In recent days, it has become evident that anal tests or “Shame Tests” have returned to Lebanon, as Dr. Ahmad Mokdad, a Lebanese forensic doctor, has been examining individuals using the abusive test in order to determine their sexual orientation. The test, banned on August 7th 2012 by the Lebanese Order of Physicians, includes the forcible insertion of a metal egg-shaped object into the anal rectum, which supposedly tells if an individual had anal intercourse. Obviously, the test is a sham, as it fails to prove anything. Firstly, consensual anal intercourse does not leave permanent scarring or result in deformities of the anus or penis. Secondly, homosexuality, which is what the test is intended to prove, is not only about anal sex but is a much more complex concept, based on attraction, behaviour and identity.
In August 2012, the Lebanese police arrested 35 men (which is reported here, on the Daily Star website) at a cinema in the Bourj Hammoud district of Beirut, as they had received a tip-off that the men were watching homosexual pornography. All the men were subjected to the test and forced to pay the $85 which the test costs. Three of the men were later charged of ‘unnatural sex’ under the archaic and condemned Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code. Whatever the conviction, the anal probe still scarred all 35 men. The Lebanese Order of Physicians, politicians and human rights activists came out strongly against the tests; there were protests staged around Beirut, denouncing the tests of shame, as they came to be known. Apparently the “Provincetown of the Middle East” (a claim made by the New York Times) is only a “gay haven” for tourists, not for locals, and definitely not for refugees (which became evident after the Dekwaneh scandal).
The Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH) just released a position statement (http://lebmash.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/anal-tests/) on anal tests to assess someone’s sexual orientation. LebMASH has responded to the Legal Agenda’s report on shame tests still being performed in Lebanon, where 5 men recently were subjected to the test (in Arabic). LebMASH urges the Lebanese Order of Physicians (LOP) to discipline Dr. Ahmad Mokdad and offers to provide the LOP’s members with cultural competency training and scientifically sound educational sessions on the topic.
I, Jonathan Lawrence, thank Raynbow.info for hosting my post. I decry the lack of media attention to this story. There are regular reports in Western media concerning homosexuality and homosexual rights, yet these outrageous invasive and abusive tests, which can permanently damage an individual, both mentally and physically, have largely been ignored by Western media outlets.
Helem Montreal and Raynbow’s Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor has launched a successful campaign against hate speech by Lebanese pop star Mohamed Eskandar. The campaign has lead to a large uproar and cancelation of his three concerts in Windsor, Montreal and Ottawa on Aug 31, Sept 1 and 2 respectively. We recently learned that the original letter of protest sent out to the Canadian embassy might have also done its charm, the singer is now denied entry into Canada permanently according to Helem Montreal’s Legal Bureau.
MTV Lebanon has removed that clip of their YouTube channel early in the campaign to avoid any confrontation with the human rights activists.
It is now time we take those horrendous lyrics off YouTube. Below are easy steps on how to report the clip as offensive so that YouTube removes it. We need a large number of people to report it, so share widely.
1. Click on the link to the clip that needs to be reported: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNUH1HWp8x0. You will see the following:
2. Click on the “Flag as inappropriate” button you see to the right of “Share” button. You will see the following:
3. Click on “Select a Reason”. You will see this screen:
4. Place the cursor over “Hateful or Abusive Content” and a popup menu shows. Click on “promotes hatred or violence”
5. You now see this screen.
6. Click on the button to the right of “Please indicate what the hate speech was about:” Now you will see a list as here:
7. Click on “sexual orientation”. You will see this:
8. Consider writing something in the empty box right above the Submit button. I wrote thew following:“Refer to all the recent media coverage that is gathered on http:fb.com/LebLGBTmonitor This singer has been banned from entering Canada becasue of this song”
You can copy paste it or write your own.
9. Click “Submit video for review”
PS: This is not an “attack” on the person of Mohamed Eskandar or his business, it is at attempt to protect vulnerable marginalized people in Lebanon and the Arab world and diaspora from the harm those lyrics can cause. The campaign will not stop at this song, but any other song that encourages violence against womyn, children and the LGBT community.
Raynbow received this call for help from two Lebanese lesbian womyn who recently fled the country.
