Friday, June 02, 2006

Why TimeOut Beirut Doesn't Have a Gay Page

TimeOut Beirut is one of the few magazines in the TimeOut Franchise that does not have a gay page. I recently called a managing editor at TimeOut to ask why (because I was interested in writing a gay page), and she told me that TimeOut Beirut does not have a gay page in order to protect gay people. She said that if gay venues were published in the magazine, then it might lead to increased persecution by the community. She said that TimeOut Beirut was trying to keep gay topics covered in its pages, through [saccharine] book reviews of Unspeakable Love and the like. (I keep her identity secret because I didn't know I'd be posting this at the time, and she wasn't informed.)

I find her reasoning faulty, at best. Here's why:

First, gay venues are already publicized. They're listed by Helem, #Gaylebanon Undernet, countless news articles, Lonely Planet, this blog, and billboards. How much more publicity do you need?

Secondly, the people readng TimeOut Beirut are going to be the more liberal of Beirutis. They have to speak Enlgish, for one. Plus, a conservative Muslim from the suburbs is unlikely to pick up a magazine that is titled "SEX" and displays underwear at the knees.

I figured there was something up, and I discussed it with an acquaintance of mine who works there. He said the real reason TimeOut Beirut did not have a gay page is because it was worried about losing its publication license. It's not to protect gay people, it's to protect itself. It's worried that the government will dislike its pro-gay stance and inflict negative repercussions. I understand that. I just wish the magazine were honest about it.

One last thing: I hate that TimeOut Beirut lists Club Acid as the only gay-friendly venue in Beirut. It makes Beirut seem less gay-friendly than it is, and it's simply untrue. Of all the gay-friendly venues (Acid, Walimat Wardeh, Wolf, UV, X-OM, etc.), Acid is one of the least gay-friendly.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU TAKE YOUR GAY AGENDA AND LEAVE THIS COUNTRY! LEBANON CENTERS ITS VALUES AROUND THE FAMILY NOT YOU!!!! LIBERALISM DOES NOT BELONG HERE.

November 24, 2008 9:46 AM  

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