Violence and Discrimination Against Men Who Have Sex With Men in Lebanon: The Role of International Displacement and Migration

J Interpers Violence. 2021 Nov;36(21-22):10267-10284. doi: 10.1177/0886260519884684. Epub 2019 Oct 28.


Homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon and men who have sex with men (MSM) may experience discrimination. Displaced Syrians, who currently comprise approximately 20% of Lebanon's population, also face discrimination. Individuals who are members of both groups may experience heightened levels of discrimination and abuse. In partnership with local nongovernmental organizations serving the community, we recruited N = 292 MSM in Beirut, Lebanon. Participants were interviewed about experiences of violence and discrimination in the context of a larger health behavior survey, and all were offered anonymous HIV testing. Responses were analyzed using the framework of intersectionality, combining regression, geographical mapping of reported experiences, and network analysis of the participant recruitment pattern. MSM, born outside of Lebanon, who are primarily from Syria, face higher levels of discrimination and violence than native-born MSM (71% vs. 32% reporting at least one type of discrimination or violence). Socioeconomic status is also associated with discrimination and violence overall, and among native- and foreign-born MSM. Experiences vary by town and neighborhood, and are highly correlated between recruiting and recruited participants.These results highlight health risks faced by foreign-born MSM in Lebanon.

Keywords: displacement; migration; respondent-driven sampling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Lebanon / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Violence