We promised the couple to shed light on their story but explained our lack of experience and resources at Raynbow with handling such matter. However, Raynbow has already contacted two lawyers to help us confirm the facts and guide us on how to best help the couple.
With their permission we share with you their heart-breaking story the way they narrated it.
I’m a 25 year-old Lebanese girl who comes from a small Christian village near Jbeil, Lebanon. I have had issues from the day I was born. It was during the war and my dad was a warrior and out of the house for 6 months. My mother was pregnant with me and when my father came back home, his family started to accuse my mother of cheating on him and they accused her of being pregnant from someone else. They separated and my brother stayed with my dad and his family; he grew up with the idea that I wasn’t his sister. He blames me for my parents’ fights, separation, and everything else he can think of.
He started raping me when I was 10 years-old. I ran away so many times, lived everywhere and anywhere I could put my head on, sometimes at friends, others on the road. I have been without a real family from that time. My brother stalked me and I’ve been kidnapped more than 3 times. I went to the hospital more than 20 times because he always hit me and smashed my bones. I have broken my leg, fingers, nose, shoulder, tooth, etc. And it gets worse! My own mother took me to get an abortion because my brother made me pregnant one day!
Three years ago, I met my girlfriend and things start getting worse. Once, he got into our place. He broke down the door and broke my nose, my finger, and my girlfriend’s hand. They had to put metal in her hand and the operation didn’t succeed and till now she still can’t fix it. They didn’t take me to the hospital; my girlfriend had to teach my sister to put two sticks on my finger and cover it with a piece of cloth (I have pictures of the finger). After that, my brother started sending men to my girlfriend to hit her. One time, she was one the road with her friend and two of his friends followed them and made the car crash. She still has the glass in her head and broke her tooth; she stayed in the hospital for three days. Recently, we were working on a project for university, and suddenly, two cars were following us. There were eight men inside the cars and they tried to run us off the road. We were on a mountain, and after one hour of trying to escape, my girlfriend’s car got big hits and they made us stop. They went to my girlfriend’s door and started hitting her and one of them stated touching me in front of my girlfriend. A policeman came and didn’t even stop them; he stood by me and said “Why are you even speaking to people like her? She’s a souhak [pervert].” In front of the policeman, one of the men who was following us promised that he’ll bury us there. Two Egyptian workers who were there saw one of those men give the police money while my girlfriend was getting beaten up.
My girlfriend and I raised a case against the police station because they didn’t do anything to help us for against the 8 men (in Baada). Till now they still haven’t done anything and my lawyer was scared that they will say that we’re lesbians because they have very good wasta [connections] and they can turn the case against my girlfriend with the help of my brother because he works with the government and also with a very known minister. Till now the police haven’t even looked at the men or arrested them. I have documents in this case and I have papers from the medical examiner. They dislocated my girlfriend’s shoulder and hurt her back very badly (I have a reports from doctors).
My situation in Lebanon was very hard. Every time my girlfriend came to pick me from any job I had, the next day I would get fired or the boss or co-workers would start to hit on me and ask questions about her. Wherever we went, cinema, having coffee, or anything people laughed at her and pointed fingers. Every night club (other than BO18) or event we went to they didn’t let her in. Every time she wanted to use the bathroom in a mall or public place she would get screamed at, security would follow her to the bathroom, people judged her, laughed at her, and some told her to leave!
She is a 28 year-old Lebanese girl coming from a small Christian village in the mountains. Words can’t describe what she’s been through all her life. She’s butch. I’m going to give you a short description and I think it will be enough. She spent most of her life alone in Beirut because her parents kicked her out when she was 17 years-old because they were afraid that people will find out about her, and that it’s a big shame for them. She would be a disgrace to her family and a deviant in the eyes of Christians!
In 2003, she was coming back from a party with her gay friend when a group of men stopped them because she was wearing a cross. They started saying to her that she’s a shame to Christians and should remove the cross. Her friend approached the men to defend her and this is when they started to beat her up, kicking her everywhere. The next thing she knows is that she woke up in a hospital with a broken back, broken arm, and broken jaw. Her friend woke up with a stick in his ass. She never saw her friend again because his parents took him out of the country and sent him to Canada.
