Despite threats, Lebanon's LGBTQ+ community is moving forward with Beirut Pride, an initiative celebrating tolerance and respect. A bevy of events, including exhibitions, talks, concerts, parties, performances and screenings, are emphasizing love and inclusion to defeat attempts by an Islamist party to cancel the occasion.
Hadi Damien began planning Beirut Pride last summer as a special week to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17. From May 14-21, multiple events are being held in Beirut's cultural centers, bars, offices and outdoor venues. A statement posted on the Beirut Pride website says, "Beirut Pride is a happy, friendly, constructive platform that invites people to express themselves, in an attempt to contribute to our liberation from the destructive hate that poisons our country and forces many fellow citizens out toward other countries that guarantee their basic rights."