Strawberries is very excited to announce they will host a four-hour takeover on HÖR BERLIN on Saturday, October 10 from 18:00-22:00(GMT+2).
Through the stream, they are hoping to raise funds which will go directly to queer people affected by the port blast in Beirut on August 4.
The explosion left nearly 200 dead, 10,000+ injured and over 300,000 homeless and is considered to be the third-largest explosion in history. It came during the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst economic crisis in the history of the country. The Lebanese government has consistently failed at aiding the Lebanese people, who are left to fend for themselves.
Among those affected are individuals from the queer community, which is already marginalised, and even more so now. Due to unclear laws, lack of rights, and social restrictions, the queer community finds it hard to seek help from non-queer initiatives for safety reasons, whether it’s due to family conditions or professional reasons.
Strawberries has set up a dedicated Go Fund Me, which is now live, with all proceeds going to Queer Relief Fund.
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“I felt like I went to hell for seven hours and then I came out of it,” recalls Andrea, a drag performer in Beirut who was injured in the Aug. 4 port explosion that devastated parts of the Lebanese capital. “I didn’t know what to think. Did I lose my house? Did I lose my life? Did I lose my beautiful city? It was a war zone.” Lebanon's government “has turned against us,” he continues. “They are not helping us clean or take care of the aftermath.” Nearly a week after the deadly blast, the cabinet resigned. Since then, Andrea, whose home sustained significant damage, has helped with a relief fund that offers shelter, food and first aid to members of the city's LGBTQ community who were impacted by the disaster. “If we didn't have our rights before,” he adds, referring to the fact that same-sex relations in Lebanon can be punishable by up to one year in prison, “now what we have left is very little.” Photograph by @myriamboulos for @time
Queer Relief Fund is an independent initiative launched by Sandra MELHEM, club owner and queer activist for over 10 years.
The initiative now includes a group of prominent figures in the queer community in Lebanon, ranging from club owners, artists, nightlife figures, safe space providers and designers to people in the medical field. Queer Relief Fund are constantly involved with the queer community and help in any way we can whenever something comes up.
Since the queer community was never a priority for the government and is definitely not one now, Queer Relief Fund have decided to support the community themselves to help it get back on its feet fast.
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