First-of-a kind Gay Magazine in Arabic Begins Publication

كيف حالك؟

Even when I studied Arabic in the Air Force, reading and writing weren’t my strong suits.  The squiggly lines that represent the letters with dots and other diacritical marks both above and below them are only further complicated by moving from right to left.  Making matters worse is there’s really not much difference in the way words appear in print (like the block form we have in English and other languages that use Roman-style letters) and the cursive (hand-writing) style; however,  in the hand-written form, most of the time, many of the diacritical marks, which help with the pronunciation, and, thus, the meaning and grammar, are omitted, and one is left to guess about the word.  I suppose when it’s your native language, you don’t really have to guess much, but to a non-native, all of the marks, though complicated, are helpful.

Hence, I found myself wishing that more of my Arabic had stayed with me when I read today on that a first-of-its-kind gay magazine had started up in Morocco.  It’s called Mithly, which means “gay” in Arabic, which I think I remember, and began with its first issue on April 1st.

That this magazine has begun publication in Morocco is not so surprising, in spite of all the conservative attitudes in the Muslim world about gay people, because Morocco has had a lot of European influence through the years, and there have been rumors for many years that the King of Morocco is gay.

Even so, Morocco is not by any means a liberal country; this new magazine is actually being produced in Spain.  However, the situation has to be much better in this country just across the Straits of Gibraltar from Europe, in comparison to some other Arab countries, like Iraq, where gay people are brutalized and murdered, in spite of the U.S. being in such an influential position there.

There is a pared-down, online version at  Click on the translate button in the upper right corner.  Be forewarned, though.  The Google translation will leave you scratching your head in many places.

Good luck to Mithly.  Every effort like this helps more people understand themselves better and know that they are “not the only one.”

Berlin Campaign: الحب يستحق الاحترام, Sevgi saygı hak ediyor, Liebe verdient Respekt; It’s All the Same–Love Deserves Respect

Big SignIn Berlin, a new poster campaign, trying to counter homophobia,, especially among the young in that multi-cultural capital, was revealed by the openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit. The campaign is being sponsored by a myriad of gay, women’s, and immigrant organizations.

Berlin's Mayor Wowereits with members of some of the groups sponsoring "Love Deserves Respect"

Berlin's Mayor Wowereit with members of some of the groups sponsoring "Love Deserves Respect"

The posters feature different couples kissing: a gay couple, a lesbian couple, and an opposite sex couple, all with the message Love Deserves Respect in German, Turkish and Arabic. The campaign started in response to an increase in attacks on members of the gay community.

Big Sign GuysSee for more information about the project and other topics of interest.