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 Anta Hurr (أنت حر Arabic for “You are free”) episode included using a hidden camera inside an adult all-men movie theater in Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli. The video shows shadows of men masturbating and a short sexual chat with one of them. Joe Maalouf called on officials to close the theater permanently. The next day, Cinema Hamra in Tripoli was shut down without any official or public response by any politician or leader. Read the Assafir report here.
In my opinion, what MTV has done is wrong on many levels:
The faces of the people filmed were not blurred. Just imagine what has happened to the lives of these men the next day when their faces were shown nationwide. MTV did not think about the men’s safety and security in a society where honor crimes are still protected by the law and where social stigma can lead marginalized people to destructive behavior or self-harm.
Did Joe Maalouf already judge the men present there as criminals and less human than the rest of us and thus exposing their identity to the public without their consent was ruled legitimate?
Why did MTV go all the way to Tripoli, to that one unique place, and ignore the countless adult clubs in Hamra and other areas in Beirut? That cinema charges 5,000 L.L. per entrance, so it is likely that they make less money than the “elite” clubs elsewhere. They thus have less money to bribe the system. Is that why MTV chose the Tripoli-based Cinema Hamra? Was it an easier target to attack and ensure that the closure would happen and score a “victory” for their TV show?
Or did MTV choose Cinema Hamra because it caters for men only? And sex among adult consenting men is abnormal in their eyes so they had to stop that “scandal!” Joe Maalouf presented the topic as if this place is a danger to the homes and families in the city. He acted as if the pornography screened there can be seen from the balconies of neighboring buildings or that all the ejaculates of masturbation are splashing on the rooftops of Tripoli’s houses.
The documentary only showed adult men. However, at the end of the episode, Joe Maalouf made it sound like such places are there to lure teenagers and drug them.
And to make sure that you agitated everyone, if people did not care about what was happening between the walls of that cinema, MTV brings in religion to make the subject sound more alarming. MTV brought in religion by using a cheesy statement about having to cut out the “Adhan” from the background. Then Maalouf called on Sheikhs to condemn the behavior.
I am not advocating for the presence of such places nor am I condemning them. I am only commenting on the fact that MTV treated the men there as nonhumans where it violated their basic human right for privacy and carelessly put their safety at stake. MTV filmed them without their permission and shared the video on national TV without their permission. I hold MTV accountable for any wrong-doing or harm that is inflicted upon these men whether by their own hands or somebody else’s.
The only problem that will remain in Lebanon, even if no one will hear about any suffering the men experienced, is that you definitely labeled them as less human than we all are.
The only argument that I would have understood and sympathized with is if you had mentioned that the place is not monitored by health authorities to ensure safety and public health by confidential counseling and STD testing. I see that you were more concerned about the “scandalous” nature of your reporting which ensure attracting more viewers.
For more on how you’ve acted in a completely unprofessional manner, please read Jean Salim’s take on the issue.