Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Supporting LGBT and other refugees in Lebanon

Whilst the focus of the western media on the attacks in the Middle East has been on the mass evacuation of foreigners there is now a huge refugee crisis developing. Lebanese citizens are fleeing their homes and seeking cover. Already there are stories of hardship and hunger and disease.

I have had the opportunity to work with and support Lebansese lgbt migrants in Canada. Last year I had the opportunity to speak at a conference in Montreal which discussed double and triple identities in the lgbt community there including a focus on issues facing those from the Middle East.

Helem Montreal is part of a network of groups around the world reaching out to Lebanese and other Arabic migrants in the north America and Australia. All the groups provide support to Helem in Beruit which provides a range of vital services for lgbt’s and has become established and supported by private foundations and NGO’s in the face of opposition from Lebanese society.

Helem Beruit is now providing assistance to refugees from the conflict. I am not aware of much published work on the effects of conflict and displacement on lgbt’s but would think from my contacts and knowledge of similar incidents that lgbt’s suffer like others and maybe are even more effected as conflict and surges in nationalism increase violence against minorities. If you feel like making a donation to support their work you can find information here.

Update: Pam notes that the wingnuts are blaming the war in the middle east on us fags and dykes already – in particular targeting the organisers of World Pride which is due to take place next month in Jerusalem.


At 01:58, Blogger EWI said...

I'm still waiting for the Uber-Catholics who can't let a week go by without blogging on the Church (e.g. Waghorne and Fitzgerald) who've been uncommonly quiet on the fate of the Lebanese Christians currently under bombardment - not to mention Ratz's condemnation of what's happening the other week.


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