The Case of Lesbians in Lebanon

Katia Aoun HageIt is with deep concern that I put on the table of discussion the case of lesbians in Lebanon. It has come to my attention, during my last visit, that some places, bars, restaurants are implicitly linked to their presence. Although it is reassuring to know that there are some safe havens, it remains very alarming the way lesbians are perceived and the extent of sarcasm and degradation that they so often endure. Our society labels and sequesters its lesbian members. It treats them as being abnormal, leprous, opposing the laws of nature and God. It remains to argue that the Bible or the Quran underline lesbianism as being unethical and therefore sinful. These words and texts can be interpreted in different ways, and can either harm or include lesbian women in our society.

What seems to be more tragic, in my opinion, is the ignorance and the fear of the straight woman or man from someone they do not understand, or who falls outside the usual norms. This damning judgment can drive these women to run away from the harsh reality that they face. If they are not brave enough to come out with who they are, they are bound to sink in depression, drugs, alcoholism, leading sometimes to suicide. And if they do proclaim what they hold true in their being, these women are faced with rejection from their own family, who think that they have become a sign of shame and they have destroyed the future held by their parents, as well as their friends and the people they know.

I have learned through the years that sexuality does not define your role or place in society. Being aware of it helps build safe and trusting relationships. Nobody would want to be fooled by his loved one. Faithfulness, respect and love are the tools to measure the health of any kind of relationship. Last, it is important to keep in mind that every woman, regardless of her sexual inclinations, has the right to be respected, to be loved, to have a place in the society which she belongs to.

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