For Document, the artist shares a series of images that act as both a love story and as testament to a suppressed gay reality

In Egypt’s modern history, the question of gay rights has long been a contentious one. Queer citizens might be detained arbitrarily—picked out in public based on gender expression, or targeted via social media, recent reports state. In the past few years, however, there’s been something of a cultural reckoning, brought about in part by the death of Sarah Hegazy—a writer and activist who was arrested and tortured by the Egyptian police after waving a Pride flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo, whose lead singer, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay.

There are a thousand stories like this, ranging from anonymous to globally high-profile—arising against the backdrops of virtually every nation. Existential risk is an everyday reality for queer people everywhere. But a homophobic administration poses particularly pressing danger, forcing countless individuals to hide their true identities, or to live underground lives, or else, to flee their homeland.

Today, there are a handful of prominent queer Egyptian voices, guiding the tireless march toward equality: trans human rights defender Malak Al-Kashif, drag artist ​​and dancer Shrouk El-Attar, and Dalia Al-Faghal—often labeled the first Egyptian woman to come out publicly as a lesbian—among many others. At the tail end of Pride Month, Document shares a photographic series shot by Allan Hamitouche—an Egyptian love story, testament to a suppressed gay reality, hopeful and raw against the massive fight ahead.

Creative direction Jérémie Chegrane Bacqué. Casting Director Chouaib Arif. Photography Assistant Guillaume Coutret.