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Our Mission

« You are not alone! »

Article 534 of the Lebanese penal code still criminalizes homosexuality. That legislation has repercussions even here, in Montreal where Lebanese LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgender individuals) often live with fear and isolation.

Therefore HELEM is a platform of activism, of awareness and consciousness-raising, of reflection and debate, of training and of socializing.

HELEM Montreal aims to fight homophobia in the Arabic-speaking community of Montreal by promoting the visibility of queer individuals. Furthermore, HELEM strives to protect Arabic-speaking LGBTs who deal with rejection, prejudice, discrimination, fear, etc.

Our Objectives

Objective 1

Bring together queer (non-heterosexual) individuals of the Arabic-speaking community of Quebec

Objective 2

Create and maintain a safe environment that favors the well-being and best interest of its members

Objective 3

Represent its members, to the best of its ability, within the Arabic-speaking community and within the Quebec LGBT community

Objective 4

Promote the rights of queer people in the wider community by increasing visibility in order to fight homophobia in all of its forms

Objective 5

Increase the awareness of its members to the queer realities; such as human rights and health issues

Objective 6

Collaborate with national and international human rights and health organizations whose work is in line with the mission of Helem Montreal.

Objective 7

Provide support and assistance to queer refugees arriving to Montreal from Arab countries, and refer them to appropriate existing services

Objective 8

Support Helem Lebanon, to the best of its ability, in the realization of its objectives

Upcoming Events

3

Dec

2017

Monthly Meeting for Newcomers

  • Place: 2075 de Plessis, Mtl
  • Time: 07:00 PM

We invite you to share your Montreal experien...

Click to see event

5

Nov

2017

November meeting: questions to women

  • Place: 2075 de Plessis, Mtl
  • Time: 07:00 PM

For November, our theme will be the awkward questions that heterosexual...

Click to see event

22

Oct

2017

Walk & Apple picking

  • Place: Mont Saint Hilaire
  • Time: 09:00 AM

Join us for an apple picking day in the outdoors befo...

Click to see event
Join Us

Helem Montreal meets every first Sunday of the month! Workshops, discussions, games, films, conferences or General Assemblies... the theme changes every month. Usually, our meetings take place at the CCGLM (Centre communautaire des gais et lesbiennes de Montréal), but sometimes our monthly get-together is transformed into a movie outing or a BBQ at a member's place. These gatherings are the perfect opportunity for members to bond and for newcomers to get to know us. So don't be shy, join the fun!

Unless specified otherwise, our activities are open to all.

see more events

Our Latest News

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Inside The Dream

16 Dec 2015

Helem Montreal on CJAD tonight

Tonight, on the PASSION show on CJAD radio (800AM), Dr Laurie Betito will int...

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Inside The Dream

19 Sep 2015

Helem Montreal rises like a phoenix!

For the 12th consecutive year, Helem Montreal was part of ...

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Inside The Dream

4 Sep 2015

New website coming soon!

We are very excited to announce that we have been working extremely hard to &...

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Inside The Dream

25 May 2015

New Secretary for Helem Montreal

We would like to infor...

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Inside The Dream

4 Feb 2015

Januray 4th get-together postponed!

PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF THE WE...

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Inside The Dream

26 Nov 2014

Halloween party: Volunteers needed

We need volunteers ...

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Inside The Dream

24 Sep 2014

September Get-Together Cancelled

We...

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Inside The Dream

7 May 2014

A new Board is elected!

The Annual General Assembly of Helem Montreal was held on Sunday, April 6th a...

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Inside The Dream

23 Feb 2014

New Board member

We are happy to inform you that the Board o...

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Donate

BY MAIL

Send a check , money order or bank draft made payable to "Helem Montreal" to the following address Comptoir St-André, CP 32108, Montréal, Qc, H2L-4Y5.

IN PERSON

During one of our activities, talk to a member of the Board to make your donation.

ONLINE

Via PayPal, click on the DONATE

HELEM Montreal is a non-profit organization that survives mainly through self-financing and your donations. These donations allow us to continue our fight against homophobia:

Thank you from the heart for supporting our mission and joining our peaceful fight!

Documents

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Annual Report 2015

Everything about what we did in 2015. (French only)

Open Document ➜
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Syrian LGBT refugees help plan

Many of you have asked us how we planned to help and how you could get involved. Helem Montreal has identified a few needs.

Open Document ➜
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Annual Report 2011-2012

Everything about what we did in 2011 and 2012 (French only)

Open Document ➜
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Annual Report 2013

Everything about what we did in 2013. (French only)

Open Document ➜
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Annual Report 2014

Everything about what we did in 2014 and how we celebrated 10 years of existence. (French only)

Open Document ➜
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Helem Montreal - Bylaws

Discover the rules and the values that dictate our actions and frame our mission.

Open Document ➜

Testimonial

  • Helem inspired me to not be ashamed of my sexuality. Being a part of its community also motivated me to come and be proud of who I really am. For me, my involvement in Helem has truly been life changing.

    Ziad

  • Growing up in a small country town, I witnessed strong discrimination against gays and lesbians and it saddened me to see them targeted and alienated. I found myself sticking up for them as a young girl, and that carried on into my adulthood. Now being an ally for equality is who I am.

    Shannon

  • Scrutinizing my fellow Arab is in my past with Helem’s teachings of compassion and audacity.

