Gay Syrian refugees see intolerance rise in once-liberal Lebanon


When Mahmoud’s father, a well-known sheikh in Aleppo city in Syria, found out his youngest son was gay, he was furious. “He pointed a rifle at my face, finger on the trigger, and fired into the air,” Mahmoud, 23, told Openly, recalling the shame he felt five years ago when his father found him wearing make-up, an event that led to him revealing his sexuality. “Then he beat me nearly to death with an iron bar,” Mahmoud said. Mainly Muslim Syria is deeply conservative and people tend to disapprove of any open expression of sexuality or gender identity that falls outside the confines of being male or female and heterosexual.

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