LGBT Media Mania and Community’s Reactions
It is refreshing to read positive and supportive articles by Lebanese media about LGBT issues. It is time our media starts dealing with the LGBT people as just another diverse Lebanese reality rather than a “phenomena” or a “weird” story that will make the headlines and increase the media portal’s audience and viewers. It is time our media realizes the great harm it inflicts on LGBT individuals when it propagates lies and incites hatred. It is time we tell our media that we will not stand idle or stay silent in the face of any insults, discrimination or defamation. We should actively back-up LGBT-supportive media to prove that portrayal of the truth, attaining justice, and respecting all human rights also “sell” in Lebanon.
Raynbow Monitor started the “Homophobes Hall of Shame and Homophiles Hall of Fame” project to categorize Lebanese media figures and celebrities based on documented statements, positions or work. You can always suggest new candidates for this project by writing us at email@example.com
On October 18, 2010, two shows about “Homosexuality in Lebanon” ran on two Lebanese TV stations at the same time. Al-Jadeed (New) TV (NTV) presented episode 1 of “Mithly Mithlak” documentary by Riad Kobeissy. On Future TV (FTV), “The Homosexual Crime” aired as part of by Zaven Kouyoumdjian’s talk show “Sireh wou Infata7it“.
Episode 2 of “Mithly Mithlak” aired a week later on October 25, 2010.
The two shows received significant attention on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other media. Here is a quick list of social and written media reactions:
- Al-Akhbar writes: المثلية الجنسية: أول وثائقي لبناني يكسر الصمت Arabic for “Homosexuality, first Lebanese documentary breaks the silence”
- Myra Abdalla writes for Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor: الجديد” إعلامياً، و-“المستقبل” إلى أين؟ Arabic for “NTV is professional, where is FTV heading?”
- Beirut Boy Blog writes: “Zaven thinks he is breaking gay stereotypes“
- Gender across Borders, a global feminist blog writes: “Lebanese TV Shows Address Homosexuality (or: Is All Representation Good Representation?“
- Bekhsoos used a different approach and before they contributed to the discussion, they asked their readers what they thought of the two shows under Fesheh Khel’ik section. Check out what people thought.
- Raynbow Media provided a summary of most relevant tweets about episode 2 of “Mithli Mithlak”: “Live Twitter stream from Mithli Mithlak on NTV Oct 25 2010“. This same blog post includes links to episode 1 of “Mithli Mithlak”.
- Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor called on the community to live stream the show’s content on their Facebook wall. Brief updates were streamed live from the Future TV talk show.
- After the Future TV episode, Zaven Kouyoumdjian’s Facebook page was flooded with comments from agree fans. Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor saved snapshots of few comments here 1, 2, 3.
- All these reactions were nicely summarized in Katharine Ganly‘s “Lebanon: TV Shows on Homosexuality Create Buzz“.
- Meem group, a support group for Lebanese LBTQ, reported on this recent media mania in their own way with a sense of humor. Watch their video “Al-Shazoun” (Arabic for “perverts”) cleverly produced as a trailer for a horror movie, suitably released on Halloween (3 days ago) on Meem Group YouTube Channel. The video was featured yesterday in Bekhsoos, Queer Arab Weekly.
Today, MTV Lebanon will be hosting yet another talk show about homosexuality in Lebanon. “Tahkik” by Claude Hind will air at 10 PM (Beirut time). Make sure to watch it on TV or Live Online and contribute to the discussion.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that this media mania is not rare. As we write about these current episodes it is worth reminiscing on previous TV spots made popular by how homophobic they were. Check out “Top 5 Worst TV Shows on Homosexuality” published in January 2010.
By Raynbow Founder,