The International Day Against Homophobia is a yearly occasion to remind the world that the fight for gay rights is not over yet. Discrimination still exists; Homosexuals fired from work, rejected by family or beaten to death are just a few examples of what gay undergo. There has been certainly some great progress in the past few years but more is yet to be achieved.
IDAHO is celebrated around the world, and Lebanon is no exception. The country might not seem like the perfect environment for gay activism, but recently there has been a lot of related buzz. Some Lebanese activists have started an inspiring blog where homosexuals and their friends can share stories about how homophobia affects their daily lives. The stories are beautifully written and accompanied by creative banners crafted by local artists. Additionally, a group of gay rights advocates have put up flyers in some areas of Beirut. It aimed to question people’s perception of homosexuality and get them to notice the damage caused by homophobia. The messages ranged from discrimination at the workplace, to death threats by family members and the current state of Lebanese law that criminalizes homosexuality under claims of ‘unnatural intercourse’. The campaign was well received, attracting public attention and interest on the blogsphere.
Helem, a Lebanese LGBT rights NGO, is organizing an event for the occasion on the 22nd of May. It will include documentary screening and panel discussions. The main theme for this year’s event is the rejection of all forms of discrimination against LGBT individuals. Not to forget the Lebanese Laique Pride on May the 15th where a presence of gay rights activists is expected.
The Lebanon IDAHO blog:
Helem event page: