Media portraying community in bad light: Gay right activists

GayGay activists say media only want to do cheap programmes that help them get more TRPs for their channels. (PTI)

Gay right activists and sex workers on Thursday accused the media of portraying them in "bad light" and not taking up their issues in a "constructive" way.

The LGBT community, dismayed by Wednesday's Supreme Court judgement on gay sex issue, said often they are shown "cheaply" to garner more TRPs for the channels.

The portrayal of sexual minorities by the mainstream media was the topic of discussion at a seminar held in the capital on Thursday.

Titled 'Going Beyond Biases: Experience of Marginal Communities', the seminar organised by CFAR (Centre for Advocacy and Rersearch) brought together sex workers, gay right activists and eminent media personalities to talk about a better engagement between the media and the sexual minority groups.

Many gay right activists and sex workers who came from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra voiced concerns about the "negative" approach adopted by the media towards the community.

Mahesh, a transgender and an activist, talked about "selective" media coverage that shows the sexual minorities in a "bad" light.

"The media does not take up our issues in a constructive way. They only want to do cheap programmes that portray us in a bad light and help them get more TRPs for their channels" he said.

Beena, a sex worker from Maharashtra, said the need of the hour is mainstreaming the community.

"We are the worst affected by HIV AIDS and we are the ones who have taken maximum efforts to create awareness about safe sex practices and prevent HIV. But our contribution is only talked about in the context of HIV.

"We deal with a whole range of issues. Nobody talks about our children or their education. We call for a system where our rights are not just restricted to HIV prevention. Why aren't we made a part of the mainstream society" she said.

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