OUT: Portraits of a Proud Community



Wednesday to Sunday
August 16 to 20, 2017
Wednesday to Friday
6 pm to 11 pm
Saturday & Sunday
2 pm to 11 pm


Place Émilie-Gamelin
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OUT: Portraits of a Proud Community

Samir Khoury, Concept Director
James Ian Morgan, Photographer

Nowadays in the News, it is common to hear about Gay Syrian and Iraqi men being thrown from rooftops by ISIS members or being stoned. Lebanese gay men are still being arrested, subjected to archaic anal testing, and humiliated publicly and otherwise. A young boy in Morocco was dragged and bashed in the streets while some onlookers focus on how deserving it all is as he was wearing make up. And just this past May, 2017, extremist organization issued warnings and threats to cancel events planned as part of what is being referred to as the 1st PRIDE Week in Beirut. These are just some of the atrocities that we, here in Canada, hear about.

On a personal level, every time I read of another Middle Eastern or North African LGBTQ+ person subjected to torture, anal testing, public humiliation, conversion therapy, and more archaic and barbaric rigors of a law that is inhumane, I cry. And I hurt. And, as such, I have taken it upon myself to stand OUT for all those who dare not: to make a difference, to take a stand, to live proud, and to BE. This became the basis for this body of work.

The above tenets underpin the visual narratives which showcase a proud LGBTQ+ community from Middle Eastern and North African [MENA] origins living here in Montréal. The backdrops in each photo is a metaphor for different aspects of each participant’s lived experiences and existence to show that we LGBTQ+ Lebanese and Arabs are integral to this city, to Québec, to Canada. This body of work serves as a moment, a movement, that gives voice to this select group of people whose cultural identity transcend geography.

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