Venezuela Communications Agency: Media Must Stamp Out LGBTQ Stereotypes

CONATEL has called on the Venezuelan media to stop using discriminatory representations of the LGBTQ community.

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The second working meeting held between CONATEL and LGBTQ spokespeople (CONATEL).
The second working meeting held between CONATEL and LGBTQ spokespeople (CONATEL).
By Rachael Boothroyd
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Caracas, July 28th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuela’s chief media regulation body, CONATEL, has called on the country’s media to stop using harmful stereotypes of the LGBTQ community.

The watchdog is currently working alongside Venezuela’s LGBTQ movement in a bid to diversify the country’s media practices and challenge homophobia in mainstream culture.

“We are looking for ways for the state, its institutions and the organised people, in their wide diversity, to debate this issue. It is good and marvelous that a country can express itself, and not make invisible or deny participation in the discussion of rights,” said CONATEL director, William Castillo.

On Wednesday, LGTBQ movements announced that CONATEL had agreed to finance a campaign against sexuality and gender-based discrimination, as well as to coordinate a series of workshops led by LGBTQ collectives, Affirmative Union and Equal Venezuela.

The agreements were struck during the second working group held between CONATEL and LGBTQ activists on Tuesday.

During the meeting, LGBTQ spokespeople also voiced their concerns over two specific programmes currently being aired in Venezuela: a gossip show known as “Headlines” on Venevision and “Pure Macho Men,” an upcoming programme on Channel I which claims to tolerate “zero mincing around”. 

According to movement representatives, Conatel agreed that both programmes were guilty of transmitting “discriminatory messages” and committed to organising a working meeting between the shows’ producers and LGBTQ spokespeople to address their concerns.

CONATEL held its first meeting with movement representatives in late June, when it released a statement condemning media content which “pathologises” non heteronormative sexualities and  “offends” or “incites hatred or violence” against the LGBTQ community.