Home > LGBT - Politics > Dr. Omar Fattal responds to Dr. Carole Saade with facts about homosexuality

Dr. Omar Fattal responds to Dr. Carole Saade with facts about homosexuality

This is a follow up on our previous post “Dr. Carole Saade clarifies her position on homosexuality

Today Dr. Omar Fattal, a Lebanese psychiatrist practicing in New York, responded to Dr. Carole Saade with facts about homosexuality. We will share with you the note unedited as it was written on our Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor:

Dr. Omar Fattal – Photo from Facebook

Carole, it must be very frustrating to have the Al Joumhouria twist your words. However, I am still not clear regarding your actual understanding of homosexuality, and whether you really used the word “shaz” during your interview with AL Jo

umhouria. I am a Lebanese psychiatrist in the New York area and would like to make a comment about this thread. My own understanding, which I also believe is the modern and widely accepted understanding in the main stream medical and psychiatric community, is that we don’t really know what causes someone to become homosexual. We equally don’t know what causes someone to become heterosexual. There is definitely a genetic component and an environmental component to sexuality, but knowing this does not really help us much. I guess that some of the disappointment that comes up when the question is asked this way, i.e. “what causes homosexuality”, is that this question implies that homosexuality is a disease and one must look for a cause for it in order to cure it. It obviously makes things worse when people use the word “shaz” to describe a homosexual person. As I am sure you already know, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has not only deleted homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses as far back as 1974, the APA has come out very strongly in support of LGBT people in general, in support of gay marriage, and in opposition of reparative therapy (treatment that aims to convert someone from being homosexual to being heterosexual). Other organizations in the US such as the American Psychological Association have also followed suit. The World Health Organization also deleted homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses a long time ago. The hope is that as a Lebanese psychologist, when approached by someone for an interview, you would educate them regarding the harm of the use of the word “shaz” and on the fact that homosexuality is not a disease and that it does not really matter what causes it. I am glad to hear that you are supportive of LGBT people. In Lebanon and many other places, people turn to psychologists and psychiatrists when they find out that their son is gay or that their daughter is lesbian or when they suspect that they themselves are gay or lesbian. Having psychologists or psychiatrists with poor understanding of homosexuality or even worse, with homophobic views can only do more damage given that LGBT people in places like Lebanon are already being subjected to discrimination and homophobia from their families, their schools, and society in general and the last thing they deserve is further discrimination at the doctor’s office. Thank you for being candid about this and I hope that we are on the same page and that we can all continue to have this conversation is a civil and respectful way. Regards
Thank you Dr. Fattal for your precious time and the valuable information provided at a time when men still get arrested under article 534 in Lebanon and are subjected to “shame tests”. The medical community should unite to spread facts and dispel myths about homosexuality in Lebanon and Arab world.

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