“We are people, we are not minorities, and we all have sexual diversity.”

The Reframed Stories Project asks people to respond to dominant themes and issues that appear in news coverage about their communities. These stories are reflections by people who are frequently represented by others in the media. Word clouds are created using the Media Cloud platform, a data analysis tool which examines a collection of media outlets over a specific period of time, allowing participants to analyze and discuss preliminary insights into how they might be represented in the media. The project refrains from making conclusive pronouncements about the data, and instead is a starting point that creates space for discussion about how they can help shape their own media representation through digital media.

Dayana Aguilar is a member of El Punto Collective in Quito, Ecuador. The following is a transcript of the video about Dayana's analysis of the word cloud for the term, “GLBTI” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) within the Ecuadorian context.

Dominant words from 222 articles published between January 2017 and April 2018 mentioning “LGBTI” within 2 Media Cloud collections of Ecuador’s Spanish-language media outlets. (view larger image)

What about the word cloud drew your attention most?

Estuvimos indagando sobre esta palabra y los medios han posicionado ciertos términos como el exigir derechos, como la lucha, la violencia. Sí se está pensando que se requiere de estos derechos, pero no se habla de otros problemas trascendentales, como la prostitución, como la violencia (hacia los y las trabajadoras sexuales), como el rechazo, la homofobia.

Nosotros colocamos estas palabras en nuestro análisis y la mayoría coincidieron excepto estas (palabras antes mencionadas), como el activismo también. Creemos que son formas también de empezar a hablar sobre lo LGBTI.

We were analyzing this word and we realized that media has positioned certain topics, such as the demand for rights, struggle, violence. The idea that we need these rights is present, but media is not talking about other crucial problems, such as prostitution, such as violence (against sex workers), such as rejection and homophobia.

When we analyzed (the word cloud), we found some words, except for these ones (previously mentioned), and activism as well. We believe that these are other ways to start talking about the LGBTI topic.

According to the word cloud, how has ‘LGBTI’ been represented in the media?

Es una palabra que sí debe ser profundizada y que no aparece en esta nube de palabras. Tampoco aparece “activismo”, o sea las luchas son más bien de colectivos, pero no se lo ve como una demanda social, no se lo ve como un acto político, solo son demandas de derechos.

It is a word that should be analyzed in depth, and that does not appear in this word cloud. The word “activism” is also absent, which tells us that the struggles are taking place within collectives, but are not seen as a social demand, they are not seen as a political act, they are only seen as demands for rights.

¿How should the LGBTI community be represented in the media?

Justamente (se debería hablar sobre) el acceso a la salud, al trabajo digno y a la educación, pero también sobre el derecho a transitar por el espacio público sin ser violentado, el derecho a tener voz en los medios de comunicación, que es algo que no ocurre. Los medios de comunicación tradicionales suelen enfocar a ciertos actores, pero con el discurso que a ellos les interesa visibilizar.

Precisely, (media should be talking about) access to health, to humane working conditions, and to education, but also about the right to move safely in the public space, and the right to have a voice in media, which is not something that happens. Traditional media tends to focus on specific actors, but with the discourse that they (media) are interested in promoting.

What words should a word cloud for ‘LGBTI’ have?

Primero, pensar en que somos personas, no somos minorías; la diversidad sexual la tenemos todos. El problema es que solo se está creyendo que ciertos grupos
están pensando en estos derechos porque son ellos los que están siendo
interpelados por la carencia de este derecho, pero no; la construcción de este
tipo de discursos nos atraviesa a todos. Por eso desde la comunidad entendemos
que lo que me pasa a mí, también te pasa a ti, pero lo naturalizamos y por eso no es transcendental.

First, (the word cloud should show) that we are people, we are not minorities; we all have sexual diversity. The problem is that (media) believes that only specific groups are thinking about these rights because they are the ones who don’t have them, but no; these kinds of discourses affect us all. For this reason, from the community we understand that whatever happens to me, happens to you as well, but we become habituated (to a lack of rights) and that’s why they cease to be considered crucial.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed in close collaboration with the organization El Churo based in Quito, Ecuador. They organized a workshop held on April 21, 2018 that brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in a collection of Ecuadorian media and to create stories in response.

Belén Febres-Cordero assisted with the transcription and translation, which was edited for clarity and length.

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