    Azar

  • I feel like my true self when I'm with Helem, with people who understand me.

    Silvia

Press Releases

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MOVIE PREMIERE : THE MIGRANT MIXTAPE

Helem invites you to the premiere of the documentary THE MIGRANT MIXTAPE

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Helem MTL condemns the Orlando shootings

This gesture only reminds us that since homophobic acts are very visible by their atrocity, it is our duty to be even more visible with our fight against homophobia, in our actions of demystification and popular education.

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The Canadian Plan to welcome Syrian...

Helem Montreal would like to express its concern with the Canadian government’s plan to relocate 25000 Syrian refugees into Canada in the coming months. We perceive this plan as discriminatory against single Syrian men. These men are rejected based on an arbitrary and racist assumption that all single Arab men fleeing genocide in Syria pose a threat to the security of Canada.

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A new website for Helem Montreal!

The mission of the group, one of activism and awareness-rising, is well identified on the website. “Unfortunately, we sometimes receive emails from people looking to have sexual relations...

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Helem Montreal rises like the phoenix!

Helem Montreal represented the Lebanese and Arabic culture in the Pride Parade through its vibrant Arabic music, its messages in the Arabic language and by branding the Lebanese flag on its truck.

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Who are we?

HELEM means "dream" in Arabic. It is also, in that language, an acronym for "Lebanese protection for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans individuals". Helem has existed under this name in Lebanon since 2000. The main objective of the association there is to abolish Law 534 of the Lebanese penal code, which criminalizes "sexual acts against nature," and which is used to target homosexuals.

HELEM Montreal (legalized in Quebec and established in Montreal in 2004) is a NGO with no political or religious affiliation. The group aims to combat homophobia in the Lebanese Diaspora of Montreal and to support the Arabic-speaking LGBT individuals in Montreal.

HELEM Montreal is managed by an elected Board of Directors, all volunteers, and count near fifty active members and many hundreds of followers and sympathizers of our cause. It is one of Montreal’s most visible Ethnic LGBT groups with its Monthly Get-togethers, workshops, conferences, information and awareness kiosks and so much more!

If you feel alone, want to know more about our struggles or simply want to help, you are welcome to join us!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rémy Nassar

President

Nadim Saliba

Treasurer

Albert Najjar

Secretary

Nourah

Social Affairs Director

Silvia

Women Affairs Director

Eli J. T.

Communications Director

(Vacant position)

Events Director

(Vacant position)

Internal Affairs Director

(Vacant position)

Director of Finances

(Vacant position)

Awareness Director

(Vacant position)

Community Relations Director

Prizes & Rewards

Special Jury Prize
Pride Parade 2013 - by Fierté Montréal
The theme of the parade was \"RED\". Helem\'s participation was simple, with red pants and faces painted in red only on one side. The concept was all about the double life gays have to lead in order to be safe. The message resonated with many of the people in the crowd as well as the Parade jury. This was the fourth time Helem is recognized in the Parade.


Special Jury Prize
Pride Parade 2012 - by Fierté Montréal
The theme of the parade was \"Our Flag, Our Pride\". Helem had very colorful costumes inspired by the six colors of the rainbow flag and a small float represent same-sex marriage. This was the third time Helem\'s participation is recognized in the Parade.


Best Costumes & Make-up
Pride Parade 2011 - by Fierté Montréal
The theme of the parade was \"Odyssée du futur\" (The odyssey of the future) and Helem was chosen as the group with the best costumes and make-up. The body painting and futuristic costumes stood out! This was the second time Helem wins this award.


Nomination: Volunteer of the Year
Gala Arc-en-ciel 2008 - by the CQGL
On the 27th of October 2008, during the 5th gala Arc-en-ciel, Rémy N, president of Helem Mtl, was nominated in the category Volunteer of the Year. Although he did not win the title, Rémy was the only nominee from an ethnic LGBT group that year and therefore, Helem was the only ethnic group represented.


Best Costumes & Make-up
Pride Parade 2007 - by Célébrations LGBTA
On July 29, 2007, Helem took part for the fourth consecutive year to the pride parade in Montreal. The theme given to the parade was The four elements: water, earth, wind, fire and Helem stood out with very colorful, very meaningful Phenician-inspired costumes!


Initiative / Event of the Year: for the 1st Ethnocultural Day by Helem Montréal
Allostars gala 2006 - by the QAQY
This reward was given to the event or initiative of a community group or a student that most influenced the queer Quebec youth. The criteria of evaluation were the quality of the event, its impact on the queer youth community, and the involvement in the community.

Partners & Allies

Lez Spread The Word

Partner

CMGJ-LGBT

Partner

Fugues magazine

Partner

Gai Écoute

Partner

LUSH Cosmetics

Partner

Conseil québécois LGBT

Partner

What is a Helem member?

Helem Montreal is an organization that depends greatly on the work and contributions of its members. These are people who give their time, effort, and expertise to further the goals of the group and assist with its decisions and campaigns. We accept members regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. It is NOT mandatory to be “out” publicly in order to become a Member of our organization.

Helem Montreal is a fast-growing group of activists, and our work atmosphere is professional and friendly. So join us and be part of our peaceful fight against homophobia in the Arabic-speaking community of Montreal.

For more information, please contact:

Become a Member

Contact Information

  • Helem Montréal Officiel

  • Helemmtl

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