The Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation publishes a guide for journalists in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
Belonging to LGBTQI communities is often synonymous with discrimination, ostracism, threats, harassment, physical or sexual violence, imprisonment at times, and even murder. Given the key role played by the media, the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation is publishing a guide for the benefit of journalists, How to address sexual and gender diversity in the media?, in order to support them when reporting on the realities of LGBTQI communities. This guide was developed by the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO).
The ways in which the realities of LGBTQI communities are portrayed in the media often contain myths and prejudices. For example, how many times have we read or heard that a public figure has “admitted” to being homosexual or lesbian? Yet dictionaries teach us that we admit a mistake, a sin, or a crime. In countries where that is no longer the case, it should rather be written or said that a person has “revealed” or “disclosed” his or her sexual orientation.
The guide is the result of a collaboration between Michel Dorais, Ph.D, sexual sociologist, professor and researcher at Laval University; Jasmin Roy, founder of the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation, who is also an writer, documentary filmmaker and former journalist; and Guillaume Tardif, master’s degree student in social work.
Educating and raising awareness
The guide notably includes a small glossary on sexual and gender diversity. It also deals with homophobic or transphobic consequences, prejudices, discrimination and violence. Furthermore, much space is given to the issue of sexual and gender diversity in different cultures. The guide also addresses this issue from the point of view of immigrants and refugees, younger people, adults, and the elderly.
Sexual violence, health issues, sexual diversity in sports, arts and media, tourism, and media coverage of public protests additionally count among the themes addressed in How to address sexual and gender diversity in the media?