We Are One+Together partnered with Visionaire World for an important and timely event, drawing attention to homosexuality in the Middle East.
The timing couldn’t have been more right. Held amid the days of NYC Pride, in an overwhelmingly posh apartment space in prime Tribeca NYC, Zirkova’s We Are One+Together partnered with Visionaire World for a dynamic kickoff of Mr. Gay Syria Initiative, which looks to secure asylum for the Mr. Gay Syria contestants, including financing legal aid as well as generating political and public support. These brave individuals chose to host a competition to illuminate urgent issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals in the Middle East.
This is a conversation that simply isn’t happening frequently enough, usually it’s reduced to headline-grabbing actions. But these stories do nothing to change the status quo. By engaging with the initiative, We Are One+Together, Visionaire World and Grindr (which has now fully occupied the space of LGBTQ-rights leader) presented the premier of a four minute film, War Within directed by Palestinian, Lebanese director Zaher Saleh as part of the We Are One+Together film series.
It’s a deeply personal account of a gay Muslim man who struggles to reconcile his sexuality with faith: the faith often cited as the justification for crimes against gay men.
Visionaire World also showcased a short film inspired by the Mr. Gay Syria pageant starring Caroline Vreeland, Connie Flemming,, Elliott Sailors, Ladyfag, Maryna Linchuk, and Yara Sofia of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Guests, activists, and influencers such as Connie Flemming, Ladyfag, Emma Snowdon-Jones, Florence le Faivre, Derek Anderson, director of War Within Zaher Saleh, Indira Cesarine, Gigi Ben Artzi, Lars Peterson, Niclas Gillis, Alexandra Vreeland, Sebastian Kaufman, Ian Mellencamp, and influential artist Jennifer Elster among others at the event enjoyed the film on loop as well as gained knowledge on how to help with the Mr. Gay Syria Initiative.
You can help the Mr. Gay Syria Initiative directly by signing the petition urging the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to take swift action and accelerate the process of granting the five courageous contestants asylum.