Coming Out in the Developing World: Insurgent Queer Identities in the Middle East

Coming Out in the Developing World: Insurgent Queer Identities in the Middle East

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 – 6:00PM
The New School – 6 East 16th Street (at 5th Avenue) – Room 1103

“Insurgent Queer Identities in the Middle East” aims to understand the factors that have influenced the establishment of an LGBTQI identity in the Muslim Middle East. Focusing on Lebanon, Egypt and Iran, the panel aims to explore how physical and social space has been and is being created to accommodate alternative lifestyles. We hope to illuminate the instruments that are mobilized to empower individuals and establish LGBTQI communities.

Among the questions we hope to consider are: How is an LGBTQI identity constructed in the contemporary Muslim Middle East? What factors shape this identity and enable it to materialize? What are the major challenges to forming groups to support LGBTQI individuals and help them fight for their rights? What role can transnational queer activism play in supporting activism in the Middle East?

Speakers include Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; Emily Regan Wills, PhD Candidate in Politics, New School for Social Research, Global Studies Teaching Fellow, New School for General Studies. The panel will be moderated by Brandon Fischer, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School.

This is the fifth event in the year long “Coming Out in the Developing World” lecture and discussion series sponsored by Global Studies at the New School, which focuses on LGBT activism, identity, and the experience of coming out in developing countries.

This event is co-sponsored by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies and Global Studies. Reception to follow.

For more information, please e-mail globalstudies(at)

Global Studies Program
The New School
66 West 12th St., Suite 401
New York, NY 10011