According to various news outlets, young LGBTQI+ activist Sarah Hegazy, was found dead in her home in Canada, where she lived in exile since 2018.
Authorities have ruled that Hegazy met her death through suicide, having left behind a letter that reads:
“To my siblings – I tried to find redemption and failed, forgive me. To my friends – the experience [journey] was harsh and I am too weak to resist it, forgive me. To the world – you were cruel to a great extent, but I forgive.”
The reports of the suicide were confirmed by her lawyer Khaled Al-Masry.
Hegazy rose to prominence following her arrest for her role in the famed rainbow flag incident in which a rare show of public show for the LGBTQI+ community sparked backlash in the largely Muslim, conservative country.
Egyptian authorities arrested up to 57 people – with Hegazy believed to be the only woman in the roundup- in a campaign against the LGBT community after rainbow flags were raised at the concert of Mashrou’ Leila whose vocalist, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay and stands for the rights of homosexuals.
Along with Ahmed Alaa, Hegazy was arrested with charges of “promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery.”
“It was an act of support and solidarity — not only with the [Mashrou’ Leila] vocalist but for everyone who is oppressed,” Al Hegazy had said to NPR.
“We were proud to hold the flag. We wouldn’t have imagined the reaction of society and the Egyptian state. For them, I was a criminal — someone who was seeking to destroy the moral structure of society.”
Although the iconic and queer activist was eventually freed on bail, her three-month experience in prison had been physically and emotionally taxing, leading to a development of severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a failed suicide attempt.
Eventually, both Alaa and El Hegazy sought asylum in Canada where they had been living for the last couple of years.
Following news of the suicide, Hegazy’s name started trending on social media and many commended her vocal role in supporting the LGBTQI+ community despite public backlash.