Saturday 27th February 2021
NSW Teachers Federation
37 Reservoir Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Raising the rainbow flag: Rising up for ‘GAYRABIA’
Curated + hosted by Patrick Abboud.
Come through ‘Gayrabia’ with a panel of queer Arabs sharing their stories of resistance and resilience, pride and party -- plus a revolutionary vogueing performance from House of Silky’s Xander Khoury.
Raising the rainbow flag at a pop concert in Egypt was the most exhilarating but dangerous five minutes of Sarah Hegazy and Ahmed Alaa’s life. In many parts of the Middle East, it’s still illegal to be gay. In one of the worst crackdowns against the LGBTQI+ community in the region, Sarah and Ahmed were charged with “inciting debauchery”, abused, electrocuted and left in solitary confinement.
Live from Canada, where he’s now living in exile, Ahmed Alaa will join host Patrick Abboud for a live Q+A, alongside fellow ‘Gayrabs’ living in Australia who’ll take you inside their lives.
Right now, Egyptian police continue to entrap LGBTQI+ people through dating apps and arrest people off the streets solely based on their gender expression. While LGBTQI+ Arab Australians’ lives aren’t under threat, many here struggle with being open about their identities, the fear of losing family and being cut off is all too real. But some of us can live freely, fighting for safer spaces for our global middle eastern queer family to thrive.
Together we will raise the rainbow flag and rise up for ‘Gayrabia’.
In loving memory of Sarah Hegazy (pictured above).
** This panel discussion is part of ‘Gayrabia’ -- a TV documentary series and podcast **
About Patrick Abboud (he/him):
Patrick (Pat) Abboud is an award-winning broadcaster & documentary maker. He’s currently reporting and presenting for The Project on Network 10 and weekly ABC podcast Days Like These, while creating a new queer true crime show "The Greatest Menace", commissioned by Amazon, supported by The Walkley Foundation and made possible with the Jesse Cox Fellowship. The 8-part investigative series unlocks the incredible hidden history of the world’s only gay prison in a tiny Australian town.
Pat founded The Feed on SBS VICELAND and spent 7 years with SBS TV as a journalist and presenter. He was co-host and director for the annual SBS Mardi Gras TV broadcast. He made documentaries for Dateline and also wrote, directed, and hosted Mardi Gras Movies - a TV series about queer cinema. Pat’s popular interview series #patchat where very public facing people get deeply personal has clocked up more than 40 million views across social media. Starting his career as a correspondent, Pats’ travelled to more than 53 countries, scouring almost every continent for untold stories.
His storytelling is described as ‘Must Watch TV’ (The Guardian). He’s won multiple awards for his work as a journalist and director. Cosmopolitan magazine named Pat one of the most 50 influential LGBTQI+ voices and he’s a proud ambassador for Twenty 10 and Wear it Purple.
About Queer Thinking:
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ boundary-pushing talks and ideas program brings together rising stars, unsung heroes and provocateurs from across the world for blazing debate at the NSW Teachers Federation on Saturday 27 February 2021.
Queer Thinking is set to feature three thought-provoking sessions, curated by Benjamin Law, Julie McCrossin AM, and Patrick Abboud. Including for the first time, Virtual International Speakers, and the option to attend as part of a Virtual Audience.
This past year has undoubtedly been one of unprecedented challenge and hardship. The impact of droughts, fires, floods and a global pandemic tested our spirit and resolve. Let's come together to connect at Queer Thinking, it’s time we rise together again.