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March 19, 2015

Lebanese LGBTIs and refugees from Syria, Iraq and Jordan plan IDAHOT celebration

They work in a country where homosexuality is illegal, the economy is on its knees and a war on the borders has sparked an enormous refugee crisis.

But the LGBTI community of Lebanon is embracing gay refugees and determined to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transpobia (IDAHOT).

March 19, 2015

Originally from Argentina, the actor/model now calls West Hollywood his home

Actor and model Pablo Hernandez is best known as one of the faces of the Andrew Christian underwear campaigns.

Born in Argentina and with a family heritage that traces back to Spain and Lebanon, Hernandez is now a firm fixture of West Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Hernandez loves the camera, and clearly enjoys sharing his travels and adventures through the Vines that he posts to his social media channels.

We recently caught up with this frequent flyer to share some travel stories.

January 2, 2015

Andi Woodhouse jumped to his death in mid-December but local media did not report the fact that he was a trans man

A vigil will take place tomorrow (3 January) for a trans man who committed suicide in Pittsburgh.

Andi Woodhouse, aged 24, died on Saturday 13 December after jumping from the 10th Street Bridge. From Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Woodhouse worked at a local McDonalds.

September 3, 2014

LGBTIs are planning to flee the country if Islamic State fighters get in. Those who can’t get out will be targeted for execution, they warn

LGBTI people in Lebanon fear they will be massacred if ISIS troops penetrate the country.

While the Islamic State fighters (also called ISIS) are currently focused on Syria and Iraq, they have already had skirmishes with Lebanese troops on the border.

And LGBTI people in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, are living in fear they will be targeted if ISIS does make a concerted attack on Lebanon.

Their eyes are now on the Bekaa Valley, a Christian-dominated area in the east of Lebanon where ISIS could break through.

September 3, 2014

LGBTIs are planning to flee the country if Islamic State fighters get in. Those who can’t get out will be targeted for execution, they warn

LGBTI people in Lebanon fear they will be massacred if ISIS troops penetrate the country.

While the Islamic State fighters (also called ISIS) are currently focused on Syria and Iraq, they have already had skirmishes with Lebanese troops on the border.

And LGBTI people in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, are living in fear they will be targeted if ISIS does make a concerted attack on Lebanon.

Their eyes are now on the Bekaa Valley, a Christian-dominated area in the east of Lebanon where ISIS could break through.

August 15, 2014

Up to 28 people could face jail or expulsion from Lebanon after two raids on hammams believed by police to be meeting spaces for gay and bisexual men

Police have raided a second bathhouse in Beirut, believing it to be popular with gay people, and arrested all the staff.
 
The raid of the Shehrazad Hammam or ‘Turkish bath’ in Burj Hammoud, a Christian suburb of Beirut, took place around noon yesterday.
 

August 15, 2014

Up to 28 people could face jail or expulsion from Lebanon after two raids on hammams believed by police to be meeting spaces for gay and bisexual men

Police have raided a second bathhouse in Beirut, believing it to be popular with gay people, and arrested all the staff.
 
The raid of the Shehrazad Hammam or ‘Turkish bath’ in Burj Hammoud, a Christian suburb of Beirut, took place around noon yesterday.
 

August 13, 2014

The ‘Turkish baths’ in Beirut saw a police raid after a tip-off they were a meeting place for gay sex. Men remain in custody awaiting charges

Police in Lebanon have raided a hammam – or ‘Turkish bathhouse’ – and arrested 27 men after a report it was a meeting place for gay sex.

The raid took place on 9 August and was carried out by the Internal Security Forces, or national police, of the Mediterranean country.

It took place at the privately-owned Agha Hammam baths in the Hamra-Concord area in Beirut.

July 16, 2014

Despite a Lebanese Order of Physicians ban on subjecting suspected homosexuals to humiliating anal examinations, police continue to use doctors who engage in the practice to try to prove that people are gay

Those suspected of engaging in homosexual acts by the Lebanese police are continuing to be subjected to humiliating anal examinations according to a new report.

The examination involves placing an egg shaped metal object inside the anus and caused uproar after it was used on 35 men who were arrested in a porn cinema in Burj Hammoud in July of 2012 resulting in protests by Lebanese LGBTI rights group Helem who compared the examinations to rape.

March 5, 2014

A Lebanese judge has found that a transgender woman’s relationship with a man does not constitute ‘unnatural sexual intercourse’ in a further blow to the criminalization of LGBTI people in the majority Muslim nation

A criminal prosecution against a transgender Lebanese woman in the town of Jdeideh has been thrown out by a judge who found the woman had not broken any law.

The case occurred in January in the district of Matn but was only made public Tuesday in the latest edition of Lebanese legal journal The Legal Agenda.

The woman on trial had been born with an intersex condition and was assigned a male identity at birth but she grew up feeling that she was female and underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s.

March 5, 2014

A Lebanese judge has found that a transgender woman’s relationship with a man does not constitute ‘unnatural sexual intercourse’ in a further blow to the criminalization of LGBTI people in the majority Muslim nation

A criminal prosecution against a transgender Lebanese woman in the town of Jdeideh has been thrown out by a judge who found the woman had not broken any law.