In 2006, her name came up when people conducted an open investigation on Helem (the Lebanese gay rights NGO). She wasn’t in the organization and didn’t know how they got her name. She was in every email, started to get phone calls, people swearing at her, and co-workers laughing at her. She lost her job because one of the girls received an email with her name in it and told everyone at the company.
She spent all her life in and out of jobs, apartments, universities, friend, family, you name it. She’s gotten hit on, laughed at, judged, raped, beaten up, and threatened by taxi drivers, family members, co-workers, friends, brother, neighbors, etc.
And she’s tried to Suicide more than five times.
So in the end my girlfriend told me that we can’t do anything anymore. We were very tired, scared all the time and she told me “Let’s leave the country. She sold her car and everything she has and paid a man to get us a visitor’s visa to Europe. He fixed the papers and we ran away to Sweden. But our visa was from Spain.
We came to Sweden having big hopes, faith, and believing in human, gay/lesbian rights. We were honest with them and told them everything. They found out about our journey in the 1st interview and told us that we may go to Spain. Then they said that we will stay in Sweden for now and that they would take our case. We started to feel that we would have a normal life and things like that.
3 Days in Marsta:
We had a lot of problems with Arab people because we are lesbians. They put us with girls in the room who thought that my girlfriend is a boy and they thought she was going to rape them at night and they didn’t accept to remove their “hijab” [head-scarf]. After fighting with the security and staying all night outside the room, they moved us to another room. But the Arab girls told a bunch of men about us and they started following us and say hurtful things like “Istaghfar Allah el azim [God forgive you]. You are the end of the world.” And they would ask me why I am like this, etc. One of them even followed us to the motel in Sundsvall.
2 Days in Gavle:
The same men stopped my girlfriend in the camp and started to spit on her and swear at her. She even was scared to have cigarettes. When lunch time came, we went up to eat and while I was going to my table with the food, one of them put his leg in the way and made me trip and fall with all the food. They all started to laugh at us, so the rest of the days we hid inside of the room with no food or anything and were just praying to leave.
2 Weeks in Sundsvall:
We went to a motel in Sundsvall (worst place ever). We didn’t have hot water for two weeks, couldn’t clean our clothes, or even take a shower! I got food poisoning, our door kept getting kicked in the middle of the night. People were hitting our door all night; we opened the door and then no one was there. The room was very dirty. We have pictures of the dirty room and there was sperm all over the furniture. We spent all the money we got from the immigration on cleaning products to clean up that room. The Arab people kept following us and were saying the same things and committing the same acts against us.
5 Months in Stode:
I can’t really describe that area. We had one supermarket in all of Stode. There was no clothing store, no nothing. For five months we didn’t go outside; the weather was at minimum, minus 26 Celsius. And every month, we had 6-7 days with no food and they knew but they didn’t do anything because they said it’s not their problem. We had problems with the house, like the oven never worked, no microwave or any other machine to make food.
The windows had problems keeping the freezing weather from coming in from every corner (we even had another layer of glass on the inside of the window for a long time). Every time you take a shower you needed to wait an hour till the water drained from the tub. We have pictures and video of all these problems!
After 6 month of being lied to, being laughed at, not being provided with a lawyer, they said, “You are going to Spain and you only have two days to pack and leave the house.” They gave us a ticket to go to the immigration in Stockholm, but when I looked at the ticket more closely, I realized that they gave us a ticket for train station, which is far from the immigration (an hour walk!). When I asked about this, she replied, “Oh, we are not responsible for how you get there; you can walk or do whatever you want.” She already knew that I have no money and that I will be carrying 50 kilos of baggage with me. Finally, she ended the meeting with, “You’ll be in the station at 11 so if you don’t get to the camp by 12, then we’re going to call the police on you.” I don’t think that this has anything to do with human rights! And by the way I contact the RFSL I talked with Mr. Stig and that didn’t help as well.
