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
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.
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 ChanDirector 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
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
In 2001, the Nethelands became the first nation in our world to legalize marriage for all couples equally, breaking a historic and traditional injustice that humanity carried and propagated as a norm. Since then, marriage equality prevailed in one country after the other. Over the past 12 years, 13 more countries legalized same-sex marriage, joined recently by Uruguay and New Zealand in past month. Here is a brief summary prepared by human rights activist Dr. Hasan Abdessamad about where same-sex marriage has been legalized and where work is being done to legalize it. He also comments on the current fight for marriage equality in USA and Lebanon.
ابحث عن كلمة “حقوق” في اشارة المساواة: كل ما يطالب به المثليين والمثليات هي المساواة في الحقوق كما في الواجبات
The Equal sign says “Hokouk” Arabic for “Rights”. This is an Arabic adaptation of the Marriage Equality sign that was launched by the Human Rights Campaign HRC in USA in 2013 and went viral on social media portals. This was in support for marriage equality as the Supreme Court held hearings in regards to the unconstitutionality of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA).
This was designed by Joumana Medlej and shared publicly on her Facebook profile – Joumana gave us and the community the right to reuse it.
This is an adaptation of the Human Rights Campaign HRC logo which is a yellow equal sign over a blue background. It was used virally on social media in Mar-Apr 2013 in support for the marriage equality hearings by The Supreme Court.
Contrary to the virally spread news, marriage equality has not been fully attained today in New Zealand. A bill for legalisation was passed by Parliament (77 votes to 44) and awaits the formality of Royal Assent. If approved, same-sex marriage licenses would likely start being issues in August 2013.
This will make New Zealand the 12th country with marriage equality. The Netherlands was the first, in 2001, and it was later joined by Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal and Denmark. Argentina, Canada and South Africa are the three non-European countries in the group. Uruguay will be next after the president signs an amended bill that has been passed by the Chamber of Deputies on April 10 2013 (71 votes to 21).
Eyes are on the following countries: Andorra, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Nepal, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. In those countries the legal process…
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No, those are not just capital letters in random order. The combination of these two abbreviations is the result of many years of hard work of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) community in social media.
The official blog for the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor, raynbow.info, is nominated alongside 3 LGBT blogs and 15 blogs and social media accounts which publically support the LGBT community. Do not forget, this is occurring in a society that still condemns LGBTs as outlaws and delinquents.
With the success of the LGBT community in social media today, I can’t help but reflect on my personal experience with the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor and raynbow.info.
It all started 4 years ago. I was approached to be an admin for this Facebook page that would monitor any media coverage to which two rules apply: 1- Anything related to LGBT AND 2- Anything related to Lebanon. We did not have a hard time back then to monitor the media, even though we were only two admins. We had a few posts each month, most of them were homophobic articles. We were very happy when we saw that we reached 500 “likes,” and I personally thought we reached our peak at 1000.
Now, 4 years later, we have 5 admins who are barely able to keep up with everything posted in the media about LGBT and Lebanon. Unlike 4 years ago, the daily posts we’re having are either LGBT friendly or from LGBT individuals themselves. Even better, homophobic and transphobic posts are attacked widely by our followers, which forces homophobes to think twice before publically endorsing a homophobic statement. Today the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor is proud to have more than 6000 likes on Facebook and more that 2000 followers on Twitter.
Looking back at this experience, I think the LGBT community needs a big applause. An applause that couldn’t be better illustrated than by being nominated by The Social Media Awards (SMA), Beirut 2013.
The cherry on the top would be if any of those LGBT or LGBT-friendly blogs win at The Social Media Awards, and that can only happen with your vote!
1-Why should YOU vote for the Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor/raynbow.info?
We at the monitor don’t like to brag but we will try our best to convince you to vote for us. We led campaigns against many homophobic articles and media appearances. We objected to many celebrity/public figures like Ward el Khal and Amal Hijazi when they blurted homophobic comments. We tried to raise awareness amongst them about what it really means to be LGBT and saying out loud, “Homophobia is not the way and it will affect your popularity!”
We had our homophobic lists of stars and journalists and led campaigns against Aljaras and their homophobic articles, we rallied against MTV after Joe Maalouf forcefully outed random individuals on TV, and last, but not least, we denounced Mohammad Iskandar’s discriminative songs, which garnered much support from different organizations and we played an essential role in Canada that led to the cancellation of his Canadian tour.
No, we are not just here to post information related to LGBT and Lebanon! We are also here to make change, a change that we are witnessing in front of our eyes year after year.
So vote for LGBT media monitor in the Best News Category. To vote go to: http://www.smabeirut.com and then to the 2nd category: Best News Blog.
2- Why should YOU vote for other LGBT and publically LGBT-friendly blogs and social media accounts?
The presence of many “out” LGBT blogs in SMA shows that LGBT individuals are influencing not only other LGBTs, but also the Lebanese community in general. This shows how the Lebanese community evolved: from being a community that spews homophobic comments to one that openly denounces and faces homophobic media.
The LGBT community has said its part: We will stand up and use not only the few friendly media outlets that we have as allies, but also by using our strongest tool yet: social media. That’s how an underground community came out to the open using every way of expression to break the silence. And seeing 18 LGBT and LGBT-friendly blogs and social media accounts nominated by SMA shows that the Lebanese community endorsed that position.
