Lesbanon: The Lesbian Experience In Lebanon
Baghdadi, Lizette M.
Very little has been written on female homosexuality in the Arab world. This paper is an ethnographic account of non-heterosexual women in Lebanon as presented through personal interviews and participant observations with twenty individuals who identify as non-heterosexual and are living in Lebanon. The project seeks to understand the experience of non-heterosexual women in Lebanon and the ways in which they navigate different state, legal, social, and cultural institutions that shape, constrain, or seek to define them. The interviews attempt to illustrate first hand how non-heterosexual women in Lebanon are making sense of a certain set of practices traditionally seen as taboo in Lebanon. This paper is organized around certain themes that surfaced during the interviews, which include identity and discourse, geography and space, and family and society. The first chapter explores the discourse of identity as it is constructed within and against constraints of power. The second chapter examines the geography of Lebanon and the effects that this location has on differences in sexualities within the context of the Arab world. Particular spaces and places in Lebanon where non-heterosexual identities are negotiated, performed and able to exist are also looked at. And finally the third chapter explores the Arab family and society and its relevance and impact on non-heterosexual women in Lebanon.
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