On why Beirut is a Gay Haven in the Middle East.

Published July 18, 2013 by angrytinkerbell

Many people were pissed when this article named Beirut to be a gay haven in the middle east.

Except for the reason of why would some Israelis be furious of promoting Beirut as a competitive Gay friendly city, the reasons behind some Lebanese activists’ objections remain totally unknown, or are they? I mean yeah we have a genuine tendency as people to nag, some of our nagging is legitimate and the majority of it just isn’t. For activists, promoting that our city is a beautiful place to live in is somehow harmful for the business, you know, if there are no tragedies, there is no funding. I’m not saying that Activists in NGOs are all like that, I’ve witnessed how many people are super passionate about caring for the community and defending it, many of them have gave so much in order to make our city a better place to live in out of pure human interest. I’m not saying neither that Beirut is flawless, oh believe me it got so many flaws that you dunno where to start the counting, and that’s why activists are trying their best to make it a better place to live in with a better quality of human life.

Beirut is not a perfect city to live in, surely. I dunno if there is any other city that is. Why do some people love Beirut that much?! Why some people hate it that much?! What we’re really looking for plays the major role in the decision making on how to judge a city, some people with diverse interest can even create a Love/Hate relation with Beirut.

Why would some foreigners name Beirut the gay haven in the Middle East? Yeah well, many gay bars, many people living independently their gay life, sexy men, freedom on the internet (so far), these are the 1st pictures a tourist can see, and they make his trip a really cool one.

As for me, yeah well I’ve afforded a good life. A good gay one. Not only I’ve afforded it, i chose it. I, the gay man coming from a village, I moved to Beirut, independently from my parents, rented an apartment and lived my gay life totally.

Beirut is an expensive city, yeah well HELLOOOOOO! As expensive for a free gay man, as for a free straight man. Lebanese men in general who wanna move out from the environment that limits them have to pay the price for it. Isn’t that what Gibran Khalil Gibran our most famous philosopher did?! He moved to New York, came back to Beirut, then left again to the US, then to Paris and from it to New York again and again, which wasn’t more affordable than Bcharreh (his hometown, located in the north of Lebanon) you know?!

The villages in the mountains in Lebanon are mostly conservative areas, as any villages anywhere in the world, the city is of course more tolerant, in Italy its the same, as well in Greece, the States or any country in the world.

On why Beirut is a gay haven in the Middle East?! Well it simply gives you the choice, even under a higher price. When you chose to move to it and come out, you don’t expect to spread your coming out to the rest of the village you come from, you come out for your parents and that’s it, you don’t have to carry the rainbow and run in your hometown’s small routes, you don’t have to keep running till you reach the peak of the mountain and put the flag there, you didn’t reach the moon you know?! nor the highest peak in your continent. Well you can if you want, and you have the right to, if you don’t really want.

When I read this blog about Beirut’s Gay Myth, i got nausea. A blog full of judging, judging a person who wanted the funeral of his mother to be calm, a person who’s out and an activist who didn’t want the people in the village to talk about his gay friends while he’s mourning his mother. Well I understand it’s disappointing somehow on the personal level, but to go online and bash him?! Well you want to be a Diva, do it in Broadway. Yet you surely lacked elegance and refinement dealing with this issue. And then, you wanted to affiliate it to a cause?! Beirut’s Gay Myth?!

Well hear me well, yes Beirut is a gay haven for me, I’m living my life superbly, it gave me freedom, Beirut gave freedom to all its seekers. Incidents happen ?! Well a guy was killed in France for being an activist! No city in the Middle East have given refuge for people seeking freedom like Beirut did. Beirut is not fair?! Welcome to capitalism! Europe and America are not, neither are Russia and Brazil. Life is unfair honey. People from a lower class or who don’t have the money cannot afford it?! It’s not true, i didn’t bring my parent’s money with me, i worked my ass off to earn my living, so did most of the straight men who work in Bars, Art and other careers to afford this freedom Beirut provides them. I chose, they did as well….

The funny part is that i received a call today from my brother, he was telling me that i have all the freedom to live my life the way i want to, and to do my revolution on my own, and asked me why do i have to include them in my revolution. I said I’m not. He said yes you are, by being that out, and leading your fights online while all our entourage is seeing and reading about you. I said well this is my problem. He continued saying why do i have to endure people asking me about you. I replied cause you’re my brother and you can easily tell them ask him, or ignore them. He said then why does your mother have to endure it too?! That was sufficient to make me shut up, why?! Cause he mentioned my mother, yes my mother who’s 60 years old, thinking of how she’s enduring the reactions of the society because of me, made me shut up.

Well the funeral of your friend’s mother should have shut you up as well!!!

On why Beirut is a gay haven in the Middle East?! It’s simply the choice of a population to live free, open its gay bars although still unprotected by the law, have those fabulous parties with a will of living and breaking all the rules, and do its revolution.

On why Beirut is Not a Gay Myth?! It’s simply cause you were able to sign your blog with your full name…

Beirut is the gay haven in the Middle East!


11 comments on “On why Beirut is a Gay Haven in the Middle East.

