Valentine’s Gay

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Here it is, that day of the year most of us dread: “Valentine’s day”. This is possibly the least popular holiday or event -I don’t even know what to call it- among most people.

If you’re single, it’s that date that reminds you that you’re alone or reminds you of an ex or a recent heartbreak. If you’re in a relationship, you’re under a lot of pressure to figure out what gift to get to your partner (considering all the effort into the perfect gift was invested almost a month ago during Christmas). And finally if you’re that person who doesn’t care about Valentine, regardless of your relationship status, it’s frustrating enough to see those cheesy balloon hearts and teddy bears and all sorts of nauseating gadgets everywhere you look.

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Having said that, now there’s another level of complication: How to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you’re gay and living in a not so open-minded country such as Lebanon. First I should say that for us gay girls, it is a lot easier than gay guys, I presume… Our culture is somehow more accepting of seeing 2 girls looking their best, having dinner in a cozy romantic restaurant on Valentine’s Day. People usually assume they are bffs, just out for dinner and gossip. However 2 guys in a romantic place is frowned upon. So let me stick to gay girls: my area of expertise.

What I noticed among my vast circle of Lesbian friends is that most of them do not like to go out in public for dinner. Valentine’s day brings a certain intimacy that you might not feel very comfortable doing in public. That’s understandable; however like I said if you do want to enjoy a fancy dinner at a romantic restaurant, do not shy away. Chances are the lights will be dimmed and the others are also on dates so they won’t waste time looking at you. Choose a small table in the corner so you can be as close as possible to your partner and hold hands from time to time.

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For those Lesbians who already live alone, they usually opt for a romantic dinner at home. Chances are one of you knows how to cook, if not, just order in. But I do recommend cooking for your partner; it’s the most fulfilling feeling ever. Even if you’re not the best cook out there, your partner will be impressed and it’s far more romantic and intimate than having sushi delivered (let’s face it, you will order sushi)

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If you neither want to be in a restaurant nor at home, I suggest you book a room in a hotel or a chalet in the mountains (in Faqra or the Cedars). Again you might think it is awkward arriving to a hotel with another girl. It is feasible… If it’s a big 5 stars hotel I recommend one of you to wait in the lobby while the other checks in. They never ask for the name of the person coming with you…trust me…I know. But if you don’t want to take that risk of being recognized in the lobby by a cousin or a family friend, a chalet is the safest way to go. There is no lobby, one of you picks up the key and no one really notices who gets in and who gets out.

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Finally to those of you who won’t be in the mood for romance and want to spend the night partying and dancing with your partner, you need a place that’s not only gay friendly… let’s face it, you need a gay bar where you can be comfortable and be all touchy feely with your partner. In that case I suggest Life Bar because it’s mainly Lesbian oriented.

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Regardless of what you choose to do on Valentine’s Day, do as you please. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you… Love isn’t a copyright for straight people.

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Jackie Chamoun: Proud of you!

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So apparently the Lebanese hypocrisy has reached a new level, all because of our skiing champion Jackie Chamoun’s so-called topless pictures.

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Local TV station Al Jadeed, the one that supposedly promotes secularism and openness is making a scandal out of it. The whole matter is blown out of proportion that even Jackie had to apologise on her Facebook page.

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Dear Jackie, do NOT apologize you look STUNNING! We are proud of you! We need more women like you that defy this patriarchal society of hypocrites. I respect societies that are traditional but I despise a society that pretends to be traditional but in reality is as morally decadent as any society can possibly get.

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We are the solution

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When I first came out (well…to myself) 15 years ago, life here was very different. The gay friendly venues were too few. We were constantly living in fear that Hbeish police will raid us (and that happened very often)

Back in those days the Internet was our salvation. We had chatrooms/forums where we would communicate and potentially meet. That’s how our community started… virtually.

As more gay friendly places opened up, we grew as a community and felt a certain freedom we never had in Lebanon before. If back then someone had asked me how I imagine Lebanon would be like in 2014 this is probably what I would have predicted:

– I would have thought we’d have a gay pride by now.

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Fact: we do have big parades……….of angry people and hateful politicians and religious fanaticism.

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– I might have thought we’d have Gay marriage… Kidding! That was always wishful thinking. I think the probability of same-sex marriage legislation in Lebanon is slim to none. Actually wait… A woman president probability is “slim”, Gay marriage probability is NONE!

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Fact: I see family values deteriorating…infidelity and divorces increasing… Way to go straight people!