To vote for LGBT blogs and LGBT friendly blogs you can refer to the following list from our Media Monitor:
Don’t waste this chance for the LGBT community to shine. Vote now, vote LGBT for SMA
Finalists for Blog of the Year
• Blog Baladi| http://www.blogbaladi.com
• Gino’s Blog | http://www.ginosblog.com
• A Separate State of Mind Separate State of Mind |www.stateofmind13.com
• Beirut Boy | guymeetsworld.wordpress.com
Finalists for Best Lifestyle Blog
• Homos Libnani| homoslibnani.wordpress.com
Finalists for Best Personal Blog
• Gino’s Blog | http://www.ginosblog.com
• Ink On The Side | http://inkontheside.com/
• Rita Kamel ritakml.info | http://www.ritakml.info
• Homos Libnani | homoslibnani.wordpress.com
• Beirut Boy | guymeetsworld.wordpress.com
Finalists for Best Band on Social Media
• مشروع ليلى Mashrou’ Leila | @mashrou3leila
Best non-arabic vocalist on Social Media
Finalists for Most Creative Instagram Account
• Gino Raidy | @ginoraidy
Finalists for Most Engaging Person on Twitter (Tweep)
• Angie Nassar | @angienassar
Finalists for Most Engaging Media Personality on Twitter
• Paula Yacoubian | @paulayacoubian
• Angie Nassar | @angienassar
• Zaven | @zaven_K
Finalists for Best Business on Twitter
• Crepaway | @crepaway
Finalists for Best NGO/Organization on Twitter
• DONNER SANG COMPTER| @DSCLebanon
Finalists for Best Restaurant, Café or Bakery on Social Media
• Crepaway | @crepaway
Finalists for Best NGO/Community on Social Media
• Donner Sang Compter | http://www.fb.com/DSCLebanon
Finalists for Best Design for a Social Media Campaign
• Crepaway | http://j.mp/crepawaySMA
Finalists for Best Facebook Application
• Crepaway | http://j.mp/crepawaySMA
By one of our colourful Admins
Sam Chalhoub talks about Lebanese LGBT rights at the TAA 2012.
Hello Lebanese citizen. I am proud to stand here tonight. With hearts full of love and justice, I have come to expose the truth of our lives and silence liars. I have come to challenge discrimination that is paralyzing every single one of us. I have come to defend our honor
and win our equality. But most of all I have come in peace and with courage to say, “Lebanon, we are not scared anymore. We are not hiding anymore. Because starting this day, with love in our hearts, we’re building a bridge where no one suffers because of their sexual orientation or their gender.”
To my country of love, to my country of democracy, to my country where everyone is welcomed, shouldn’t we get a small part of your heart that protects us from discrimination? Don’t we have a place to feel happy and secure in the same time? Why do we have to hide every time we want to be happy? Why do you have to blame or censure this happiness and consider it to be against nature? Why?
If a part of your population is not safe in your lands because they are showing their happiness, then you are not a country. If a part of your population has to play hide and seek every time they appear in society, then you are not a country. If you think that punishing a part of your population that is at least being true to itself, then you are definitely not a country.
And when we talk about homophobia, why does the rainbow flag have to be burnt by some people who don’t accept the fact that being a part of the LGBT community is being a ‘normal’ citizen, human, thinker and what all the others are and more. Yes, more. Studies show that homosexuals have a more developed artistic vision due to a more developed sensibility and sensuality.
It is a community based on a conscious or an unconscious suffering during the first age. Is suffering a fact that should be rejected, mocked, assaulted or violently abused? Is it human to mock people fighting cancer or aids or any other factor that made them suffer – or are still suffering – once upon a time? Do we have the right to throw them in jail, or kill them by groups? If yes, then what’s to blame? Suffering?
A holy marriage where God gave their parents the permission of founding a family based on love and trust. And they were born. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or Jews, LGBT* are fruits of divinity. You as a religious population say that God is perfect. How can he create something that he is against? You’re about to link this to criminals and law-breakers, but what you don’t know is that we, humans, made them out to be what they are. We made them imperfect by not looking at them the way they should have been looked at, by not giving them what they need from finance to affection. A killer will never kill for no reason, a pickpocket will never steal if he didn’t need it. A psychopath didn’t choose to be a psychopath. You, society, made them and their parents a victim of the unknown.
If God had the cruelty of punishing all of the societies for what they have made of our brothers and sisters, he would have made all of them burn in hell. However, God is way too love-giving. He loves you, loves me, loves every suffering person and knows exactly who the real criminal is and law-breaker. There are no sins. There are only a cycle of victims being cruel towards each other. You say that only God can judge you. Well, who are you to judge God for who he loves and who he doesn’t?
Let me end this speech by making you agree with my words. Dear Lebanese citizen, together we can rule the world. Keep that in mind: If we can change a mentality, we can change a society.
*LGBT: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender.
Here is the actual YouTube video:
Follow Sam Chalhoub on Twitter @samchalhoub
Like his page on Facebook: Sam J. Chalhoub