Omar Sharif Jr. joins GLAAD staff | Out Magazine

Omar Sharif Jr. joins GLAAD staff

Omar Sharif Jr. joins GLAAD staff

Photo by M.Sharkey

Last year, Omar Sharif Jr., the grandson of legendary Doctor Zhivago actor Omar Sharif, published a letter in The Advocate, in which he came out as gay and half-Jewish and questioned the new Egyptian government’s commitment to basic human rights and diversity, writing: “I anticipate that I will be chastised, scorned, and most certainly threatened,” he wrote. “From the vaunted class of Egyptian actor and personality, I might just become an Egyptian public enemy.” Out honored him in its annual Out100

"I'm thrilled to be joining GLAAD in their culture-changing work" Sharif Jr. said in a GLAAD press release. "Having lived and worked in over half a dozen countries, I know the influence and impact that American media has globally - particularly in the broader Middle East, where it is widely syndicated and consumed. Working with GLAAD, I know that that I’ll be helping to effectuate change back home and around the world."

Sharif Jr. comes to GLAAD from a Canadian non-profit advocacy organization, where he served as the Director of Outreach and garnered several years' experience in the areas of fundraising, government affairs, legislation, non-profit development, and advocacy.

After publishing that letter last year, Sharif Jr. faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence. As he explains: "Most of this negativity was spurred on by the Arabic media’s demonization of my gay identity. Having lived through this experience and others, I feel that I am perfectly positioned to embody GLAAD’s mandate to donors as I can speak from the heart and cite personal experience in an effort to highlight the importance of promoting understanding and acceptance and advancing equality through the media. Last year, when I came out, I did not simply find my voice; I found my purpose. With that purpose came a sense of urgency and a responsibility to advocate on behalf of those still silenced by fear or repression."

Tags: Popnography
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