GiB | Celebrates and Calls on Contributors

The golden number is 10. GiB was born on November 10 last year. It’s 2010 now, GiB is 10 months old. And incidentally, GiB readership just crossed the line of 10 thousand unique visitors.

Dear readers, it’s about time GiB thanked you all for your readership and support. And to celebrate the occasion, based on some of our latest-greatest Google Analytics statistics, please allow GiB to bestow upon you our GiB Reader Awards!

But first, GiB wants to make a call out loud to potential GiB contributors out there to consider taking part in GiB. Your stories, your opinions on gay life in Beirut matter to GiB and we want to hear them and post them, so do get in touch!

Now without further ado, the 2010 GiB Reader Awards (presented by Lady Gaga)...

The GiB-In-The-Making Award goes out to…

All of you readers who emailed GiB with questions on things to do and places to go, as you were contemplating your trip to Lebanon (usually also Syria), whether you ended up coming or not. Now tell us… did gay Beirut live up to your expectations? Well guess what, they just closed down Acid on us!

The Lebanese Porn Award goes out to…
The 30+% of readers who landed on GiB via the listings on GayDemon and bestmaleblogs, the two popular online gay directories based in the U.S. that are used mostly for porn: Sorry to disappoint you folks, but GiB ain’t showing Lebanese hunks with huge dikcs anytime soon… and you don’t have to apologize for spending merely 30 seconds on average on GiB!

The Adventurous GiB Award goes out to…
 The 150+ readers who reached GiB by googling “gay sauna beirut”, “beirut gay sauna”, “gay bath beirut” , “hammam al nuzha gay”, “beirut bathouse gay”, “hammam tripoli gay” and came across the post Up for a Scrub? So tell us guys did you end up trying the sauna? How was it??

The Keep the Faith Award goes out to…
The UNIQUE VISITORS from Azerbaijan, from Zambia, from Tajikistan, from Uzbekistan, from Cameroon, from Mongolia and from Nepal (please do tell your friends!) and to the UNIQUE VISITORS from China and Cuba (is GiB banned there or something?)

The Intellectual GiB Award goes out to…
The 400+ readers who opened the page for the post “Arab Naïveté and the Silk Cocoons”, GiB’s single-most read post according to the stats. I wonder, is it because of the catchy title, or are you guys really into this kind of weird metaphors and allegories?

The Curious GiB award goes out to…
The 2000+ visitors who found GiB by googling things like “gayinbeirut”, “gib beirut”, “gay beirut blog”  or “gays in beirut gibs”, and who spent more than 5 minutes on average reading GiB’s stuff. Way to see it in action, Beirut word-of-mouth really works wonders!

The Foreskin Attentive Award goes out to…
The ~60 readers who landed on GiB by googling things like “are lebanese men circumcised”, "are lebanese men generally circumcised", “lebanese cut or uncut”, “circumcised in Beirut”, “christian circumcision beirut”, or “lebanese circumcision”, only to find a mitigated answer in the post r u c/uc?. Question to the reader who googled “lebanese karam circumcised”: now tell us… did he turn out to be cut or uncut?

The Nosy GiB Award goes out to…

The 25 readers who googled “hamed sinno gay”, “hamed from mashrou3 leila gay?”, “hamed leila gay” or even “hamed sinno is homosexual”, and probably went on reading Party in a Steel Factory or Tattooed All Over. Now tell us… did you ever find out? Are you sure? Sure sure sure? But wait… isn’t he also the guy who waved a rainbow flag on stage at Byblos in front of major politicians, for the first time in Lebanon’s history (Photo)?

And last but not least…

The BFF GiB Award goes to…
Our folks in the online/blogger community in Lebanon, GiB's fiercest advertisers, supporters and commentators, to Dani, LGBT Monitor, GiAD, Ra’fat, Beirut Boy and all the others… Seriously, it would not be the same without you!

 … If GiB can be proud of one thing today, it's got to be that it's doing a fairly decent job taking part in The Gay Electronic Intifada of Lebanon ... but gosh how we hate the sound of that word!


GiB#3 | Eid Greetings And The Masks That Come With Them

Mask 1:

So you’re sitting down, paying attention not to glue your legs too close to each other or cross them over each other in your favorite royal pose. Just keep them “ajar” enough to air your balls (do refer to the description of the balls in the earlier post). This, my friend(s) is what we call: “a3det rjeil”, the sitting of the men.

