Sydney singer-slash-DJ Ray Isaac is hosting a queer night for fans of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean music at Gingers on Oxford Street on the evening of Sunday, October 1.
Isaac told QNews that he knows what it’s like to struggle with identity and says that experience is shared by many Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean “wogs” in the LGBTIQA+ community – a term Isaac has embraced and reclaimed.
As a gay Lebanese-Australian man, Isaac says he was brought up in a culture that frowned upon who he was.
“I have had to fight and rebel to be free and to come out of the closet without causing danger to myself,” Isaac told QNews.
“I know that there are many other ‘wogs’ in Australia who are in the same situation, brought up in cultures and religions who do not accept being gay.”
It’s for this reason that Isaac decided to organise Arabian Knights – a dance party for LGBTIQA+ people with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean heritage with a focus on Arabic and Greek music.
“I have created a party where all LGBTIQ wogs can come together and celebrate their culture,” Isaac said.
A response to world events
Isaac told QNews that he felt he was seeing a backlash against the LGBTIQA+ community as transgender people and drag queens were increasingly used as political footballs around the world.
“There is a new agenda against the LGBTIQ people worldwide,” Isaac said.
“We are constantly being ostracised and currently, my people have been attacked just for being themselves at a cafe in Lebanon called Madame Om. It broke my heart to see it.”
“We have had attacks on us in Oxford Street. This is my fight back! Fighting with love and music. I refuse to disappear!
“We come in peace and just want to live and be free in our own colours unapologetically. We are Arabian Knights in Shining Glitter – an Arabic-Greek-English fusion in which I, Ray Isaac, curate for my people in love!
“This is dear to me as this is the country I come from, Lebanon.”
A final release tickets for the event are available online for $30 plus booking fee through Eventbrite, or it’s $40 on the door from 10pm.
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