Defiantly Drag

Lebanon's drag queens defy clamp-down on LGBTQ freedoms

Defiantly Drag Lebanon's drag scene is thriving despite government attempts to restrict LGBTQ rights and freedoms. Drag artists like Diva bring visibility and hope to the suppressed queer communities across the Arab world.
In 2018, Beirut emerged as a haven for queer culture in the Arab world, with an appeals court ruling in favour of same-sex marriage. But in 2019 the Beirut pride event was cancelled for 'inciting indecency' with anti-lgbtq protestors removing the flags and posters. Drag shows are now often performed under tight security and in 2022 the interior ministry ordered a clamp-down on events "promoting sexual perversion". A wave of hate speech followed. "We are doing something we're proud of. I'm doing art and I'll keep doing it", says Diva.

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