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Queer Discussions in the Region: Media, Authority and Society

Over the past year, we witnessed many incidents and events related to sexual and gender diversity issues take center stage in public debate in the region; from the statement of the Palestinian Police in August 2019 banning and actively inciting against aQaws’ work; to public debate over queer issues in the Lebanese revolution since last October; to the outing campaign and violent incidents against queer folks in Morocco recently, and many other debates and events that widely stirred public opinion. 

Media outlets -among other political and social institutions- had a notably large role in influencing these societal debates. While some continued to adopt inciteful rhetoric and hate speech, others took a more progressive approach to covering sexual and gender diversity issues, with most falling somewhere between the two opposing discourses.

We invite you to join an online seminar and discussion that delves into these events and the public debate around them from the perspectives of queer and feminist organizations and groups in the region, particularly examining the role played by the media. The meeting will be held via Zoom at 8 PM (Palestine/Lebanon Time), 6 PM (Tunisia/Morocco Time).

The event will address the following:

  • The incident of Sofia Taloni: the question of outing on social media; surveillance and violence in Morocco.
  • Reactions to Nour and Hisham Selim: societal discussions and queer/trans persepectives, between celebrating progress and challenging discourse.
  • Queering the Lebanese Revolution: between fantasy and reality.
  • The Palestinian Queer Movement: from sensationalist media coverage to pinkwashing journalism.
  • What happened in Tunisia? On “gay marriage” laws and other lies.


Queer Discussions in the Region is a space for dialogue, learning and participation. It is the result of a collaboration between four queer and feminist organizations and groups in the region: alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, Jeem, the A Project, and Mawjoudin.

This space aims to promote discussions about sexual and gender diversity issues in the region, and it currently takes the form of open virtual meetings on various topics.

About the participating groups:

The A Project is an association working on gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice issues with different communities in Lebanon since 2015. It aims to reaffirm the ownership and agency of women, transgender people, and atypical people over their bodies, and their personal independence and their mental health.

Jeem is a website which produces knowledge as well as critical and cultural content about gender, sex and sexuality that challenges and transcends the prevalent discourse of the mainstream media.

Mawjoudin (We Exist) is a non-governmental and non-profit association, officially licensed to operate in Tunisia. It works to achieve justice and equality for all people, and works on human, physical and sexual rights, especially for the benefit of LGBTQ people and marginalized groups.

alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society is a civil society organization founded in grassroots activism, is at the forefront of vibrant Palestinian cultural and social change, building LGBTQ communities and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity in political activism, civil society institutions, media, and everyday life.