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Openly Gay Saudi Social Media Personality Arrested for 'Nudity' after He Wore Shorts to the Beach

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Oct 15, 2019
Openly gay Saudi Internet personality Suhail al-Jameel is in legal trouble over this "nude" photo
Openly gay Saudi Internet personality Suhail al-Jameel is in legal trouble over this "nude" photo  (Source:Suhail al-Jameel / Twitter)

An openly gay 23-year-old Saudi man who is an online personality has been arrested and charged with "sharing nudity online" after having posted a photo of himself at the beach - wearing shorts.

Business Insider reports that Suhail al-Jameel violated Saudi Arabia's newly-passed "pubic decency laws," which ban men from wearing shorts. The openly gay online personality has also been open about his sexuality despite homosexuality being a crime under Saudi law. The article notes that al-Jameel has posted content online that ranges from other photos featuring clothing that might be considered indecent under Saudi law to tutorials on how to apply makeup.

The Twitter post that led to his arrest shows al-Jameel posed on a beach, looking over his shoulder at the camera. He is wearing gym-shorts style trunks with a leopard skin pattern. The words "Miss the sun" accompany the photo, along with a Sun emoji.

Business Insider noted that a slate of recently-passed laws dictating what people may wear in Saudi Arabia specifies that midriff areas are not to be exposed, and also stipulates that men may not wear shorts in public.



Business Insider quoted from a subsequent social media post in which al-Jameel described his situation.

"I take a photo of myself wearing shorts at the beach and I go to jail for wearing shorts," al-Jameel tweeted. "Then the police change my charges to electronic crimes for sharing photos of nudity. How am I nude if I am wearing shorts on a hot beach?"

al-Jameel also critiqued Saudi Arabia's anti-LGBTQ laws.

"In 2019 LGBTQ are not welcome in Saudi Arabia, you must live in secret and can't live in peace," he posted, Business Insider reported.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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