In the end, we arrived in Stockholm at the immigration and they already fixed us a room with two girls saying that they have the same case as ours so it won’t be a problem if you stayed with them. We were so tired and hadn’t sleep for two days because we were packing, so I told them I was going to sleep. We entered the room, and suddenly, the couple from Russia started to drink alcohol in the room, and after a while, three men entered the room and joined them. They eventually left and we slept. After about 30 minutes, the police came into our room and woke us up asking us about the two other girls (I said I didn’t know). Two minutes later I went to the bathroom and I found out that they were hiding in the bathroom! Then they came with me to the room and one of them started to take her clothes off and we realized that she’s actually a man since he took everything off.
Then they started to fight and he smashed the other girl’s head in the door so then my girlfriend took me out of the room. We stayed without a room for four hours, so I couldn’t go inside to get my stuff so my bags, sheets, were all covered with blood and broken. And no one cared! We stayed the rest of the time sleeping with 1 sheet and in the same bed. They didn’t give us medicine when we got sick and I have a voice recorder to prove it! On the last day in the camp, a man got into the shower and watched my girlfriend take a bath for 30 min. If I hadn’t entered to check on her, I don’t know what he would have done to her. The police came and didn’t do anything; they simply opened an investigation, but still kept the man in the camp!
We got to Spain yesterday and they have treated us like criminals in every airport. The police came and put us in a small jail! I never got the reason why. The red-cross gave us a bed in a hotel for two days and they said that the immigration here won’t even give us money or a house or anything! So we need all the help we can get, at least our rights, like a lawyer, our own place because we can’t repeat what we went through in Sweden again. We are depressed and we gained a lot of weight because of the situation we were in. My girlfriend has a broken back and no thyroid, so it’s dangerous for her to have gained that weight.
I don’t have internet where I am now. I hope you can help us with our situation. Please do something! We are in a village called Girona in South Barcelona we are not happy here. First, we are with men in the house and are having some problems trying to see if they can move us to Barcelona! We will talk to them tomorrow.
Please give us any kind of recommendation or anything that you people can help with.
Thank you and regards,
Krystel and Sandra”
The content was linguistically edited but not altered by Admin Purple from the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor.
An article by Helem’s president, Ms. Hiba Abbani, caused a controversy in the LGBT commuity and their supporters. The article was published among a series of articles in a space provided by Al-Akhbar newspaper on the International Woman Day. We summarized the series of events. Below you will find links to Abbani’s article and all responses it generated.
March 8, 2011: Hiba Abbani’s article in Al-Akhbar – حقوق مثليّي/ات لبنان: أسقطوا النظام الطائفي
Responses from the community:
March 9, 2011: Raynbow Media Monitor Blog – Did Helem miss!? “ما موقف جمعية حلم من موقف “جمعية حلم
March 9, 2011: Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor post and comments
March 12, 2011: Dr. Hasan Abdessamad Blog – Can we discriminate in fighting discrimination!?
March 14, 2011: Mr. Georges Azzi Blog – Gay bars and activists
March 14, 2011: Bekhsoos – حقوق مثليّي/ات لبنان: أسقطوا النظام الطائفي
March 15 2011: Mr. Bertho Makso – A response to Ms. Abanni – Helem’s Chair & Board member: A way forward for LGBT activism – diversity, respect and inclusivity
March 16 2011: Mind Soup Blog – Lebanese LGBT Community Debates Gay Consumerism and Classism
If we missed any related article or link, please share with us.
For the International Women Day, Al-Akhbar newspaper provided a space for women from all different groups to express themselves.
As progressive and righteous as Al-Akhbar usually is, a space for lesbians, bisexual women and transgendered individuals was provided.
Hiba Abbani, Helem administrator, had the opportunity to represent Lebanese Lesbian, bisexual women and transgrender individuals. Read her piece titled حقوق مثليّي/ات لبنان: أسقطوا النظام الطائفي (Arabic for: Lebanese lesbian and gay rights: Down with sectarianism). Let us know what you think!
The first ideas that jumps to your mind:
- Does Abbani’s opinion represent that of Helem? After all, the article is signed رئيسة الهيئة الإداريّة في جمعيّة حلم (Arabic for: President of Helem’s Administrator’s Committee)
- Does her comment يعبر هذا المقال عن وجهة نظري الشخصية و ليس عن موقف جمعية حلم . اقتضى التوضيح (Arabic for: This article represents my personal opinion and not that of Helem organization) that is buried among the thread of comments under the article enough and sufficient?
