Recently, the LGBT Center held a panel discussion discussion entitled Borders: Queering the Middle (East) a panel discussion about ‘Queer life in the Middle East’ with the director and actors of the upcoming production of “Borders”. “Borders” is a story of two gay men who meet on Grindr, one in Israel and the other in Lebanon. The only panelists that lived in the Middle East happened to only live in Israel. While representation itself is an issue, the play Borders is quite problematic.
One of our community members and former Board Member, Hilal Khalil, was asked to moderate the panel discussion. He agreed as long as he could learn more about the play, and when he did, he knew it was best to sever all ties with the play and the event. He sent the following email to the LGBT Center, copying Tarab NYC, those associated with the play, the New York Commision on Human Rights and various community organizations. While we have not verified all the statements in the email below, we thought it was important to share his message with our community and allies.
Again, we are deeply disappointed in the LGBT center hosting an event about ‘Queer life in the Middle East’ centering it on Israel, with no regard for the occupation of Palestine, the lives of queer Lebanese, and that other countries exist in the Middle East. We believed the leaders of the LGBT Center when they apologized for their past actions and promised to work with organizations like ours to be a better ally to Queer MENA folks. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by their actions, it has not kept its promise of being a better ally and we demand better from the institutions like the Center that claim to be safe and welcoming to our community.
LGBT Center Holds Event Pinkwashing Israel at Expense of Queer Lebanese and PalestiniansRead More »