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Is Your Doctor on “the list of pride”? 1 of 2 Doctors in Lebanon Refuse To Treat LGBTQ Patients…

September 7, 2017 Leave a comment

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It was 2005, right after Former PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated. I was screaming of pain and my parents chose to take me to an Urologist in Beirut. He opened the door and while completely overlooking my aching screams, looked my father sharply in the eyes and bluntly asked him: “are you with or against Syria?”

 

Why is this story relevant now?

 

Because earlier this week, a group of Lebanese doctors have launched an online service that is greatly expected to succeed in creating a safer and more humane medical field in Lebanon where EVERYONE is welcomed to any medical clinic regardless of who they are, look like, wear, think and believe or not believe in.

 

The Lebanese group of doctors practicing in the US, Canada and Lebanon have already founded LebMash, the Lebanese Medical Health Association for Sexual Health back in 2012. This Tuesday, they launched “LebGuide” online at LebMash.org/LebGuide after a year of anticipation, hard work and hope for a better future for all patients in Lebanon inclusively.

 

One must optimistically tend to believe that this anecdote and the attitude of the urologist was just back in 2005 and that doctors of Lebanon do not pick and choose who to provide care for anymore. We like to think they do not choose “customers” rather than patients on the basis of political and religious affiliations and other identity ingredients.

 

Before continuing, you do know that the previous paragraph was sarcastic and that the situation of medical ethics is worsening and that the openness of physicians to every patient out there is not yet accomplished right?

 

Okay, now we can continue to something worse!

 

At least, people of certain religious or political affiliations have had the choice before becoming affiliated with a certain religion or a political party or movement. What about those who have had no choice? What about people of different genders and more importantly people of different sexual orientations?

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) had published an article under the title of “The Five Star Doctor” as an attempt to set clear and simple criteria for a perfect doctor that are comprehensible by the public.

 

One criterion to know if your physician in Lebanon is a five star one is “Equity”. According to the WHO article, “equity, which is central to a socially accountable health care system, means striving towards making high-quality health care available to all.”

 

If it is not already clear, “all” includes people of all colors, races, genders, sexual orientations, political and religious affiliations!

So, are doctors of Lebanon as five-star as we like to think of them?

 

A study conducted by Lebanese doctor Faisal El Kak, unfortunately and yet fortunately revealed that 50% of the studied physicians showed readiness to treat or work with homosexual patients.

 

In the same study of 2010, 73% of the physicians believed that homosexuality is a disease. This is not to get started on how reparative treatments from homosexuality are still being explicitly offered and advertised for in Lebanon and Lebanese media.

According to LebMash’s official website, their aim is to “spread awareness and knowledge, as well as influencing the attitudes and behavior of health-care providers and the general public regarding LGBT health and sexual health.”

 

So how would LebGuide influence the medical scene in Lebanon and its relation with LGBTQ patients?

 

LebGuide provides a search engine in which an LGBT patient or care provider of an LGBT patient can look up the name and location of a physician who guarantees a safe space and pledges a humane and indiscriminate treatment for all patients!

 

Physicians can be looked up by gender, specialization and location. Moreover, a patient can always rate that physician, maybe not in terms of medical expertise but in terms of humane reception of the patient according to his/her experience. People can also suggest physicians to be added to the list of pride as I like to think of it.

 

Presumably, if you are a physician and you are aware that we live in 2017, you definitely not want to be ashamed by your name not being on the list of pride!

 

Hence, today, practices of discrimination against patients of the LGBTQ community can no longer be protected by the doors of the clinics of shame; it is now all in the light and before the eyes of the public.

 

So the question is, would the discriminant physicians really want to face the public with their discrimination? Or will they, as expected, change their mentality even if just for the sake of being on the list?

 

With ultimate hope and close-to-desperate faith, we cannot wait to see LebGuide impacting health institutions in Lebanon so that we can get to a day where if you’re queer and sick, you wouldn’t have to think twice before consulting a doctor or seeking help!

 

LebGuide is thus expected to put an end to clientelism in medicine in Lebanon.

If you are gay you are okay, we know that, but if you are gay and not feeling okay, you should be able to receive help whenever and wherever needed!

 

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Maya Diab: “People Who Don’t See LGBTQ People As People, Should Learn How To Become People!”

September 5, 2017 Leave a comment

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Lebanese artist, anchor and influencer Maya Diab was hosted by Future TV anchor Paula Yaacoubian on her weekly Inter-Views on Wednesday August 23rd. Paula hosting Maya on her political show was already deemed controversial. That they would be discussing LGBTQ rights and tolerance in Lebanon was just an elephant in the room!