- Did Helem miss a golden media opportunity?
When The Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor posted the article, three strong criticisms were immidiately posted.
Here is the response of Mr. Joseph Aoun, manager of Bardo:
well i was reading ur article online on al akhbar, well u know it’s good that u said that the article isn’t the helem position towards the matters dicussed afterwards, however for next time if u may please let’s not do the “Sakata Sahwan” game bcz people who bought the newspaper didn’t read ur appology on writing, “Ra2isat l hay2a l tanfiziyya fi jam3iyyat 7elem”, n to be frank i don’t think it really “Sakatat Sahwan”. With ur title u represent gays of lebanon, i don’t know how much true it is with all the internal issues ur opinions are creating, however that’s the image ur projecting to the straight community who don’t know ” l cherdeh wel Werdeh”.
As for details within the “brotherhood” or “Sisterhood”, u know? i am somebody that catagorize himself of being a leftist (socialist if i may say), however i have a strong position against the way ur mixing ideas in non relevant subjects. “al ra2smaliyya” “al tabaka l 3amila”, who r u the gay female version of Karl Marx? Me n You share obviously alot of ideas, excluding the idea of mixing them all together in “Tabkhit Ba7s”.
I like a lot of the opinions u’ve gave, however 7esseh l so7afeh having studied basics in journalism make me say the way you mixed subjects in the article show a lack of chronology of ideas and conclusions. It showed more a pretentious aspect of intellectualism and showoff rather than an objective article meant to be read by “al tabaka l 3amma” so shall i say ur targetting intellectual gay people in a discriminatory article same as for the gay places targetting the wealthy gay community?
As for the salaries paid for “al tabaka l3amila” in gay places, could u provide me the factual numbers, u based your opinions on? that would add credibility for you indeed!
As for the gay places being more expensive? i went to a restaurant today and had to pay 75$ for my meal, it hurts, however u have this n that in Lebanon, n guess what? not only in gay places!!!Now let’s go to the personal aspect of it:
1-You had the chance to give a good idea about us in our society n u were given that priviledge i guess for being involved in activism n having ur position in helem, u abused it n started involving our society with things that are internal and that’s called technically “Abuse of position ” for the personal cause.
2-The main purpose of helem was to join people, defend them, spread awareness in the society, give a good image and a strong one to others, help the ones that are being violated….with ur opinions you’ve fulfilled non of these.
3-You are attacking businesses that have been very supportive to helem in its work on the ground and played a role in connecting helem to alot of gay people n giving it exposure.
4-You managed to make people who were ready to serve the cause by any way, far away of doing it under your suppervision, me being an echantillon of alot of people who read your article and were disappointed by it!
Sincerely yours, Joe
1- it is sad to see that we did not use the space that was given to us in a national newspaper for constructive and useful cause. Are gay businesses more of a priority than article 534 and police practices?
2- most of your arguments are assumptions and not based on facts, itis weired when people who claim are radical leftists use the same prejudice and intimidation technics like right wing fanatics. You assume that people who go to bars are superficial and not politicly engaged which is pretentious from your side again reminds me of judgements made by homophobic magazine. It seems that extrem left and extrem right do meet at some point.
3- I think that certain circles of activists are more exclusive and elitist than gay bars, which explains why they do not manage to gather a big number of people.
I hope that we promote solidarity because it is much needed at this point
Myra M. Abdallah, an LGBT activist, responds:
Hiba, no one can deny that it is a great article. In my opinion:
1- I find straight places more expensive than gay places, especially the ones located in Hamra. Hamra street is known to be leftist and very cheap according to other nightlifestreets in Beirut. Gay places have a very shy existence outside Beirut anyway.
2- Besides, gay business are not charity!!! The owners are business people with a financial target. They can’t go to failure just because they want to be affordable for everybody. If, by asking gay places to be affordable, you mean that a person who wants to go there should be able to have a coke for 3.000 L.L. and stay there all night and has the right to do it because all this person wants to pay there is 5.000 (and I’ve seen it a lot), I think you are being a little bit irrational.
