چهار شنبه، ۱۰ دی ۱۳۹۹
Stop Queerphobia in Persian Speaking Media
In recent years, with the rise of queer rights movements in the world, including among Persian speakers, various Persian-speaking media have increasingly addressed issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, but unfortunately in many cases, these media have not used appropriate terminologies. These terminologies need to be changed in several ways, some of which are mentioned below:
● Sometimes these terminologies have been directly offensive. For example, in one of the most recent cases, Alireza Amirghasemi, the host of Tapesh TV, defended the rights of homosexuals in a conversation with Shohreh Solati, but called bisexuals “sick”. After being protested, he asserted that people who have sexual relationships with men and women at the same time are mentally ill. However, all reputable psychological societies in different countries consider bisexuality as a natural and healthy sexual and emotional attraction, similar to homosexuality, polygamy, heterosexuality, and heterosexuality. In another example, Farhad Gohardani and Zahra Tizroo write in a note in 2019 on the BBC Persian website: “Iranians collectively never express nostalgia for the era of braziers and drugs or the era of “hamjinsbaazi” and incest.” The authors equate homosexuality with drug use and incest. In addition, there has been agreement among Persian-speaking activists for years that “hamjinsbaazi” (which in Persian equated to being fag or dyke) is an offensive term, and the media has been repeatedly warned not to use the term.
● Sometimes media employees or guests try to defend the rights of queer people, but use inappropriate language in translating words and terminologies. In one of the most recent cases, Arash Jodaki, a guest on an Iran International TV program, used the word “hamjensbaaz” instead of homosexual, but the host did not correct him. Similarly, a few years ago, Mohammad Manzarpour, then editor-in-chief of VOA’s Farsi Service, used the word “hamjensbaaz” to translate part of the president Obama’s speech that was talking about LGBTQ rights, which stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans.” When the Persian section of VOA was protested, it changed the translation of LGBTQ to homosexual and continued to ignore bisexuals and transgender people.
● Sometimes this literature does not cover a wide range of sexual orientations and gender identities. For example, many Persian-speaking media outlets, including Persian television and the BBC Persian, and Radio Farda, in many cases, instead of using terms such as marriage for all, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, use the term gay marriage and do not consider the possibility of one or both spouses to be bisexual, pansexual or Asexual.
● Concepts related to sexual orientation and gender identity are constantly changing with the efforts of queer rights activists to include a wider range of sexual orientations and gender identities. Sometimes the media uses terms that were previously considered appropriate but are no longer accepted by the LGBTQ communities. For example, years ago, terms such as sex change were considered appropriate, but with the widespread debate over gender identity and the rights of trans people in different countries, new terms in different languages replaced the old ones. Gender reassignment, followed by the terms gender affirmation, and gender confirmation, replaced sex change. However, many Persian-language media continue to use the term sex change.
As LGBTQ rights activists and allies, we expect the Persian-speaking media to use the various resources available in Persian and other languages for the ongoing training of their staff to be able to educate their audiences in this area as well, so that their programs do not further violate the rights of queer people or reproduce the ignorance in queerphobia. The media, especially the mainstream professional media, are obligated to update their staff in this field, and the Persian-speaking media outside Iran have a heavier task due to their wider freedom of expression and greater access to educational resources in this field.
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