Helem, is the first LGBTQIA+ rights organization in the Arab world, officially established in Beirut, Lebanon in 2001. Its mission is to lead the struggle for the liberation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Intersex, Transgendered, Queer (LGBTQIA+) and other people with non-conforming sexualities and/or gender identities in Lebanon and the SWANA region from all sorts of violations of their individual and collective civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.
Our goal is to empower young LGBTQIA+ leaders to advocate for their own liberation. We seek to create initiatives and spaces where our communities can leverage unity through diversity and build power. We protect and support individuals with the resources to resist the harm caused by homophobia and transphobia. We empower our youth through education and community building, and we mobilize to change the laws, policies, and practices that deny us equality and reduce our quality of life.
Helem runs various programs and advocacy campaigns and provides a wide range of services to members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Lebanon, including emergency response, case management, legal assistance, social support, family support, and mental health support. It also runs one of the largest non-commercial queer spaces in the MENA region through its community center and prioritizes decriminalization, labor rights, housing, hate speech, and economic empowerment as advocacy priorities.