The ‘Double Closet’

Alternet had a piece yesterday about gay and lesbian Arab Americans.

It’s Saturday night and the place is slowly filling up with men of a variety of ages and races — but this isn’t any ordinary evening. Tonight, the bar is playing host to Arabian Nights, a series of monthly events designed to validate and unite one of the most closeted communities in the area, and in the nation: Gay and lesbian Arabs.

Arabian Nights is orchestrated by AL-GAMEA, a group formed in 2004 by three gay Arab men dedicated to creating a forum for support, socialization, education and awareness, in an area that’s home to the largest and most visible Arab-American community in the country.

It’s an interesting article, even though the journalist uses phrases like ‘Arabic lesbian,’ which makes me wonder how much research she did. (‘Arabic’ is the language, ‘Arab’ is the ethnicity.)

By the way, those of you in the Bay Area: Next Saturday, May 13, there will be a fundraising event at 4 pm at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books. The event is in support of Helem, a gay and lesbian organization in Lebanon, and will feature readings by Amy Tan, Dorothy Allison, Ayelet Waldman, Po Bronson, Rabih Alameddine, Kay Ryan, Justin Chin, Stephen Elliott, K.M. Soehnlein, ZZ Packer, Andrew Sean Greer, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Beth Lisick, Elizabeth Stark and Susanne Pari.


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