Anna Naklab’s “Supergirl”

A remake of Reamonn’s “Supergirl”, one of my favorite songs when I was younger (back when we used to listen to songs on the radio primarily and the CD player if we wanted to go fancy).

Anyway, the video is fun with a love/attraction story between two women. Best part, there is not a single rainbow, nor do they get married, nor join the army, nor do they get gay bashed or any mainstream hooks on queer issues.


Posh and Tony Yatakalam: Because Some People Are Made of Stupid

Disclaimer: This post makes fun of a TV show on Al-Jadeed called “Lil-Nasher (للنشر)” that is hosted by the journalist Tony Khalifeh. Before you start reading this, please be advised that there is nothing much in this post. It might be a good laugh at some points (hopefully), but if you are bored of cats on the internet or are like, “whatever, dude”, then yeah sure, hope you like it!

I wrote something earlier on about the “Barbara” party at Posh where the show [Lil-Nasher] was allowed into the space with a hidden camera and took footage of the attendees, you can check it here. Let’s start with a little something that wraps up the episode!

Akh…where do we start?! Let’s do it by order…

طوني (ط): هيدي الحلقة أثارت الكثير من اللغط وكتير من الناس اتصلوا فينا لإيقاف هذه الحلقة وعدم بثها

Me: Dude! That’s what you say every time. I mean…not that I watch your show of course…but I’m told so (save’d)!

ط: المقصود من بث هذه الحلقة مش الإساءة لأي حدن أو لأي فئة من فئات المجتمع. إن كانت مرغوب فيها أو غير مرغوب فيها

Me: Ouch…this is rich. Let’s start with the concept of intention. No! you did mean to promote homonegative bigotry simply by selecting a queer space to feature as a “scoop that everyone is begging you to not talk about” (they are not, we barely care about you). The very fact that it is in a show that you promote as “a show that break taboo” (like everyone else) and similar illusions of your making, you are branding that space (and consequently, those who frequent it) as a space that operates outside the “respectable” (whatever that means) society. Moreover, the fact that you feel that it is ok that a slice of the population might be “accepted” or not by the society only shows how progressive (not) your mentality and your show are.

ط: الكاميرا الخفية للنشر دخلت صدفة…خلسة…على أحد المقاهي اللبنانية على أساس أنها تقيم سهرة البربارة

Me: Aha! You never had an ethics course at university?! Well I’m gonna assume that you didn’t do that and that you and your production team lack the rational thought process that would allow you to reach the conclusion that it is not permissible to take footage of people without their knowledge and consent. Just saying!

ط: ليتبين لاحقاً أنها سهرة لمتحولين الجنس أو مثليين

Me: Really?! You went to Posh and was surprised that it’s a queer party. Were you drunk?! or just that stupid!? Anyway, I’m not gonna even comment on your inter-changeable use of Trans* and Gay, go educate yourself here. Wallaw!!

ط: وكان هناك أشخاص عاديين أيضاً

Me: Wallaw!! x2

ط: ما عندن أي شواذ

Me: Wallaw!! x3

ط: أو مثلية في الجنس

Me: Wallaw!! x4 (please stop it)

ط: و لكن ما أثار “الزكزكة” الإعلامية هو تواجد بعض الشخصيات السياسية…والإعلامية…والإجتماعية…والدبلوماسية المعروفة جداً

Me: Kilon at Posh?! I only went once to Posh but I’m gonna take your word that I trust so much (not), that it’s the hub for all these high profile personalities. Khalas, I’m gonna start going to Posh in order to mix into that group.

Then that horrible reportage starts on with that horrid music…I felt I was watching Psycho or something like that. Zahraa Fardoun, the lovely woman behind it, tells us why she is doing it. It goes something around this logic


Zahraa actually went as The Grinch. She really got the into the role.

Anyway, the reportage was really empty but she did add that on top to the personalities that are frequented to Posh and that Tony already told us about, you can also find:

  • أبناء نواب – children of MPs (I do hope they are accompanied by an adult guardian)
  • رؤساء بلديات – heads of municipalities (do you think Shakhtoura was there too?!)
  • قنصلين لبنانيين (huh?! what?!)
  • and a former candidate for the Parliament Elections, whom had his face hidden but we’ll just have to take their word on it. And what if? I can’t for the love of goodness see the point that he was there…but the music was dramatic so it must be something serious. (btw, when was the last elections…I miss those days when we could still pretend that we were citizens).

On a side note, I’m really proud of myself that I’m back to posting stuff.
Also check this status and try to help out those in need of cloth and covers in this cold weather.

Post <–Click here…yalla!