Tonight is the night your endurance with you daddy’s TV programs will be put to the test to see how much attention you’ve been paying attention. Tonight, the Sitting of the Men will talk about the politics they saw, the religions they condemn, the economy they loathe and the women they aspire to touch. All those topics wouldn’t have found their way into the “sitting” had it not been on the Mecca of TV stations amongst those men: Al Arabiyya, Al Jazeera, the Lebanese channels. Between each outburst of either unanimous agreement or individual discrepancies, you find yourself nodding at this and shaking your head on that. But of course you wouldn’t exhibit such opinions if you weren’t directly or indirectly asked to pronounce your thoughts on the matter, be it wih a sudden stare from the “family friend” or a verbal permission from your father to speak that comes out as, “don’t you think so, my son?” signaling the time for you to support his opinion, regardless whether you agree with it or not. If you happen to presume that you know better and would like to add in your wit to the argument at hand, and it just so happens that it is not in conjunction with the ruling mentality, then your father would sadly admit that you’re ignorant, while his “family friends” would console him ever so gently that you’re just too young to understand. And “god burn America for ruining his brains”.

If the men decide to play cards or backgammon, then you’re to follow them, even if you don’t have a player’s seat or you don’t necessarily smoke. Do remember that second-hand smoking effects do not exist in this blessed gatherings, so don’t busy your health-conscious self with these insignificant details. And anyway, the clouds of smoke will switch you off in 3 minutes flat. So you’re in safe hands. You’re bored and you lost interest with the games? Then eavesdrop at what the women on the other side of the Salon are gossiping about, but do not even dare to join in the discussion. Just sit, smile courteously, cheer when your father wins and grin if he loses (or rush to clean his ashtray and get him a cleaner one). Sit and wait for the mixed nuts to come, followed with the a combination of either Pepsi, Miranda, Seven up and mixed fruit cocktail drinks. And wait patiently for the cakes that were bought from the closest patisserie. This, my friend(s) will be the height of your entertainment. After the sugar rush is gone, the yawning syndrome governs the room, your mom gives a “habibi, let’s go because I think our little daughter is on the internet and not asleep as we think she is” look. Your dad excuses himself by getting up, after which you’d have to mirror him and shake hands with the guests one after the other, in the same order as he did.

Mask 2:

You sit amongst the men who define their sex by the number of children they helped procreate and the throng of women they fantasize to share their seeds and fluids with. You think to yourself, “but I like men, why am I listening to this”?

My friend(s), I don’t think such conversations should bother us because we don’t relate to them. Personally, they bother me because they don’t add any intellectual value to my being. But that’s about it.

In such gatherings, I think to myself: why am I going through this? One possible answer is because I need to show that I am supporting my father. I am whom he will entrust his name to be passed onto his heir. I am who will bring this heir to this life (there is a funny pun in here which I’d like to highlight: the pronunciation of “heir” and “ayr” is identical somehow). I have to be part of these gatherings so that his friends won’t look at him in sympathetic camaraderie, as if wanting to say, “your train is gone and you’re all alone now. Your name will never be procreated”. My presence fuels his hope. My presence silences their doubts. My presence kills me. And yet, I am to sit smiling, grateful that I have such lovely parents (and they are lovely, loving and adorning) who bestow on me a good living. I am to sit there answering questions that neither change my life nor the course of life outside those walls. I am to sit there accepting the sugar-filled, toxin-intoxicated drinks and swallow them in gratitude of the unparalleled hospitality I am receiving. I glance at my mother every now and then. She glances back at me with eyes of pride, but clouded with stares of concern. Stares that want to say, “I know what you’re going through”, but instead translate to, “your father loves you and I’m proud of you for getting along with him, finally”.

I look away, so that I may continue arguing about politics which affect nothing but my travel plans, religions which, should I decide to follow them, save me from nothing but further criticism of my choices, and people whom I will never cross paths with. All for the sake of proving that my parents have raised me well. That I have “chosen” to abide to their beliefs because I have the common sense to see they are the common sense amongst the rubble of Man.
(Also on http://gayinabudhabi.blogspot.com/. Photo by GiB#2 of a shop in Badaro)


GiB#3 | Dress to Impress: Eid Machismo Tips

So it’s Eid. And the string of family visits is endless. I endure all the “3a2belak”, “nefra7 mennak”, “wayn bint el 7aleil” and “I have the perfect woman for you. Fresh from secondary school” comments with a mere nod of the head, smile on the face and the usual “I’m still young”, “I haven’t found the right person yet”, “I am following my uncles footsteps and will marry when I’m 35” replies. Ever so eloquently, seeking approval between each response from my father sitting nervously at the edge of his standard couch, hoping I won’t disappoint him with one of my “western” ideals responses in front of his sisters and brothers; those very same brothers and sisters who boast to their brother, my father, about what new cusswords their grandchildren are learning to call them with. All this is customary routine, regardless of any religious holiday or family event. The challenge is when it’s out of the family circle.

