Saturday, May 20, 2006
Major "outing" threatened in France
Wednesday May 17 was the second "International Day Against Homophobia," (IDAHO), a day to draw attention to the fight to end discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. The date commemorates the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental disorders by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990.
It didn't receive much attention in the U.S. But in France the anonymous group "No reprod" used the occasion to announce that it would "out" 69 "personalities" if they did not speak out themselves. Here's the text—
Everywhere across the globe homophobia kills. In nine countries, homosexuality is subject to the death penalty. In 90 others, it is illegal. It is recognized in only 20 countries. In France, the political class as a whole still refuses equal rights to cross-gendered1 people. This inequality in the face of the law maintains a hierarchy among the sexualities. This hierarchization of sexuality has already pushed many transgendered people to suicide and risky behaviors.
That is why, for the occasion of the World Day Against Homophobia, we are announcing that if they do not do so themselves, we are going to reveal the sexual orientation of 69 personalities.
69 personalities, who by their silence, in spite of their privileged status in the bosom of French society, play into the hands of homophobic violence.
We charge them as accomplices in this homophobia.
They have until the Pride March of June 24 in Paris to do it, or we will be constrained to do it for them. [my translation]
In all likelihood the outings, if any should occur, will be roundly condemned by most gay organizations and possibly suppressed in the media, since France has much stricter laws for protecting "privacy" than the United States.
I don't know if this can be an effective action—at least at this point they don't have to fear making the situation worse. Regardless of that issue, the frustration and anguish behind this threat should be recognized and respected. From gays held in Cameroon under Guantanamo-like conditions to Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa approving the murder of gays "in the worst, most severe way possible,"2 the horrors continue.
1Transpédégouine. A recent coinage not exactly translatable. This appears to refer to a cross between a transgendered person and a drag queen with attitude. The poster-style image from transpedegouine.org perhaps says it best. [back]
2Happily the Grand Ayatollah has relented to a small but insufficient degree. But murders such as that of 14-year-old Ahmed Khalil have already been committed under the fatwa and more can be expected. [back]