Death Saïd Zankoua

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Violence, exclusion and discrimination

Said came from Utrecht where he grew up on Kanaleneiland, a neighborhood in the west of the city. In May 2020 he died of epilepsy. A few years earlier he was beaten up and since then he suffered from severe epilepsy.
Said about his coming out:
‘I fell in love for the first time when I was sixteen. To my neighbor boy. From then on I searched the internet: I found recognition there, guys like me. But no Moroccan boys. They were very hard to find. I sometimes thought I was the only Moroccan. In the world I live in, nobody ever talks about it. You just know. Later, I found out that there are many more. Man and man, that’s wrong. Why, I don’t know. At primary school, nothing about homosexuality was explained at all. In high school biology, a little bit, but not really. I was bullied and beaten up. The guys who did that were my friends until they found out I was gay.’
Said later moved to Amsterdam. There he felt freer and could lead his own life more, find a job as a nurse, but, as he says himself: ‘ The humiliations have always followed me. The beatings, the hitting, that has all passed. But the humiliation stays. I am very suspicious of people on the street. When people laugh, I think they are laughing at me.’
Violence caused him to have epileptic seizures that eventually cost him his life. The reason for the violence was his being gay. Senseless violence with a fatal outcome. He was only 30.
Ruard Ganzevoort