Home Institution

Whitman College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity


Currently, homosexuality is criminalized in Morocco under the Moroccan Penal Code Article 489 and most Moroccans view homosexuality as haram, prohibited by god. The LGBT+ community faces religious, legal and social pressures and persecution. Still, LGBT+ people continue to fight for their right to exist in Morocco and activists are working to protect members of the community from legal prosecution as well as form safe spaces for their community. At the same time, many members of the LGBT+ community in Morocco must emigrate to live their lives both honestly and safely. This paper aims to explore the current circumstances of LGBT+ people in Morocco and to highlight the stories of an LGBT+ person who is staying in Morocco and another who is leaving. The research in this paper is based primarily on two semi-structured interviews conducted in Rabat. The first interview was with the most famous lesbian in Morocco, 25-year-old activist, Hajar Moutaouakil, who became a prominent figure in the LGBT+ community after posting a YouTube video on the Moroccan National Human Rights Day in 2015 calling for love and tolerance. The second interview was with Hamza, a 20-year-old transgender male undergoing the process of obtaining a Canadian visa. The paper is supplemented by an interview with the Ambassador of Amsterdam Gay Pride, analyses of scholarly journal articles and examples of LGBT+ arrests in Morocco. The ultimate objective of this project is to describe to some extent the current situation of LGBT+ Moroccans in Morocco and abroad and to offer up some hopeful prospects for the future.


African Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Law | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences


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