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Lebanese authorities crack down on LGBTQ community

Lebanon's increasingly homophobic public discourse is condemning queer people to living in fear and isolation.
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images

Mahmoud does not live in Lebanon anymore. When he came back for his summer vacation, he found a more hostile country than the one he left a year ago. Coming out to his parents was never part of his plans, but hearing his dad saying that “all gay people have to die” forced him to make a decision. “It is impossible for them to understand me, so I give up, I don’t want them in my life,” Mahmoud told Al-Monitor.

Being queer in Lebanon is getting more dangerous by the day. That is why Mahmoud did not give his real name. Despite feeling safer in the European country where he now lives, he, as many other members of the LGBTQ community, does not want his identity to be revealed in Lebanon. “People are scared and activists are scared to carry out activities as they used to,” said Rasha Younes, a Human Rights Watch LGBT researcher in the MENA region.

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