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ADDED ON: 08/18/2020

LGBTQ+ People In Beirut Are Suffering As Lebanon Continues to Bleed

08/18/2020 | The Advocate

Lebanon, a country ravaged by war for 15 years, had its most devastating blast on August 4, 2020. The blast killed 180 people, injured more than 6,000, and has rendered 350,000 people homeless. The blast that is being reported to have created seismic waves equivalent to a 3.3 magnitude earthquake felt as far as one kilometer away according to the United States Geological Survey. While the exact cause remains undetermined, all seems to point to a port warehouse negligently storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate as the cause of the explosion. With the entire country suffering, many in the LGBTQ+ community are suffering disproportionately as the country spirals even deeper into a larger humanitarian crisis. Much like the many homes and business that were destroyed in the explosion, LGBTQ+ people also found their much fought for community destroyed in a mere three seconds. With the destruction of Gemayze and Mar Mkhayel neighborhoods, two districts known for being gay friendly, many are left without safe places to go. While same-sex relations are still punishable by law, the LGBTQ+ community was able to build, albeit quite underground, a lively gay scene — places where DJ’s spin electronica, you can take a class in drag, and the trans community is free of harm. While this community has become more open over the years, many fear that much of this progress will be reversed. Following the blows of an economic crisis, the global pandemic, and the recent explosion, many in the LGBTQ+ community are beginning to feel hopeless.

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