MOSAIC|| NEW REPORT || “The Regional Livelihood of GBTQ Using Grindr:
Discrimination, Violence, Rights, and Relationships”
MOSAIC, MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration & Capacity Building with the support of
G4E - Grindr for Equality, and with the collaboration of AFE - Arab Foundation For Freedoms and
Equality, is pleased to announce the launch of a survey study on
The gay, bi, trans* women, and queer experiences in the MENA region, entitled “The Regional Livelihood
of GBTQ Using Grindr: Discrimination, Violence, Rights, and Relationships”
The study findings are based on 1,794 survey answers from participants who were recruited through
broadcast messages on Grindr, in twenty countries, from the Middle East and North Africa. The survey
was open for a period of one month during September of 2016. Data cleaning and initial analysis was
conducted by the Center for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC). This survey was
fielded in Arabic, English, and French.
We additionally want to thank all who attended our launch event, and for those who were not able to
receive a physical copy, please find attached our report in Arabic and in English. We are eager to receive
When Activism Works - Interview with Gopi Shankar Madurai
MOSAIC had the pleasure to speak with activist Gopi Shankar Madurai moments after the announcement on India's Supreme Court decriminalizing Section 377 of the Penal Code. This is what he had to say:
MOSAIC: Tell us how you're feeling right now.
Gopi Shankar Madurai: It's such an emotional moment. I'm happy we're on the right side of "Herstory" of India. This is dedicated to people who lost their lives. People who were victimized by this law. 377 was a colonialist law. We are not Britain. We are India now. Colonialist laws are still part of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other Commonwealth countries. I hope they follow and work to change them. This is a baby step. I hope it paves the way for other civil rights. Activists can now ask for same-sex marriage. That's our next step as activists. The transgender community in India has experienced more inclusivity due to their representation in our temples, culture, and transgender Gods. We want the same for the LGB community and full and equal rights for the LBGTIQ+ community.
M: You've had threats in the past, are you fearing any backlash after this victory?
GSM: The media, politicians giving interviews have all been positive. I meet people, activists - India is rejoicing. We are a diverse country of many languages, many religions. This is our diversity. Our supreme court has revised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. We've stopped applying this law to consensual sex. Also, Men who are rape victims can now come forward to file their cases without fear like they had before. India was tolerant and people lived harmoniously, 377 was a colonialist law.
M: What pushed you towards activism? Is it something you acquired, something that came to you naturally?
GSM: That's a tough question. I happen to be. I happen to stand for justice and equality. When you see someone suffering, you can't be quiet. People in my community and friends committing suicide, you need to stand for them.
M: Can you speak a little bit about your activism?
GSM: I belong to a lower middle-class family. I'm not from a big city or funded by anyone. I'm from Madurai, in Tamil Nadu. It takes me longer to get to my country's capital than it is to arrive in Sri Lanka. Unlike LBGTIQ+ communities in big cities, our community gets very little media attention. We founded Srishti Madurai [first genderqueer & LGBTIQ+ student volunteer group to work on the issues the community faces in small areas like Tamil Nadu]. We were able to introduce LGBTIQ+ studies into the curriculum of a few schools and universities to influence the students. I also wrote my first book, Maraikkappatta Pakkangal, on gender-varients in Tamil, in the Tamil language. The book is now part of the American College in Madurai University's curriculum. Anjali Gopalan of NAZ foundation was our guiding light and one of the original petitioners of this case.
M: What is your advice for other activists who live in oppressive societies/countries? What is your most important and useful tool in your activism?
GSM: Patience, education. Hate cannot be conquered by hate. If someone is discriminating, we need to educate them. We need diverse materials to read. Diverse communities often forget their diversity. Educate the community and then the lawmakers. Sensitize medical practitioners, educators, students, and make allies. Don't forget that governments don't have any business to look into your bedroom or know what reproductive organs you have. God won't look between your legs or inside your bedroom to love you. All you need is a good heart and compassion. Each citizen has integrity. Bodily integrity. Uphold your integrity.
to learn more and follow Gopi Shankar Madurai on Twitter: @gopishankarmdu
Two of our graduates from our Gender and Sexual Orientation Based Violence (GSOBV) Training of Trainers were chosen & supported by MOSAIC to conduct their own two day training session on August 30th and 31st in Chekka, Lebanon. The training was given to enhance the participants' knowledge and build their skills in order to empower their communities. Please stay tuned to learn more about our upcoming training sessions. We encourage individuals from all nationalities, sexual orientations, and gender identities/expressions to participate.
Gender and Sexual Orientation based Violence (GSOBV) training
On August 8th, 9th, and 10th our team (Charbel, Mario, & Ribal) conducted a Training of Trainers in Chekka, Lebanon on Gender and Sexual Orientation based Violence (GSOBV). The 15 participants who came from different parts of North Governorate included workers with/for NGOs, iNGOs, & UN agencies, as well as activists. Two graduates will be chosen and supported by MOSAIC to conduct two future training sessions. The training by graduates will be over a period of two days to twenty individuals each time.
On Monday July 30th, 2018, we had a session with lawyer Layal Sakr where we learned about our legal rights as residents in Lebanon, the history of Article 534, current rulings, trans rights to transition,
forced anal exams, refugee obstacles, and much more. Participants had opportunities to ask Layal specific questions. This session was accomplished with the help of Lebanon Humanitarian Fund. We will have future educational sessions so make sure to stay updated. We look forward to seeing you at our next one. As a reminder, you may call MOSAIC for legal help if you are arrested/detained +961 76 945 445.
International Day Against HomoHATE & TransHate @AUST
On the occasion of the International Day Against Homo"Phobia"HATE and TransHate, It is necessary to demand and work on abolishing article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, because it affects not only the freedoms of the LGBTIQ community but also the sexual and personal freedoms in general.
The "phobia" towards the LGBTIQ community and the accompanying aggression and assault, such as physical punishment and acts of hatred and violations of private freedoms, is a danger to the individual and to the society in general.
To this end, the idea of involving university students in this campaign is important in changing the inherited stereotypes and gaining support as a generation of change and advocacy, in order to shape a society that respects difference and diversity.
International Women's Day 2017
On the occasion of International Women's Day. We want to say: support starts with listening to WOMEN
#IWDMARCH #IWD2017 #Support #Listening #AllWomen #BeBold
Photography by Marwan Tahtah
"When merely existing is a risk: Sexual and gender minorities in conflict, displacement and peacebuilding"
MOSAIC, Arab Foundation For Freedoms and Equality (AFE), and International Alert, with generous support of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Launched a study "When merely existing is a risk: Sexual and gender minorities in conflict, displacement and peacebuilding" after leading a field research in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Lebanon and Nepal, to document the impacts of social exclusion and discrimination on sexual and gender minorities in war, peace and displacement.
Drama & Art Therapy for Trans-Gender Women
Harmonising our voices identities Vocal†training singing classes for LGBTIQ living in Lebanon
*Trainer: Sarag Gabouyd Pailian