3- When you want to make gay places “as you like” maybe you should start by sticking to their rules and policies. It is not gay places fault that gay people are discriminated in Lebanon. How can you ask them to stick by their rules when you are not able to stick by their rules and go crazy making boycott campaigns that are most of the times over reacted and irrational.
4- I second what Joe and Georges said, it is so said to use this spot we were given to “ncharchi7” gay places instead of using it to make gay community look strong.
With all my respect, Myra
The question remains, does responses like those of Mr. Azzi, Mr. Aoun and Mrs. Abdallah represent a minority or a majority of the Lebanese LGBT community and their supporters?
Until we have appropriate polls and reliable statistics this question will remain unanswered.
We are very interested in reading from you. What do you think? Did Helem miss a precious media spot? Do you agree with Abbani’s ideology?
المقدم وسام بريدي يستضيف الممثلة ورد الخال في برنامج “مش غلط” على شاشة الMTV اليوم (شباط ١١، ٢٠١١). شاهد الحلقة هنا (الدقيقة 33:00)
من الجدير ذكره، أن وسام بريدي قد إستضاف ورد الخال في أول حلقة من برنامج بالهوى سوى تموز ٢٠١٠. في تلك الحلقة، صرحت ورد “ما عندي مشكله أدي أي دور, بس ال شذوذ لأ“
هذا الموقف وما تبعه من تصريحات مفعمة برهاب المثلية إستدعى رداً عنيفاً ومستنكراً من المثليين المثليات ومؤيدينهم/ن مطالبين/ات وسام و بالاعتذار (مرصد راينبو – بخصوص – مرصد الحركة المثلية اللبنانية في وسائل الإعلام). وسام إعتذر رسمياً عبر صفحته على الFacebook لكن ورد أبت أن تعتذر، لتعود اليوم وتؤكد على عنصريتها ضد المثليات وتجاهر برهابها للمثلية. إقرأ التفاصيل:
ورد الخال تجيب رداً على سؤال عن دور مدام كارمن بما معناه: المشاهد يجب أن يفرق ما بين حياة الفنان الشخصية و الدور الذي يلعبه. اعطت مثلاً عن الممثل Alpaccino الذي مثل دور شيطان، فهل هو شيطان فعلاً؟
وحرفياً: “الممثل،عنجد إنو لازم الناس تفرق إنو هيدا عم بمثل، يعني بيلعب كل الأدوار، المنيح والعاطل وكل شيء، بدو يصور كل الشخصيات”
وسام بريدي ينتهز الفرصة ليسأل: “إذا هيدي هي الفكرة، يعني مش غلط تعملي دور مثلية جنسياً!”
ورد الخال: “هه” و يعلو الإرتباك وجهها
وسام بريدي يعيد سؤاله.
تنظر ورد إلى الأعلى و بعد صمت وتفكير تجيب: “بدي اقول لك شغلي، الممثل بحب يلعب كل الأدوار و لازم يلعب كل الأدوار، بس مش يعني بيعرف يلعب كل الأدوار.”
وسام بريدي: “لأ، شو خص بيعرف والله ما …؟ أنت بتقولي الشخصية الوحيدة يلي ما ممكن العبها هي المثلية جنسياً!“
ورد تقاطعه متعثرة و مفسرة: “لحظة، أنا أقدر… ما فيي أعمله، ما بعرف اعملها، ما بعرف، اعترف.”
وسام: “شو مدام كارمن كنت بتعرفي تعمليها يعني؟”
ورد: “مدام كارمن ايه، بعرف اعملها”
وسام ممازحاً: “اه، شفتي، بالا وعي تبعك في مدام كارمن!”
ورد تجيب مستنكرة و بجدية: “لأ،بس في فريق كتير كبير، ما بعرف اعملها، لانو منا بي… لانها منا (ليست) بتكويني الطبيعي، ما بعرف اعملها.”
