May 17 of each year is celebrated as IDAHO: the International Day Against Homophobia.
On this special day, events take place in many countries to raise awareness on the dangers of homophobia and to demand respect for all LGBT people.
Lebanon is no different!
In the weeks leading up to the IDAHO event (which Lebanese organization Helem is organizing), gay Lebanese bloggers are uniting online to fight homophobia.
These seven gay bloggers (with the support of their Art Director) created a website for the IDAHO event (lebidaho.wordpress.com), and asked their readers the following question:
“How does homophobia affect you or someone you love?”
The stories they are getting are quite fascinating.
“When I was 19, my father pulled a gun in my face”, writes Danny, a half-Syrian, half-Lebanese man who to this day gets insomnia whenever he thinks about that dark moment in his life.
“In an Arab society, coming out is like committing an act of murder”, shares Ralph in his own entry. He then adds: “I only came out to a couple of friends whom I trust, because you cannot trust anyone.”
Reading those stories and submissions will give people a taste of the discrimination that Lebanese women and men face on a daily basis in their country because of their sexual orientation.
However, the bloggers organizing this initiative are also getting submissions from straight people who support the Lebanese LGBT community.
“Why Can’t My Best Friend Get Married!?”, reads the title of a piece written by Carmen, a straight woman who will attend this year’s IDAHO event in support of her gay best friend.
These stories will definitely provide a new perspective to people who thought they knew everything there is to know about gay life in Lebanon.
From the looks of it, this joint initiative is a success because the stories posted on the blog are on the rise!If you would like to share your own story, send it by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org