Lebanon: At Best a Virtual Gay Community

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PRIOR TO moving to Lebanon, I’d joke with my friends, saying that I was traveling back in time to a world that resembles that of the late 1960’s in North America: a country that lacks openly gay public spaces and where the vast majority of homosexual men are closeted due to a strict patriarchal system. Unlike the Americans in the 60’s, however, these men have on-line chat sites, the most popular of which are Manjam.com and Gaydar.co.uk. Through these sites they have access to the liberties of the Western world—both sites are based in the UK—and they’re able to chat with like-minded people in an attempt to develop relationships, sexual or otherwise, in on-line gay community.

Eager to meet new people and unwilling to go and discreetly cruise at the infamous Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown, Beirut, I created an account on Manjam.com.

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