وسام: “لحظة، بتكوينك الطبيعي في مدام كارمن يعني؟”
ورد تفسر: “لأ، تكويني الطبيعي يعني أنا إمرأة وفي أمامي رجل مش إمرأة وفي أمامي إمرأة. ما بعرف، بحترم كل الممثلين، إذا… يلي لعبوا هيدول الادوار”
وسام مقاطعاً: “يعني الذي يلعب دور المثلي جنسياً بكون في بيشخصيته هيك؟”
ورد تجيب بإرتباك ويعلو صوتها: “أبداً، لأ… مش… مش… هي قادرة تلعب هيك… أنا ما بعرف اعملها”
و بإبتسامة عريضة تزول تدريجياً: “بعترف إنو في أدوار ما بعرف العبها، منن هيدا الدور”
وسام ينتقل إلى موضوعٌ آخر…
لقد حاولنا الاتصال بالممثلة ورد الخال المرة السابقة لاعطائها فرصة و منبراً لتفسير موقفها، لكنها لم تجيب على رسائلنا الالكترونية.
مرصد الحركة المثلية اللبنانية في وسائل الإعلام يضع هذا النص بين أيديكن/م ونترك المجال لكن/م للتعليق والحكم.
You can watch the full episodes here. Judge for yourself and leave you comments below.
The first response from the Lebanese blogosphere came from activist Georges Azzi. In his “Tahkik” on MTV he wrote: “Watching the show tonight on MTV, I felt like being on a rollercoaster, every interesting message or scene was followed by a meaningless and useless one!”. He went on to list the “good” and “bad & frustrating” moments of the show.
Beirut-Boy Blog expressed their disappointment and presented a detailed run down of the content with their own commentary. Read MTV’s “Homosexuality in Lebanon”: Hot Mess with a Nice Ending
On The Rainbow Experience Karim N. started off by “This show was disturbing and off topic.” The only positive aspect about Tahkik in his opinion was “a gay man, a transgendered woman and a gay couple talked on national TV”. Karim ends his post by thanking the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor for actively engaging and mobilizing the community on Twitter and Facebook.
Lebanon Rebel Blog comments on the three recent TV shows on homosexuality. “Zaven’s episode of Sire we nfata7it is a disgrace… Ta7kik is well done, mostly when it comes to testimonies by homosexuals but otherwise, the opinions of these doctors aren’t quite so good… my personal favorite is ta7ta ta2ilat el mas2ouliya”. She talks about same-sex marriage and how she might be planning to do so in on eof the countries that allows it. I agree that it is not a “fantasy” anymore. I Personally know a handful of same-sex marriages among Lebanese and few planned for this coming season.
One of Raynbow’s volunteers commented on the show in لبنان MTV خرافات وحقائق! تحقيق, an Arabic article that we published today.
It was the first time, gay cruising in Lebanon was fully exposed. They went to cruising areas, a lesbian bar, and even logged onto a gay meeting site, Manjam. They searched for “Lebanese men” on the gay social site. To their surprise they found 10043 Lebanese gay man online! The figure appears shocking at first, but with a population of 4 million, you expect 400,000 to be homosexual and 200,000 to be gay (Following the 10% rule, even though one study from the nineties, showed that about 20% of Lebanese men had an orgasm at least once with another man). Using simple calculation, about 5% of Lebanese gay men were online at that moment. It is believable! As the Lebanese LGBT media Monitor puts it:
“10043 gay Lebanese men were online on Manjam in MTV Lebanon‘s documentary. Add those offline, then multiply by 2 to account for lesbians & you get a VOTING and BUYING power that politicians must start taking into account.”
Regardless of the controversy, no one can dismiss the “happy ending” with the presenter’s closing comments:
“Is homophobia justified? This rejection by society and family brings deep suffering to those people, making them feel rejected and marginalized, leading for some teenagers to commit suicide and for others to boast their sexuality. Isn’t it time to amend the Lebanese law which regards homosexuality as crime punishable by law, especially considering that in any family there might be a gay person. So do we reject a brother? Do we get disgusted by a sister? Do we ignore a friend? Do we kill a neighbor, just because their sexual orientation is different from ours, and the way they feel towards others is different from our feelings?”
Will this “Happy Ending” make the community forgive the presenter for the false medical information strongly propagated through her show, or the detailed focus on usually “undercover” social meeting areas and facilities?!