Posh Allows Al-Jadeed’s Hidden Camera(s) into Its Space

On Friday the 6th of December 2013, Posh held a “Barbara” party in their regular venue. Unbeknownst to the attendees of the party, there was a hidden camera set by the Al-Jadeed’s show Lil-Nasher (للنشر) to video tape the party and the attendees.

On Monday the 9th of December 2013, Tony Khalifeh jumps up on the show and covers the topic of the party “that is attended by politicians, famous performers and artists and so on”. Nothing really different from his tacky amateur work which is nothing more than a poor excuse for journalism, spiced up with sensational rumors and tabloid material.

Spaces like Posh promote themselves as a space for queers to party and enjoy themselves in safe environment. What is a shame is that while we are struggling to call on them to live up to that promise; while we still demand them to fight attitudes surrounding entrance and admission and services that are selective against non-normative bodies like trans* bodies or attitudes that are oppressive for women, we get Posh allowing such a low-grade show to enter and place hidden cameras to take footage of the people showing up to its party.

Posh has flagrantly failed to protect the attendees of the party and to secure a safe space as it promotes itself to be. It has failed its basic expectations and responsibilities as a queer party space and should be avoided.

I ask everyone to tell their friends to avoid this space as it has proved itself to be a non-safe party space for queers.


The Fixation on Being the “First”

Last week, I collaborated with some friends to hold an event called “TransFocus: A Trans* Film Festival”. Together, we were able to hold the event independently from any party, collective or organization working in Lebanon in order to explore different spaces of activism that I have not been accustomed to work in previously.

One of the policies that we followed was limited media exposure and to some degree, we resisted any coverage from foreign and non-local media outlets. The few reporters who did reach out to us to cover the event were turned down and we talked to them on the reasons for such. We resist that our event be made representative of the Trans* community and the (non-existent) Trans* movement in Lebanon.

The event ran from November 29th till December 1st and we really enjoyed the discussions that were raised within and the new spaces that we were discovering. As we started working on documenting the event’s proceedings and the discussions, an article was published on December 2nd that covered the event (last day of the event at least) in NOW by Mr. Alberto Mucci. Unfortunately, the article was titled “Lebanon’s First Transgender Festival” even though we have made it clear on different occasions and places that we resist being represented as the “First” of anything or seen as representing anyone or any community or population.

I would like to elaborate on this point in this post. Being called the “First” presupposes that there were no previous similar event before. That is something that we do not know since there might have been one that we were not aware of (which is very likely since these events are usually done underground and away from media coverage and attention). Moreover, the purpose of using the word “First” is to “measure” the progress that a certain group or country have achieved in terms of queer activism and specifically Trans* activism.

Edit 1: A very interesting fact that @myra_m pointed my attention at is that the term “First” also presupposes that the event in question is the “true” and “original” one and all subsequent ones are imitation of that one singular event.

Our event did not progress anything in this country nor in this “Arab” world (whatever that terms includes/excludes). In fact, and as my colleague Dree put it, our event did not help or change the life of a single Trans* person in Lebanon or anywhere else and we do not (and can not) claim that it did anything of that sorts.

The only thing that we did achieve with this event is that we were able to explore existing laws and regulations that police Trans* bodies; from the available medical services to the process of identity change to the ways Trans* people navigate laws surrounding identification and “public morality” (again, whatever that means). Moreover, we were also able to explore new alliances and map out some gaps that we need to cover in the services that are provided/found in Lebanon.

If there is something that the media can help out is to share our call to share resources.


Lebanese media and invasion of privacy

Recently, online news outlets started circulating a news report about two men who were arrested in the Achrafieh area. The men were caught inside a car for having sex or making out. I’m not sure since all of that is lumped in “indecent acts”.

The point that I want to highlight on in this post is how the media delt with this incident. In reporting it, they used the identification information of the men involved. They reported their first name, initials of middle and last names, date of birth and nationality. Seriously?! Like there was really no need for the initials.

This is a very unnecessary violation of privacy that will probably harm the men involved very seriously. There it is important that we don’t share the link to such news report and instead send them an email urging them to take out this information. Below is a sample that I am using when email these sites. If you don’t want to write one your own, please feel free to use it as well.


Dear Sir/Mme,

In a recent entry on your site:
<insert link if you want>

You provided the identification info for the people who were arrested (first name, initials for middle and last names,year of birth, nationality).

This is completely unnecessary and might harm the people concerned. It is also a direct violation of their privacy and an unprofessional journalistic behavior.

Please take appropriate action by removing the identification information and preserving the privacy of the people in questions.

Thank you