The Editor-in-Chief of Tribun Medan Syarif Dayan together with editor Truly Okto Purba and their journalist, Kartika Sari, as well as Kompas.com and TEMPO contributor Mei Leandha along with Adelina Lubis from Analisa, give hope to the North Sumatera LGBTIQ community. They believe that the fairness of news coverage is highly dependent on the patterns and intensity of communication sought by both parties, LGBTIQ community and media.
Through the spirit of humanity, diversity journalism becomes a challenge and also an opportunity to open much more friendly and safe spaces in the media for people of diverse sexuality. Respecting and loving humanity becomes the responsibility of the press.
This became a joint struggle on two different occasions: the in-house workshop of the LGBTIQ community in Tribun Medan and the Media Advocacy Workshop on Diversity in Gender and Sexuality for the LGBTIQ community in North Sumatra.
“Giving us (the media) more appropriate choice of words and phrases that do not corner or undermine the community is very important for us,” suggested the Chief Editor of Tribun Medan, Syarif Dayan, to the LGBTIQ community of North Sumatra and SEJUK in his office, February 3, 2020, when an in-house workshop was held together with Cangkang Queer and the Journalist Association for Diversity (SEJUK).
During the process of the media advocacy workshops (February 1-2), the participants’ awareness, skills, and their experience in dealing with journalists or the media were developed. Tia, one of the participants from Transpuan (transwomen) Marelan, Medan, realized the importance of the LGBTIQ, especially her community, to give strength each other to be able to make strategy with the media and journalists.
After an interactive dialogue in a media advocacy workshop between the LGBTIQ community and the assistant editor of Analisa, Adelina, together with a journalist for Kompas.com, Mei Leandha, Tia also saw that not all media and journalists were always a threat for transwomen, on the contrary it becomes a great opportunity for them to utilise the media as a safe space to express their aspirations and the rights of the LGBTIQ community.
“This workshop opened my eyes. It turns out that it was very important to meet with fellow journalists and the media in Medan so there would be better media coverage of LGBT,” said a transwoman that is also active in a collective in Marelan.
Tia didn’t even realize that she was interviewed by Mei Leandha before and her story was published on Kompas.com with a very inspiring tone and frame.
The growth of this friendly space makes the leader of Cangkang Queer, Amek Adlian, very grateful for this forum which strengthens and brings together the LGBTIQ community from every region in North Sumatra. The most exciting part is that this forum becomes the meeting point of the LGBTIQ community together with the representative of journalists and media in Medan.
Therefore, Amek pushes the idea of supporting the increase of media that gives a safe space for the voice of the LGBTIQ community in North Sumatra.
“I will invite friends of the LGBTIQ community in Medan and the North Sumatra region to start being more open with those from the media or journalists and provide lists of resources that we can give to those in the media. Likewise we ask for assistance to Ms. Mei and Ms. Adel to provide a list of journalists in North Sumatra who value and respect LGBTIQ,” Amek hoped.