– I was sure that the law criminalising homosexuality (article 534) would be abolished.

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Fact: The very basic human rights such as “domestic violence” and “women’s rights” aren’t even applied yet.

I just realized that our country has gone backwards. While most of the Lebanese people are fighting over who has the bigger representation in Lebanon I tell them: Screw you and Screw them! A simple gay pride would bring the most religiously/racially/socially diverse gathering than any other political party can.

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We are the tolerant ones… we are the civilized ones… we don’t have racism or fanaticism or sexism… yet ironically, we are “against the laws of nature”

Lebanese Stars we wish were Gay

With the likes of Haifa and Maya Diab all over our TVs with their plastic look and empty heads it’s hard to find stars that are beyond just physically attractive. It’s no secret, we gay girls like our women to be strong and ambitious… here are some of our favorites.

Nadine Labaki

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Who doesn’t love this girl! Directed 2 great movies… internationally renowned… Yes, the best Director in Lebanon is a WOMAN!

Nada Abou Farhat

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We love her because she’s a strong daring woman/feminist.

Mona Abou Hamze

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Yes she’s very sexy but she’s not just a pretty face!

Gretta Taslakian

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Holy mother of ABS! need I say more?

Alissar Caracalla

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Very strong personality… Amazing choreographer… You’d absolutely wanna take her out dancing!!!

Shada Nasr

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Now that girl knows how to play ball! Have you seen her doing her magic on court?

Daniella Rahme

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Yeah a “beauty queen” is included in this list. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Let’s face it she’s HOT!!! But she’s also down to earth and not a dummy at all (must be because she was raised in Australia and not in Lebanon)

Rita Hayek

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Finally another daring actress like Nada About Farhat. Rita left us speechless during “Ka3eb 3aleh”… No shame no taboo… very confident with her femininity…This girl will go very far in her career.

Kind of Girls in Gay Bars

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I’ve been in the gay scene on and off for about 15 years now. Back in those days we gathered most of us at a club in Sin el fil (yes you know what I’m talking about). We came a long way since then… New clubs and pubs opened up, some are exclusively gay others are gay friendly. The Lesbian community grew and evolved… Throughout those years I met a LOT of girls and observed a lot that I can now dissect your typical kind of girls in gay bars. Of course this doesn’t apply on everyone but you will find those at every Gay bar:

The underage: Those were few in my days… now they represent the majority of the crowd. You can tell from their chubby teenage face and their “I own the world” attitude that they are barely 17 years old. They are usually loud and obnoxious… drink and smoke more than you do… but then again it’s understandable.

The Oldies: They’ve been around FOR EVER! From the times when gay parties were strictly in private homes (and they don’t hesitate to always remind you that they are the pioneers of our community). Yes, they came a long way… there are legends and stories about each one of them. They are usually a reference in the community (if you’re interested to know about our history) They know everybody and they usually stick with each other…which is also understandable… just as long as they don’t hook up with the “underage”.

The “I’m too good for this place”: Those arrive together in a group and leave together…talk strictly with each other… dance together…They rarely ever let anyone into their little cocoon. They act like they are too good for this place and everyone in it, YET, they are there every week…

The Desperate Housewife: “I’m just here with my friends” although she’s there every week getting touchy-feely with the SAME girl! Those married women are usually trouble. They are not gay… they are still married… but they just find it easier to cheat with a girl and satisfy their emotional void. Keep in mind, they are not looking for a partner but for someone who would spoil them, give them the compliments they crave and drive them around.

The Angry Dyke: With her shaved head, polo shirt and glare… She’s usually alone sitting at the bar with her bottle of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She’s usually the first one with the lighter on as soon as you hold a cigarette.

The Slutty Straight Girl: She just got dumped by her boyfriend and needs an ego boost. She won’t date you or sleep with you… however she will give you ALL the signs that she intends to do so. She gives you those looks, dirty dance with you and possibly even kiss you. You think you hit the jackpot! But keep in mind this won’t go further. She might drag you on for few more days but will completely shut you out as soon as her ego is fulfilled.

The “I can’t get over the L word” look: She’s usually the bartender or the DJ… she’s suffering from the “Shane syndrome”… the haircut, the very skinny jeans… The “I’m so fucked up” look.

The Serial Dater: And last but not least there’s always this one girl (at least) who has dated/slept with almost everyone in there. She’s very charismatic and attractive and you secretly wish to be with her… but you force yourself to keep some pride and dignity.