The case occurred in January in the district of Matn but was only made public Tuesday in the latest edition of Lebanese legal journal The Legal Agenda.

The woman on trial had been born with an intersex condition and was assigned a male identity at birth but she grew up feeling that she was female and underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s.

December 25, 2013

Volunteers in Lebanon are helping LGBTI Syrians who have fled war and possibly being murdered because of their sexuality

Gay Syrians, who have fled to Lebanon to escape fighting, torture and possible execution, urgently need help to survive.

New organization Proud Lebanon is trying to meet the demand – but with thousands of Syrian refugees still escaping the war, is not able to reach everyone.

Those it can help are given support in accessing vital services, therapy to deal with the trauma they have faced and tutoring to get a job and build a better future.

December 25, 2013

Volunteers in Lebanon are helping LGBTI Syrians who have fled war and possibly being murdered because of their sexuality

Gay Syrians, who have fled to Lebanon to escape fighting, torture and possible execution, urgently need help to survive.

New organization Proud Lebanon is trying to meet the demand – but with thousands of Syrian refugees still escaping the war, is not able to reach everyone.

Those it can help are given support in accessing vital services, therapy to deal with the trauma they have faced and tutoring to get a job and build a better future.

December 13, 2013

A Lebanese TV show has targeted innocent LGBTI bar-goers by secretly filming them at a drag party

A Lebanese TV show has secretly filmed LGBTI people enjoying an innocent drag night at a bar and branded them ‘perverts’.

The Lilnasher show hosted by Tony Khalife on the New Tv (Al Jadid) channel is well known for tabloid-style reporting.

But this week the gay community of Beirut again found themselves in the firing line.

The revelers at Posh, an LGBTI bar, were celebrating Saint Barbara’s day or Eid il-Burbara.

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

October 5, 2013

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’

Will they, won’t they?

That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening.

The film chosen in the Panorama section for the 10 pm show tonight is the controversial gay thriller “L’inconnu du lac” (Stranger by the lake), French director Alain Guiraudie’s 2013 work that has won both bouquets and brickbats.

October 5, 2013

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’

Will they, won’t they?

That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening.

The film chosen in the Panorama section for the 10 pm show tonight is the controversial gay thriller “L’inconnu du lac” (Stranger by the lake), French director Alain Guiraudie’s 2013 work that has won both bouquets and brickbats.

August 29, 2013

Psychologists agree to be expert witnesses in court to say homosexuality is natural, and so laws against ‘unnatural’ sex acts do not apply

Lebanon is closer to making gay sex legal after psychiatrists and psychologists in the country stated homosexuality was ‘natural’, GSN can reveal.

The statements are a huge breakthrough because law 534, used to prosecute gay sex, is actually a law against ‘unnatural’ sex acts.

And now psychologists and psychiatrists have stated they would be prepared to be expert witnesses in court and tell judges homosexuality is ‘natural’.

June 26, 2013

Security forces in Lebanon routinely torture, beat, verbally and physically abuse people suspected of being gay, breaching international agreements which the country ratified, says a report

Lebanese Internal Security Forces threaten, ill-treat, and torture LGBT people in their custody says report released today (26 June).

In just one example of many interviewees, Nadim was arrested in 2010 because his brother was suspected of drug dealing. He was repeatedly beaten, threatened, and subjected to an ‘anal probe’ examination.

May 4, 2013

Marwan Charbel, Lebanon’s Minister of Interior declared that being gay is illegal and ‘wondered’ if married French gays should be allowed to enter the country

Lebanese Minister of Interior, Marwan Charbel, declared publicly on TV that Lebanon is against ‘sodomy' and rhetorically wondered if married gay French couples should be allowed to enter Lebanon.

During an interview with Al Jadeed TV, Charbel referred to gays in an extremely derogatory religious term, ‘liwat’, referring to the cursed people of Lot, roughly translated as 'sodomy' and sometimes used to denote the meaning of ‘fags’.

May 4, 2013

Marwan Charbel, Lebanon’s Minister of Interior declared that being gay is illegal and ‘wondered’ if married French gays should be allowed to enter the country

Lebanese Minister of Interior, Marwan Charbel, declared publicly on TV that Lebanon is against ‘sodomy' and rhetorically wondered if married gay French couples should be allowed to enter Lebanon.

During an interview with Al Jadeed TV, Charbel referred to gays in an extremely derogatory religious term, ‘liwat’, referring to the cursed people of Lot, roughly translated as 'sodomy' and sometimes used to denote the meaning of ‘fags’.

April 24, 2013

Gay and trans party goers rounded, beaten, stripped naked and humiliated by municipal police under direct orders of Beirut, Lebanon suburb mayor Antoine Shakhtoura

Municipal police rounded clubbers outside Beirut’s prime gay club, Ghost, arrested and transported them back in their car boots to the police station where they were forced to strip naked, photographed, beaten and humiliated.

According to Roy Khouri, Gay Middle East’s Beirut correspondent, all the detainees (five gay Syrians and a Lebanese trans woman) were severly beaten and transported in the boot of officers’ cars in the early hours of Sunday (21 April).