Melbourne’s new group for Arabic-speaking gay men and lesbians is inviting community members to its launch event, Arabic Night this weekend.

Helem Melbourne began in early June this year and has been running monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. Gay and lesbian people living in Arabic communities in Australia still endured ‘hostile attitudes’ because of their sexuality, an April survey found

The ‘We’re Family Too’ report found homophobia was common in Arabic-speaking communities after surveying almost 50 same-sex attracted people living in New South Wales earlier this year. Participants said a lack of education about sexuality and strong religious views were some of the reasons for homophobic attitudes.

Helem Melbourne secretary Georges Nemer said the launch party would celebrate the Arabic LGBTIQ community and invited community members to join them.

INFO: Helem Melbourne launches on Sunday, October 14 at DT’s Hotel in Richmond from 5pm www.facebook.com/helem.melbourne

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