Both ladies are already known for their supportive statements with regard to the LGBTQ community and that was witnessed when they were both hosted by Mona Abou Hamzeh on Talk of the Town on MTV Lebanon few months ago.   

Despite her explicit support, Paula still fell in the trap of terminologies where she referred to the LGBTQ community as “irregulars/outlaws/abnormals” aka “shawath/شواذ” more than three times throughout the talk.  

To all the people attacking her for “cheering” for the LGBTQ community, Maya responded that she refuses to be accused of cheering for anyone: “I am not a cheerleader here, and this is not an event that needs cheering. Neither accepting, rejecting nor even cheering for the LGBTQ community is an option anymore, they simply exist and they have always existed.”

Oddly enough, Maya still had to justify her performance at a gay club in Beirut to the public, even after more than a year since the controversial party took place. At that time, Maya launched a social media campaign defending her right to sing for whomever she wants. Back then, She was both praised and massively attacked for vigorously defending the LGBTQ rights.

After reiterating how her music should only be seen as a tool of unification and communication and after mocking the so called “democratic system” of Lebanon, Maya continued to refuse any “trophy” from any LGBTQ organization due to her belief that she is only doing what everyone else should be doing!  

Maya also told a recent anecdote in which her sister handed her a written message from a fan who told her how he could have never imagined a celebrity speaking about his community publicly. Maya stressed on the fact that the fan was subject to sexual assault in his childhood and that he is still struggling with the cruelty of his parents and the society.

Once again, Paula couldn’t avoid falling for yet another terminological fallacy where she generalized that the LGBTQ are people who choose to be as such, and that was ironically right after Maya told the story of the victim/fan who clearly had no choice! This does not change the fact that Paula was supportive throughout the rest of the talk.

Maya concluded with a couple of very impactful and moving statements. “We are not oil and water, we are one! People who don’t see LGBTQ people as people, should learn how to become people!”

Inter-views 24/08/2017 مع الفنانة مايا دياب

شو السبب؟ ?Shu el Sabab

January 12, 2016 Leave a comment

ما بهم شو السبب، المثليّة منّا مرض: فيلم تثقيفي حول التصنيف الطبي للمثليّة الجنسية. “شو السبب؟” هو السؤال الأول الذي يراودنا عند مقاربة موضوع المثلية الجنسية في لبنان

أظهرت دراسة حديثة أعدها مركز الموارد الجندرية والجنسانية لدى المؤسسة العربية للحرية والمساواة أن ٧٢٪ من اللبنانيين واللبنانيات يعتقدون بأن المثلية الجنسية هي حالة اضطراب نفسي، لا سيما وأن بعض مهنيي الصحة النفسية في لبنان ما زالوا يمارسون أنواع مختلفة من علاجات تحويل الميول الجنسي وذلك خلافاً لأعراف الطب النفسي العالمية واللبنانية

تأسّست الجمعية الطبية اللبنانية للصحة الجنسية (لبماش) في لبنان في ٤ أيلول/سبتمبر ٢٠١٢، وهي منظّمةٌ غبر حكوميّةٍ لا تبغي الرّبح. تهدف جمعية لبماش إلى تحسين الصحّة الجنسية لجميع الأفراد في لبنان، مع التركيز بشكلٍ خاصٍّ على المثليين والمثليات ومزدوجي/ات الميول الجنسيّة والمتحوّلين/ات جنسيًا، وغيرهم/ن من الفئات المهمّشة في لبنان

لتصويب الرأي العام حول تصنيف المثلية الجنسية كحالة اجتماعية غير مرضية، أعدَّت جمعية لبماش فيلم رسوم متحركة يسلط الضوء على الموضوع ويشير إلى عدم جدوى علاجات تحويل الميول الجنسي والتي غالباً ما يكون تأثيرها سلبياً

شو السبب؟ هو فيلم رسوم متحركة يستند على شهادات حياة لمثليين ومثليّات من لبنان، شاركوا في مجموعات تركيز أجرتها لبماش لِتدوين تجربتهم/ن الشخصية، صَمَّمته ونفّذته جيسيكا عازار بتمويل كريم من السفارة السويسريّة في بيروت

Shu el Sabab? (what is the cause?) is one of the most frequently asked questions regarding homosexuality in Lebanon. A recent study conducted by the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) at the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) showed that 72% of the Lebanese population perceive homosexuality as a mental disorder. Some mental health professionals in Lebanon continue to practice various forms of conversion therapy against the recommendations of international and Lebanese mental health professional organizations

The Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH) produced this movie to address these issues and increase awareness regarding homosexuality, its “cause”, lack of efficacy of conversion therapy, and its potential harmful effects

This movie was designed and animated by the talented Jessica Azar. It was made possible by a generous grant from the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon. This movie is based on the stories of gay and lesbian individuals living in Lebanon who participated in focus groups conducted by LebMASH

The Tests of Shame Return to Lebanon


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 anal tests in 2012 caused an outbreak of protests across Beirut. Helem, the Arab World's leading LGBT organisation was at the frontline protesting this crime.

