Greetings from the Middle East & North Africa Program of IGLHRC

How to Discuss LGBT Issues: A Manual for Iranian Media Professionals


As we prepare to honor heroic leaders at the annual IGLHRC human rights awards gala, A Celebration of Courage, I want to share exciting news from our Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Program with you.

IGLHRC is about to publish How to Discuss LGBT Issues, a comprehensive media guide to LGBT issues for journalists and broadcasters reporting in Persian.

We’ve already used the manual to train 35 journalists and editors at major international outlets. The response? Resoundingly positive! One training started with a comment that it was hard to hear from a group that “promotes gay rights,” and ended with members of the same group committing to covering more stories about LGBT Iranians and saying, “This is really important!”

You’ll enjoy reading a commentary in the Huffington Post by Hossein Alizadeh, MENA Program Coordinator. Hossein explains, “In the eyes of…the ruling establishment in Iran, LGBT people are sick... A young Iranian gay man responded directly to the Spin Doctor in a Facebook post, saying, ‘Dr. Larijani, if you think we are sick, why don't you come to visit us sometime? When you come, please don't forget to bring flowers.’”

A Celebration of Courage takes place this Monday, May 13th. We’ll be honoring Yasemın Öz, one of Turkey’s most prominent LGBT activists; Dr. Binnaz Toprak, the outspoken Turkish parliamentarian who broke the government’s silence on anti-LGBT hatred; and the visionary IGLHRC Board Co-Chair Dorothy Sander who says, “These nine years with IGLHRC have been the time of my life!”

Please join us for A Celebration of Courage wherever you are—in-person in NYC or from afar via Live Stream, Facebook or Twitter. Hope to see you there!

With warmth and solidarity,

Jessica Stern
Executive Director