By Chadwick Moore
Around midnight, upstairs in a small club on Avenue of the Americas, the pitch-black dance floor resounded with the rapid stomps and warbling, high-energy cries of the dabke, an Arab folk dance performed at weddings and other celebrations.
When the strobe lights flashed, they revealed a sea of raised hands. A man in the crowd removed his kaffiyeh, the traditional headdress worn by some Arab and Kurdish men, and whipped it around in the air.[...]
This was a recent Saturday night at Habibi, a floating monthly dance party of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Arabs in New York. In a city that seems to offer activities for every conceivable gay subculture — one 700-entry directory lists support groups for, among others, gay vegans, pilots and sailing enthusiasts, along with 62 religion-based groups — Habibi is perhaps the only opportunity in New York for gay people of Middle Eastern descent to interact openly in an organized setting.Keep reading...