“In Libya, being gay is not acceptable,” said Agili. “While gay people on the other side of the world are fighting for their right to marry, in Libya they are fighting for the simple right to live and be treated like human beings. In Libya, once people know you are gay, they dehumanize you. They think you only deserve to die.”
Not long after his move, in 2011, after the Arab Spring uprisings, it became increasingly dangerous to exist as a known gay man. Agili continued working and studying for a time, but as the threats to his life became more apparent, he made the difficult decision to flee to Lebanon leaving behind his family, friends, and forthcoming medical degree.
From 2014 to 2016, Agili waited for a country to accept his application. One morning, he received the news that the American embassy would allow him to live in the United States. It would be a few more months of interviews and medical check ups before he was flown to New York City, but the promise of freedom and security was invaluable.