Writer Michael Luongo provides rare look at gay community in the Middle East

January 4, 2011

Produced by Worldview

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(Photo courtesy of Michael Luongo)
Residents gather at a shelter for gay men in Baghdad.

It may be harder to find than here in the West, but the Middle East has a gay scene. In places like Beirut, where homosexuality is technically illegal, it even thrives.

That’s what writer Michael Luongo discovered. He recently penned a four-part series about the LGBT community in Baghdad for “Gay City News.” He’s also the editor of the book “Gay Travels in the Muslim World,” a compilation of memoirs from gay people in the Middle East. It was the first gay book to appear at an Arabic book fair. Michael toured the Middle East when the book was published.

Luongo tells us about his book tour, which didn't really resemble a book tour in the United States.