MITHLY – Morocco’s First Gay Magazine

by Red Cell


The Arab world is not the most likely place to promote a gay lifestyle. In April, for the first time, Morocco, a one time bastion of underworld activity, homosexuality included, is home to a gay magazine, Mithly. This is the first time that the out crowd in that country have had this kind of connection with each other, in an open and pro-homo way. The magazine came out just before the current uproar in Morocco about letting openly gay musician and activist, Elton John, play a large concert in that country. The Gov’t said that they did not care what the world famous John did in his private life and that they were glad to host his show, but the outcry against letting him perform was still staunch. This is a good example of how, even though Morocco may be a more Internationally minded country compared to many Arab countries, it is still a dangerous and courageous act to start a magazine promoting such gays and lesbian lifestyles.

“Only 200 copies of the first edition were released in April to a number of interested people and advocates for freedom of intellectual, ideological and sexual choices,” staff member Karim S., who asked that his last name be withheld to protect his privacy, “Currently, it’s not at news kiosks, though we can offer it online pending a suitable form for print distribution.” Mithly was mainly distributed in Northern Morocco, in places like Tangier and Fes, but not in Casablanca or Marrakech.

The small group of lesbians and gays that banded together and decided to release this ground breaking magazine, are collectively known as Kif Kif (Similar). They did this bold act without applying for a government license from the Ministry of Communication, as one is supposed to do to release any public magazine. The Ministry does not break any laws by denying the right to publish what many in the Arab world consider content that is an abomination of the laws of nature. One student was quoted as saying. “It’ll be a source of ideas inviting moral disintegration and licentiousness, and our society today is infested with a lot of deviance and doesn’t need more.”

You can check it out online here. Also, if you Google Mithly.net, you can have them translate it for you.

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