The Media Watchdog for LGBTQI Rights in Lebanon tracks the Lebanese media coverage of all matters and events related to the LGBTQI community to ensure fairness and accuracy, and the elimination of homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Editorial: Milking our way through!

To Harvey Milk and Beirut,

By dint of perseverance, you can both sigh in relief.
By dint of believing, that Sunday was indeed blessed. There were the “Milk” moments; an ultra-political Penn bashing an ultra-conservative “Prop 8” crowd, and a moving tribute to Milk by a visibly moved Black. And then, and 10 time zones away, there was Beirut cherishing the rainbow out and loud. The biggest pro-LGBTQI Rights rally in a gloomy Middle East could only take place in Beirut. Marchers (reports ranging from 50 (1) to 200 (2)) wore their pride on with slogans like “my body is not a public property!”
Yet despite the rainbow’s shining, clouds still hovered around that same Sunday. As Black and Penn delivered their acceptance speeches, Asian satellite TV network STAR censored them in 53 Asian countries (including Lebanon) stating “a responsibility to take the sensitivities and guidelines of all our markets into consideration” (3). In Beirut meanwhile, the media coverage presented recommendable voices for hope (notably L’Orient Le Jour Newspaper and the news website Now Lebanon). However, the bluntly homophobic response did not wait too long. In today’s edition of OTV’s morning show “Yawm Jdid”, the incitement to discrimination and disdain came in the context of an interview with Pastor Edgar Traboulsi – the second in two weeks. The coverage of the Lebanese media of the event and the OTV interview will be discussed at length in upcoming posts.
Harvey & Beirut: Sigh! But only briefly and ever-so quickly. The end looms still far too far for you two to rest.
And yes Mr. Penn, we are all “commie, homo-loving sons of guns!”

1 "حلـم" تعتـصم ضـد العنـف [Helem Protests against Violence]. (2009, February 23). Assafir Newspaper.
2 Achi, G. (2009, February 23). Rassemblement pacifique à Beyrouth pour le droit à l’homosexualité. L'Orient Le Jour .
3 Young, S. (2009). Gay Asians criticize Oscar speech's TV censorship. The Associated Press.

Photo credits: Top left: Rana Mitri (2009); Bottom right: Mark Mansour (2009).


  1. I wish you all the best for your new blog

  2. There can never be enough people voicing their opinion against the dedicated and self congratulating homophobia that plagues the Middle East. Keep it up I look forward to the next post!