All around the world the use of homophobic and transphobic language in the media has perpetuated prejudice and lies about the LGBTIQ community. OutRight has worked with hundreds of journalists over the years to change this because we know that better coverage of LGBTIQ issues in the media will lead to more positive perceptions of LGBTIQ people in society.
Over the past few months OutRight has been monitoring local and national newspapers, radio, TV channels, and social media with fearless partners from the Middle East and North Africa. We found overwhelming evidence of derogatory terminology, hate speech inspired by religious doctrine, medical misinformation, and legal fallacies being used to describe LGBTIQ people.
While most of the reporting is very negative and even derogatory, there are a few noteworthy exceptions. For example, when media reported on singer Ricky Martin’s engagement to a Syrian boyfriend, the language was surprisingly neutral. I think the reason is that musicians and artists are given more leeway in society - and so the reporting also becomes more accepting.
We are confident that the study and media training guide will be instrumental in helping to make media coverage of LGBTIQ communities in the Arab-speaking world more accurate and fair.
Published on April 12, 2017 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization