The struggle of the LGBTIQ* community to achieve visibility on TV and social networks
“When I was asked by the BBC to make a video talking about my coming out performing as a Drag Queen in public, I saw it as a great platform to share my experiences with other people in Lebanon who might be experiencing the same fears I used to have. Nevertheless, I still haven’t told my family about the video because they would be too worried about the consequences.”
Anissa Krana, Lebanese Drag Queen and LGBTIQ* activist
To use platforms and coming out- or not to? How to balance between the desire for a presence to share experiences on the one hand and being firmly attached to their family’s values? This is a question that many LGBTIQ* people in Lebanon face.
The diversification of media opens up opportunities for the coverage and display of otherwise underrepresented topics. Both “traditional” media as well as social media have a great impact on people’s opinion. Therefore, it is relevant to look at the way in which LGBTIQ* issues are covered: How are LGBTIQ* people portrayed? Do TV and social networks make LGBTIQ* issues visible and actually improve the situation of LGBTIQ* people, or do they reproduce and enhance social bias by forming stereotypes? This paper examines the representation of LGBTIQ* people and the coverage of LGBTIQ* issues on Lebanese TV and social networks in order to evaluate its influence on the general image of LGBTIQ* people in Lebanese society.
The term LGBTIQ* is used to underline the wide range of non-heterosexual and non-binary genders existing.