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Transgender Instagram Influencer Apologizes for Encouraging Followers to Out Gay Men

Saturday May 16, 2020
Sofia Talouni
Sofia Talouni   

Transgender Instagram influencer Sofia Talouni apologized on Wednesday "for telling her followers to download dating apps and use them to locate and out gay men in Morocco," the New York Daily News reported.

As reported last month, Talouni, who is said to have 630,000 followers on Instagram, encouraged people to download hook-up apps like Grindr and Planet Romeo and create fake accounts, then gather pics of gay men and post on private and public Facebook pages. She is currently blocked from Instagram.

She said her aim was to reveal the hypocrisy of Moroccan society by showing her attackers how many gay men were living in their vicinity, perhaps even in their own homes; instead her plan backlashed, leaving outed gay men vulnerable to being socially ostracized, blackmailed or arrested.

"In Morocco, a North African kingdom where homosexuality and sex outside marriage are crimes, gay people are painfully accustomed to the feelings of peril and rejection, and many keep their sexual identities under wraps," reported the New York Times in April.

This week Talouni regrets having targeted gay men, instead she wanted to "bring them closer to the mainstream society," the Daily News reports.

"My intention was to 'humanize', 'un-demonize' and 'normalize' gay people in Morocco so we stop thinking of them as outcasts," Talouni said Wednesday.

"I literally wanted people to think of gay people as the man or woman next door and to stop the negative fantasy about who gay people are, how they look like and how they live," she added.

But in the past Talouni has been cited by LGBTQ activists for "hateful messages attacking the LGBTQ community in Morocco."

In one tweet, Talouni attacked a Moroccan AIDS organization for recruiting homosexuals. "For me an organization needs to be responsible. An organization that stops the spread of homosexulity in Morocco. An organization that will stop the dread of queerness in Morocco instead of contributing to the spread of queerness. WTF. It contributes to spreading queerness," she said in a tweeted video.

In another tweet, she insulted a transgender man.

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