Being lesbian in Casablanca
As in most countries with Muslim tradition, in Morocco homosexuality is illegal and strongly condemned. Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code of 1962 specifies that “Lewd or unnatural act with an individual of the same sex” are punished to six months to three years imprisonment. Although the law is sporadically enforced, gays and lesbians in this country are subject to a strong social disapproval.
Imane, 20, lives in Casablanca and is lesbian, as she says: “A lesbian proud of herself!”. She has never hidden her homosexuality, insomuch as also her family members have learned to accept it over the years. This attitude is unusual in Morocco where most lesbians are forced to hide their sexual orientation for fear of judgments or reprisals.
Imane is proud and brave as her best friend Khadija who, like Imane, has chosen to live her sexuality freely. They daily battle against a society which tends to marginalize them. They walk always held head hight along the streets of Casablanca, overlooking stares and comments of passersbies and answering in kind to arrogant and rude people.
Lesbians are not respected in Morocco, they are considered “deviant”, women to avoid. The social judgment is even more hard against androgynous girls, as Imane, who differ totally from the stereotype of the “good Moroccan woman”. For this reason, many homosexuals dream to emigrate, to live in a society where they can love freely. Imane dreams Italy. On her left hand she got a tattoo of four letters: “solo” (alone), the only italian word she knows.