It was less than a year ago that Omar Sharif, Jr. came out as an openly gay, half-Arab, half-Jewish man in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution.
Well-known as the grandson of Golden Globe award winner, Omar Sharif, the 29-year-old wrote an open letter to the press published in The Advocate where he officially came out to the world despite his fear of the consequences.
“I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself,” he wrote. “And so I hesitantly confess: I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay.”
Sharif left Egypt in January 2011 during the revolution and moved to California. In March 2012, he voiced his disappointment in the Egyptian government for not promoting a more tolerant culture, and not supporting the rights of gays and lesbians even following the uprising.
Now, Sharif advocates for equality for all through social media sites. He uses his Twitter account, @OmarSharifJr, to voice concerns and advocate for the rights of LGBT men and women everywhere.
“Homosexuality has been discovered in over 450 species; homophobia is found in only 1. Which one seems unnatural now? #LGBT#fact,” Sharif tweeted on Jan. 13.
Also as an actor, Sharif has held acting roles in five different languages on five different continents, according to his Facebook page. Most recently, he presented the award for best supporting actress in the 83rd annual Academy Awards in 2011.
Sharif will continue seeking acting roles and, in the meantime, continue promoting the rights of LGBT both here and in his home country, Egypt.
His Twitter bio reads, “I advocate for human & equal rights internationally. I don't have all the answers, and -more importantly- don't pretend to.”Lulu Ramadan