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Michael El-Bacha

Michael El Bacha

"Oh My God Am I Alright? is the 'coming out' story of a young confused man growing up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney to strict Lebanese Christian parents. From the outside looking in, Michael El-Bacha seemed like any other Lebanese boy from a large family with strong values and an appetite for football, fast cars and chicky babes, but after his parents notice that Michael is not like other 'typical' Lebanese boys, he is whisked off to Lebanon to marry his first cousin. A young Michael struggles to deny his true sexuality and leaves his young bride and infant child to find his identity, before embarking on a downward spiral and losing a lover leads him back home. Sex, drugs, homosexuality and love potions are what make this tale of self-discovery tantalising. His story will make you laugh, cringe and cry."

On the 22nd October, 2013 on Channel 10 News at 5 o'clock, Michael debut part of his story and also used this opportunity to come out publicly on national television. It was in fact for 'Australia's First Ever Inquiry Into Forced Marriages' Michael say's: "I was forced into a marriage because I believe they knew I was gay and before I had the chance to discover who I was, they thought they'd marry me off." The issues of arranged marriage and homosexual equality have been at the forefront of the media, in making this release release as timely as ever. On Saturday 15th February, 2014, Oh My God! Am I Alright? took centre stage at the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Michael's presentation was this years main attraction to head the Mardi Gras Festival. With 'Gay News Network Australia saying, via twitter on 10/02/2014 3:42 pm '@Bashman75(Michael El-Bacha) extraordinary tale will be told at #queerthinking @SydneyMardiGras.

The book is aimed for gay Australians born to Middle Eastern parents who live a life of fear and rejection. This book is also aimed at friends and family of gay Australians of Middle Eastern background. It's not a choice where the culture and family reigns supreme, why would we choose to be shunned by the people we love most? Many lives will relate and reach many, with the aim of saving lives potentially.

At release, ​Michael will become the first Australian with a Lebanese Christian background to come out publicly. And his story is ultimately very inspiring, touching and moving. It is being told with all integrity, honesty and sincerity. This is not just a coming out story. ​Michael wants to give hope, that they too can reveal their true sexuality and therefore enable them to live a guilt free life. He understands cultural acceptance are unrealistic, therefore aims to raise awareness with those families that there is support out there, and perhaps he could be that important link between a better understanding and other avenues to take in the community. He has also set up a forum and blog which is an open platform for people to discuss their own personal struggles. He will be personally monitoring this along with his son and plans to have a team consisting of professionals in cases of need.

Michael continues: "I have personally faced and ultimately overcome many obstacles in my young life and I want to share my story because I know that others will relate and identify with it. I want other men and women, in similar situations, to find hope that they too can reveal their true sexuality and live a guilt free happy life.

Michael's vision with this, is to help people by breaking the boundaries of cultural restraints and expectations and tolerance for individuality. I aim to raise awareness that there is help out there. I want to be able to educate those families, with an educational understanding of 'homosexuality'. I just  want to be able to help those that are going through what I have been through myself. I really want to stop the depression and the suicide.

Link to his book in store: Oh My God! Am I Alright?