The anal tests in 2012 caused an outbreak of protests across Beirut. Helem, the Arab World’s leading LGBT organisation was at the frontline protesting this crime.

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.

Unknownlegal agenda

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.

 

Jonathan Lawrence

WHO is not looking after your health!


For almost a year, an item about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) health has been denied entry to the agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting. The item is simple: “improving the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons.” Deliberately unfortunate, countries belonging to the AFRO (Africa) and EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean) regions have been repeatedly refusing to even discuss this item, let alone add it to the WHO agenda. 

WHO logo  - LGBT Health

International health and human rights organizations, including the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH), congregated and have been discussing over the past year the best approach to tackle this issue. For all this time, the work has been done in secret and was especially kept away from the media. After diplomacy efforts did not lead to inclusion of the item on the agenda, a decision was made to bring the issue to the public’s attention in order to rally organizations, especially in the global south and the EMRO and AFRO regions to get involved.

The main problem posed is unequal access to health care for LGBT individuals. People who express their sexual orientation, their gender identity, and their sexuality are more-often-than-not denied health services and are subject to harassment, shame, physical and verbal violence, and sometimes arrests. Some expose themselves to “underground” care and often put their lives at risk as a result.

Other consequences of such discrimination include cases of depressions, substance abuse, and disregard to STI protection and prevention.

A petition (to be signed by organizations) is circulating the net today, urging Director-General of WHO Dr. Margaret Chan to push for a continued dialogue regarding these issues and to encourage the EMRO and AFRO regions to take them into consideration. Furthermore, it demands further studies and researches to be conducted on LGBT health services.

This petition needs our signatures. Follow the link below, read it, sign, and spread the word to ensure a safe and healthier environment for our fellow LGBT. Quoting Dr. Hasan Abdessamad, a human rights activist and president of LebMASH, who has written about this issue today:

Health care is a right, we should not allow it ever become a privilege.

Sign Your Organization Here: http://www.msmgf.org/index.cfm/id/65/alert_id/21 before March 10 2104.

Sign On for WHO Consensus on LGBT Health!

 

Dr. Margaret Chan


Director General

World Health Organization

Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27

Switzerland

 

Dear Madam Director General:

We, the undersigned civil society organizations from all regions of the world, respectfully write to you today to show our support for the complicated work you have undertaken of finding consensus on how to discuss issues related to access to health for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. We are dismayed that the topic has become so contentious and difficult to discuss, but we write to encourage you to persevere and bring these very important and appropriate health concerns to the work of the World Health Organization.

We represent a variety of health, HIV, human rights, and LGBT organizations which all work in some manner on the real impact of discrimination against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. This discrimination is rampant in all of our societies, despite differences of culture, economics, politics, or legal status of homosexuality. Such discrimination directly impacts the health outcomes of these communities. Whenever any group of people—no mater how marginalized—experience disparate health outcomes, that is of legitimate interest to the WHO and deserves to be studied and understood fully. We appreciate that you have personally taken the time to ensure that the Executive Board of the WHO will address these issues appropriately.

As you know, reports from every region of the world show that LGBT citizens lack equal access to health care, and experience real discrimination based on exposing their sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, or bodily diversity in health care settings. Such discrimination takes many different forms including outright denial of services, harassment, embarrassment, violence and arrest, as well as internalized stigma and shame. Such experiences lead directly and indirectly to bad health outcomes, such as higher incidents of depression, drug and alcohol use, lack of HIV prevention and treatment, and even suicide. Cancer-related health disparities for lesbian women have been indicated in a variety of studies, and transgender individuals receive particularly poor or no appropriate health services specific to their needs.

We write today to encourage continued dialogue and discussion of these important health matters, and to make sure that the item does not get permanently postponed or deleted from the agenda of the Executive Board. We further urge the Secretariat of WHO to engage in further study and research on the health outcomes for LGBT communities in all parts of the world, since a disproportionate amount of existing data comes from Global North countries. It is imperative that the WHO encourage thoughtful and unbiased study in all regions of the world.