And so, again, it’s Eid and after the relatives come the ever-dwindling list of family friends. This will prove more challenging than relatives because now the image is crucial. The preparations start with choosing what to wear. It has to be something that, if it doesn’t convey my real age, should preferably make me look older. Because, as wise straight Arab men from Abdel Nasser era would say, “the older you look, the wiser”. How to accomplish this task? You start with the size: select something that is at least 2 size bigger than your size. Wearing an XS size to show off your biceps would gain you a “take off your little sister’s tank top and dress like men do” comment. You think: “but see, muscles = manhood!” and he think: “this tightness makes you look younger and effeminate”. So, my two-cent worth of advice, skip le drama and abide to the above rule. And the rest which will shortly follow.

After deciding to choose the desired size (usually hidden in the lost corners of your closet) make sure to pick a formal black shirt and matching formal pants. EXACTLY MATCHING. Suzy Menkes of NYT Fashion would gasp at the notion, but it is a life saver. Just don’t be creative. Think, “oh, Grandfather would’ve loved this”, take a deep breath and put them on. Let me not forget the shades of colours preferred for such occasions. They could range from pitch black to ash gray or from dark brown to khaki beige. White is obscene unless it is a traditional Emirati dishdash (jallabiyya), because white “make you look younger”. The shoes definitely black and whatever colour palette you decide to wear from the above dashing menu, make sure you’re wearing either white socks or socks that match either the EXACT shade of your shirt or the EXACT shade of your pants. Any other attempt to be creative would be shunned as “obscene and mbahdal”. Unless you’re wearing a suit, your shirtsleeves should be rolled up to show masculinity (thickness of arms) and adulthood (buttoning your sleeves with no tie and jacket is considered to be childish and out of kinder-garten uniform manuals). Shoes should most certainly be either coal-black or chocolate brown. Leather in most cases, but suede may be accepted if the texture miraculously matches your trousers.

Before you sprint out of your room spreading your legs 20 inches apart to simulate the feeling of having enlarged balls due to lack of sex and abundance of seafood stored in your groin, waiting impatiently to burst out, don’t forget to spray yourself with a classic perfume. Classic means spicy and heavy. Nothing subtle. Or else, your delicate swiff will be a tell-all.

Done? Now, walk out of the room and look for mom. Mom gives you the nod of approval to go and seek dad’s opinion. Dad looks you up and down. Still not uttering a word, you should know that he wants to see how snug the trousers are on your ass, so pretend as if you’re walking away and save him the embarrassment of asking you to give him a 360-degrees exhibit. As you walk away (slowly, of course) the approval will sprout out from his mouth sometimes so reluctantly, as if he was waiting to catch you with red-handed, but you’ve managed to out-smart him.

Stay tuned tomorrow to know all about carrying out a conversation with straight men 2.5 times your age that seem to have nothing better in life but to evaluate how capable you are to carry your father’s name through your blessed seed that will conceive an ardently waiting egg. Somewhere in a remote village.

(Photos off the Net)


GiB#2 | Religious Homophobes

Dr Laura Schlesinger is an observant Orthodox Jew from the U.S., who sadly enough also runs a radio show. She recently stated that "homosexuality is an abomination and cannot be condoned under any circumstance". In support of her opinions, Dr Laura quoted statements from the religious book by Leviticus.

I looked up what "cannot be condoned" means. It means it "cannot be overlooked", "cannot be forgiven". Thank you Dr Laura for the enlightenment. Also for spreading homophobia. I hope you can read through my sarcasm though, for what I really mean is "shut the fcuk up you little whore, and I hope ALL your sons and daughters turn out gay".

Hate mails put aside, today a friend forwarded me this thoughtful and well documented response to Dr. Laura, signed by Dr. Kauffman. This must-read is not just HILARIOUS, it also happens to make quite logical arguments. It teaches us that if someone waves a book at you as a means to attack you, don't just look away in shame or disdain, instead, why not open that book and chances are you'll find many reasons to wave the same book back at them!
Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.

I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
(Photo off the Internet)

Related GiBbies

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...