Shame on Advocate Magazine for Exacerbating Humiliation of Gay Victims

 Advocate has now in effect participated in the humiliation and hence in doling out the punishment, by taking their humiliation to the world stage!

The Advocate Magazine quite rightly posted an online article informing its readers about the public beating in Aceh, Indonesia of 2 gay men, who were allegedly caught having gay sex. Through noting its link, the Advocate picked the article up from a report in the South African Press.  Indeed it was correct to report this as important awareness creating news. However I am totally disgusted and perplexed by the fact that the advocate actually showed the video of the young men being beaten and the crowd cheering, without any regard to concealing their identity.

The video shows close-ups of the young men’s faces, and it is directly on the Advocate website.

The Advocate is an iconic news source and entertainment publication, once prominent in print, and now mostly online, and describes itself as the leading resource for “Gay news – commentary, arts & entertainment, health, parenting, and politics. The Advocate is the leading source for up-to-date and extensive LGBT news.”

Now this publication has served to further perpetuate the humiliation as suffered by the young men who were indeed victims of this horrific punitive measure.   The idea of the whipping in a local public forum is  to humiliate the victims. Advocate has now in effect participated in the humiliation and hence also participated in doling out the actual punishment, by taking their humiliation out of the local arena and onto the world stage! As a global human rights advocate (irony and no pun) dealing daily with victims of criminalization, I find this exposure by a gay magazine dehumanizing and a gross insensitivity to the victims.

There ADVOCATE article commences by noting:

As a large group of bystanders cheered and booed, two young men convicted of engaging in gay sex were caned 83 times each Tuesday in the Aceh province of Indonesia.

Thousands gathered in front of a mosque to watch the brutal beatings, which were carried out by men wearing dark robes and hoods. Abdul Gani Isa, a member of the Acehnese clerics’ council, told the crowd the caning was “a lesson for the public,” according to South African newspaper The Times.

The two men who were flogged — both of whom remained stoic through their ordeal — were caught in March during a raid and were reportedly beaten by police at the time of their arrest.

As you can see Advocate has picked up the piece from the South African Times Live, which, which is not an LGBT publication – and you will note that if you go to Times Live website – you will see they did not have the audacity to publish the actual beating:

In the Advocate article the video (of the beating) seems to claim ownership to the Advocate through  Advocate logo appearing directly on the Video. (See screenshot below)  If the Advocate thinks by showing the detailed video that it is advancing our LGBT interests in general, or the interests of the young men being tortured, or the issue of the abhorrence at criminalization of  homosexuality and the harsh punitive measures metered out in parts of the world, then surely they could have had the decency to block out the faces of the young men!

I will not link here to the Advocate article. I will not participate in further shaming these young victims!

However I am calling attention to all LGBTQI publishers – especially privileges Westerners -who seem to lack sensitivity toward the real dangers in the rest of the world.  Please publish responsibly. One can convey news and information and contribute to awareness with sensitivity towards the ramifications of exposure. Irresponsible publishing can bring more violence and even death to LGBT people in many countries around the world.

2 thoughts on “Shame on Advocate Magazine for Exacerbating Humiliation of Gay Victims

  1. I agree with you, no need to shame them further. They have gone through something greater than hell.

    Unfortunately shaming happens all over. My partner is Moroccan and I’very been a frequent visitor to Morocco. Every year, it seems, there is an event taking place somewhere in Morocco captured on film that degrades gay people. This is posted on YouTube and is for everyone to see, eventually YouTube responds to protests but it takes months of protesting.

    We both know that lgbt+ people in countries where it’s illegal are some of the most vulnerable on earth. The hate can be immense. Thank you for the great work you are doing.

    1. Thank you for your support and understanding and also for speaking about your own experiences with your partner.

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