  • I read the other article and yours as well. I totally agree with you. Life is unfair. I am a “straight” person, a mother who lives in a moderate environment. Yet I suffer from criticism most of the time about little things, small things, stupid things. This is how our society and most of the societies are. I am not sure what will be my feeling and or what will be my reaction if one of all of my kids turned to be gay but I know that no matter what you do, people will still criticize you and hurt you in many ways.

    • It meant to me a lot reading your comment, ur totally right regarding the society, all we need to focus on is how to have our conscious clear, being a good person, not harming any1, otherwise we should live freely, our life is a very short one to live it for others. At the end of our life, while having our flashbacks, it matters to look on our past, have a smile drawn on our face and say, I lived quite a life…. i know its not in ur hand, but do not ever be hurt, just look at the people trying to hurt you and think of how pathetic and empty they are for being who they are… I’m sure you make your kids proud of having you…. Love

  • I read your blog, and liked it as much as I liked the one of raja.
    not to defend raja, but he didnt “bash” his friend, but just wanted to pinpoint the fact that in Lebanon and I am sure in other part of the world as well, people in the cities have greater freedoms, because of what I think is the individuation of life. whereas in the mountains, and in the Lebanese villages, the community explained as a part of family and big family has always something to say, and nagg about, and discuss even if this is not their business…

    bref, both of your blogs are in my opinion very valuable, Raja highlighted what a gay man that is out in some part of the country has to endure and how he has to shut up in other part of the country and with his family, as for you, I loved the part where you highlighted what your bro told you and how ur mum has to endure the reactions of her entourage.
    both of your blogs, give us a clear picture of the stereotyping of our society, but we are not an execption…. I am sure of that!
    I am very happy that both u and raja wrote about those issues!!!! this is what we need while we lobby to change the law !


    • I’m glad u liked my blog Rita. I still find Raja’s inconsideration to his friend and going viral with that story disturbing. While we’re criticizing the stereotyping of the society and it’s judgement, we still judge our friends on their personal decisions and choices in life, people have the right to live their gay life as they find adequate, we’re not here to say this is the right way or not, who are we anyway, what is right and what is wrong?! And then we reflect it on Beirut with a pessimistic look, i love Beirut, I’m very thankful for what it offered me…. therefore you know now the reason behind my answer…. Anw, thank you again for taking the time to read what i had to say, i hope it will constantly be up to the level of your expectations:) Peace

      • true I understand you and share your opinion on not judging others, I try not to, sometimes I succeed sometimes not.
        anyways, I rebbloged your post, I hope that my family and friends will read it!
        I am sure I will endure some hard questions like ur bro and mum 🙂 tanpis, I m ready! 🙂

  • Tinkerbell, why the anger? You’re saying the same thing I’m saying. You need money to be able to live your life comfortably as a gay man in Lebanon. You agreed with that. My post was a commentary on the class system we live in. And don’t worry about Samer. First of all, that’s not his real name. Second of all, I asked him if I could write about it and he gave me his permission. Third of all, he read the final draft and approved it.

    Now, yes, I use my name on my blog and on this article (which was not posted on my blog), but I come from an upper middle class family and I live in Mar Mikhael and I have all the wastas in the world if need be.

    But mine is the only blog in Lebanon of a gay person that actually uses his real name and posts a picture (Azzi also has his blog, but he doesn’t write about his personal experiences). That should tell you something, no?

    Beirut is a great place to be gay. If you’re well-connected and have the means to enjoy being safe. There’s no arguing there.

    Anyways, I’m happy to see that you read my piece and that it actually got you so motivated to write a reply. I appreciate it.

    • Well yeah we said many similar things, yet the background of my reply is somehow different. Why? I think taking “Samer” as an example to criticize how people live their gay life is somehow judgmental. I, like you, have been out and outspoken. But criticizing that lifestyle,is criticizing basically not only Samer, but many people who live like him, somehow “Samer” ‘s agreement doesn’t feel enough to me, Samer is the image of many people like him, people who have the right to chose how they lead their gay life, in a free gay Beirut.

      As for the other part which relates the story to Beirut’s Gay Myth, i find all the arguments applicable to everywhere in the world, which is not really why the writer of that article names Beirut a gay haven in the Middle East.

      I have an optimistic view to Beirut, a view that foreigners whether Arabs or other can afford. But who says this is the beauty of the gay Beirut. If we’re talking about the lower class, or people with no money, who says their gay life is not better than ours? How can you know really that?! You and I who adopted the European gay lifestyle and can afford it,

      As for the affordability of Gay life, it’s as affordable as straight life, actually a straight man has to pay more living his life, you know our society imposes on a man to be a gentle one, and pay for his chick.

      Yes Beirut is a gay haven in the middle east, cause you signed your name there, which tells you something about the freedom Beirut gives you, while anywhere else in the region doesn’t.

      As for my anger, well it’s a matter of character, a character that still contains a lot of love, somehow i blame it on being a Beiruti, and i’m optimistically proud of it.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my reply.

      Long live the Beirut that gave us this space of expression….

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