Exquisite food, impressive UNESCO sites, crazy nightlife and some of the most handsome guys to walk this planet…on the face of it, Lebanon is a gay man’s wet dream right?
In some ways, it sure is! By Middle Eastern Arab standards, Lebanon is often regarded as a very liberal and progressive place. There’s even a vibrant gay scene in Beirut. We certainly rate Lebanon as one of the most gay friendly countries in the Arab world.
BUT: this is by Middle Eastern standards!
The Middle East is one part of the world where being openly gay can get you into a great deal of trouble (Israel, a gay paradise, being the sole exception). For example, in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran it’s a straight-up capital punishment. In places like Lebanon, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, being gay is very much an arrestable offence that can get you a prison sentence, a fine and deportation.
The purpose of this article is to describe our experience of travelling in Lebanon as a gay couple, present a balanced perspective and give advice for LGBTQ travellers who want to explore it. It is a stunning country, one that you won’t regret visiting…but this is still very much an Arab country where being gay is against the law. You will need to go back into the closet, avoid all PDAs, set all your social media to private and never post anything gay related online before or during your trip.