“Not private enough?” : homophobic and injurious speech in the Lithuanian media

"Not private enough?" : homophobic and injurious speech in the Lithuanian media
According to the pronouncements of some Lithuanian politicians and public figures, LGBT people can express their identities and sexualities only in certain places and spaces and to certain people. They must lead strictly compartmentalized private and public lives. Homosexuality is acceptable only as long as it remains private.
The media analysis and the events of May 2007, demonstrate that both the Lithuanian political elites and media professionals still do not realize that a strong democratic culture entails a commitment to publicity, meaningful dialogue and debate. As the political philosopher Iris Young correctly emphasizes, „no persons, actions or aspects of a person‘s life should be forced into privacy; and no social institutions or practices should be excluded a priori from being a proper subject for public discussions and expressions.“
Thus, the question of public participation and publicity remains crucial for the Lithuanian LGBT people because of their constant exclusion, silencing and marginalization. Once and for all, the idea should be implanted in the minds of the ruling elites and media professionals that sexual orientation is not a matter of private concern. It is an issue of human rights, first of all, the LGBT people‘s right to have a public identity in a mariety of public spaces, among them mass media, without the fear of being stigmatized, repressed, ridiculed and victimized.
Download the publication here.