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his coming out under the sign of Proust

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Special issue “Proust for all”

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I used Marcel Proust to make my first coming out, at the Faculty of Letters in Rabat. It was in 1997, I was 23 years old, I was in DEA. There was this seminar on “Du Côté de chez Swann”, the professor had asked everyone to make a presentation. I had chosen to speak about the homosexuality of Marcel Proust. As a pretext to evoke mine. In fact, I used Proust to put myself in danger.

I am often told about my coming out on the front page of the newspaper “TelQuel” in 2007, which occurred when I had already published quite a few books. [« TelQuel » avait titré : « Homosexuel, envers et contre tous », NDLR]. But for me, my real coming out is really this one, the one I did in this classroom.

I grew up feeling like a monster. There was no internet and social networks, and I thought I was the only queer in Morocco. I guess my comrades suspected that I was gay, but by breaking the silence, I broke a taboo. I’m sure they talked about it among themselves, but in front of me, after the presentation, they didn’t make any comments, apart from a remark on the fact that the professor had listened to me with extreme attention, in a to suggest that he, too, “was part of it”.

I didn’t care what they thought. I

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