASSHOLE 2

Oh wow. A trans Algerian! That’s amazing. And your Swedish is amazing! Can I ask you a question?

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While He Was Sitting There

By Mortada Gzar, trans. Claire C. Jacobson

In this story of sexual desire by Mortada Gzar, an Iraqi student at a gay bar hooks up with an American soldier who drives home the side effects of war.

It opens:

It’s got to be the tenth time this has happened to me. I go out into the back alley of this bar to smoke and he approaches me with a greeting. “Cheers!” he says, clinking his glass against mine.

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An excerpt from Mina

By Sahar Mandour, trans. Alice Guthrie

In this excerpt from Sahar Mandour’s novel Mina, a Lebanese actress is blindsided when she’s outed by the press.

It opens:

Mina comes out of the bathroom in her short white bathrobe, hurries toward her bedroom, darts in, shuts the door behind her.

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An excerpt from Always Coca-Cola

By Alexandra Chreiteh, trans. Michelle Hartman

This novel is about gender identity, sexuality, menstruation, pregnancy, sexual assault, identity, marriage, and more.

It opens:

When my mother was pregnant with me, she had only one craving. That craving was for Coca-Cola.

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Life without Me

By Raji Bathish, trans. Suneela Mubayi

An internal monologue interrupted by advertisements and other messages from the “real” world that turns into a letter to the narrator’s parents.

It opens:

What hurts me in all this is that my parents will be forced to bury me before themselves.

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