Outings are no picnic

The suicide of Tyler Clementi in September, following his public ‘outing’ by a roommate who secretly filmed him having sex with another student, has led to a great outcry against bullying gay teenagers. Attention is now focused on preventing suicides and giving hope to the victims of bullying.

Public outings are a regular occurrence in Africa. While Tyler chose to end his life himself, a Ugandan newspaper published the photos of 100 gay people calling for the public to “hang them.”

 

 

Even though the Ugandan Media Counsel took action, these people can expect violence and possibly death. At the very least, they will become outcasts from society – not to mention from their own family who may even become victims of violence themselves.

The danger faced by people who are outed is also a concern for the photos being entered in the Pride Photo Award contest. We have consulted with Amnesty International and World Press Photo about how to deal with the possible consequences of the publicity that winning photos can expect.

We will ask all entrants to confirm that the people portrayed have consented to the picture being taken and are aware of the context in which the photo will be shown. We will also ask in which country the people portrayed are living. For the winning photos we will investigate whether people in those countries would be at risk if their picture were published in a newspaper. In some cases we may decide not to make a winning photograph public, or only under specific conditions.

Acceptance of sexual and gender diversity is a primary goal of the Pride Photo Award. But it must not come at a cost to the safety of the people in the photographs.

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.

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