Khalid Abdul Hadi — founder and editor of My Kali, a magazine on gay life in Jordan — has received death threats and the threat of a possible lawsuit after publishing his first-ever Arabic issue.
An an interview with Gay Star News, Hadi says that he initially began publishing the online magazine in English so that it would go mostly unnoticed by non-English speaking Jordanians. However, as the magazine gained popularity, more Arabic-speaking gay people began requesting a translated version as a way to spread awareness around gay issues, and only now (seven years after his first issue) he complied.
Gay Star News reports:
Many news outlets have questioned why the magazine is ‘provoking the public’ and suggested the magazine is not an officially registered title. Many reported it was printed, which is untrue.
Others accused the magazine of holding a ‘foreign agenda’ and is ‘funded by the West to implement homosexuality’ among people living in the Middle East.
The Media Commission of Jordan released a statement to state My Kali is not registered and, if proven to be printed, a lawsuit will follow.
In an interview with Raseef22.com (translated by us into English), Hadi said that My Kali is the only public forum in Jordan for speaking about gay rights. He launched the magazine at age 18 after reading a series of anti-gay reports entitled ” Homosexuals invade Jordan” in one of the Islamic-oriented weekly newspapers known as International Truth.
“This challenge prompted me to go out the magazine to be a way to raise awareness in the field of gay rights and the fight against false stereotypes about homosexuality,” Hadi told Raseef22.
He adds that other organizations in Jordan support gay rights and would defend them if they weren’t afraid of being attacked by local conservative groups. He also says that many readers write him about the difficulty of finding self-acceptance amid their unaccepting communities; he tries to connect readers in need with local social workers and psychologists.
Instances of anti-LGBT discrimination are widespread in Jordan. While same-sex relationships are not illegal, LGBT activists report discrimination in housing, employment, education, and access to public services as well as discrimination by courts and police.