This is an important moment in the evolution of global health to address the particular health challenges of LGBT populations.  This is indeed a critical next step for WHO to help improve the vital and universal access to health for LGBT people.

Should there be anything we can do to support this effort, please let us know.

With respect and hope for a healthier world,

SIGN ON HERE: http://www.msmgf.org/index.cfm/id/65/alert_id/21/

 

By Steph El-Haddad for Raynbow.info

خطوة جديدة لفسحة أملٍ


بعد الرسالة التي تم توجيهها من قبل الجمعية اللبنانية للصحة الجنسية وجمعية حلم إلى كلٍ من الجمعية اللبنانية للطب النفسي والجمعية اللبنانية لعلم النفس تم إقرار بيان من قبل هاتين الجمعيتين تضمنتا نقطتين اساسيتين هما :أن المثلية الجنسية ليست مرض وأن محاولات تغيير ألهوية الجنسية قد شجبت

قرارٌ كهذا من قبل جمعيتين لبنانيتين يعتبر إنجاز على صعيد الوطن نظراً إلى التغطية الإعلامية العالمية الكبيرة التي حصل عليها إذ اننا ما زلنا نعيش في بلدٍ يحشم ويحرم المثلية الجنسية، ويعتبر بعد المعالجين النفسيين أنه يمكن للمرئ تغير ميوله الجنسية إذا خضع (في معظم الحالات قصراً) لهذه العلاجات

هذا القرار على الصعيد العالمي ليس بجديد. إذ إن كل جمعيات الطب النفسي وعلم النفس الأمريكية كانت قد ازالة المثلية الجنسية من الأمراض النفسية منذ العام ١٩٧٥ وكذلك ازالته منظمة الصحة العالمية في الأول من كانون الثاني عام ١٩٩٣

إنجازٌ كبير وخطوة كبيرة نحو بلدٍ خالٍ من أي شكلٍ من أشكال التمييز نحو فئةٍ من المجتمع

فهل الجمعية اللبنانية للصحة الجنسية وجمعية حلم تحملان بريق أملٍ لمجتمع ما زال  في أحضانه طبيبان نفسيان يعتبران أن المثلية في لبنان تبقى “حيثية غير مألوفة إذ انّ لمجتمعاتنا خصوصيّة مختلفة ونمطاً مختلفاً في التفكير؟” سنرى

The development on the #Dekabuse #LebLGBT

May 2, 2013 1 comment

The development on the #Dekabuse #LebLGBT

LBC, Al Jadeed, MTV decided to defend the gay community.

Future TV, Al Manar TV chose silence, as usual, which is understandable.

OTV?! They’re confused about being a civil and laique TV channel or being like Tele Lumiere/NourSat. So Randa El Murr, is all what you’ve got to offer?! Pshhhhhhhhhhhh… Losers!

Yesterday night while passing by Dekweneh, I see all these signs, “We back you! Thank you for fighting corruption! Thank you for defending our rights! We’re by your side.” In one day, all the clerics and charitable institutions have decided to all react at the same time, even political parties. I felt like I was in Medjugorje.

Oh my car is driving on a holy land! Hooooo!

Oh Mr. Mayor can you bless my car? I suggest you stand in the middle of the road and throw holy water on people passing.

So the church forgot all the corruption that it has because gay aliens are invading Dekwaneh. Which planet do those gay people come from? Is there a planet GAY?! You know a glittery planet where they listen to Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Britney?!?!!?

Or is it country….called Gayistan?!!?! Crossing on my heart….Oh Lord!!!

The church decided to neglect all its gay sons?! What?

Things don’t stop here; now there is a car moving in Dekwaneh calling on people to gather in front of the St. Georges church to defend the attacks that the head of the municipality is suffering from?

WHHHHHAAAATTTTTT?! He’s under attack?!!?!? Those gay people are so aggressive.

You know my suggestions is to call on all religions to praise God for protection of Gay people. Wooooohhooooo…

Not only that! We can slaughter a virgin girl so that our God be satisfied. Afterwards we kill all those gay people. We do the Crusades again. We kill Joan of Arc and Galileo!!!

Weeeehewwww…..God is on our side against those invaders.

I mean look at the Cabarets and Poker places, they’re paying the amount that makes them be part of us. They’re Dekwanies!

All I can think of is the misfortune of the gay people living inside Dekwaneh and seeing this carnival!!! The worst would be if they’re relatives of Mr Shakhtoura!!! Haaaaaaaa!

Can we do a special dance as well?!?!?! Performed by those police officers who lived out their fantasies with transsexuals? That would be awesome!

Come on everyone, let’s praise the God of Homophobia!!!

By Joseph Aoun

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