'Preview' says sorry for story on designer who 'turned back on homosexuality'
MANILA, Philippines – Manila-based fashion website Preview on Wednesday, May 29, apologized for the publication of a “news report” about a fashion designer who said he had turned his back on homosexuality.
"The entire team at Preview would like to apologize for the hurt and distress our article has caused all the members of the LGBTQIA+ community. What was meant to be a news report was short-sighted and does not reflect our true support of the community. We regret this and would like to use this opportunity to enlighten readers about the discussion at hand by continuing to produce and share stories that will inform and inspire,” the Summit-run website said on Facebook a day after the story first made the rounds online.
"As a publication that has proudly had the privilege of working with many members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we would like to give everyone the respect and empowerment everyone deserves. Again we are deeply and sincerely sorry for this error on our part and will strive to produce stories that inform, enlighten, and empower,” added Preview.
Preview is best remembered as one of the top homegrown fashion magazines in the Philippines. It has since releasing its print issues, however, and is now a purely online outfit under a mostly different editorial team.
Preview has been taken down from story from its website – but not before strong backlash online.
The story was about the Facebook post of fashion designer Jian Lasala, who said he “gave up homosexuality because the Lord pursued me and He deserves my everything."
In a comment on Preview’s Facebook post, LGBTQ+ advocate Thysz Estrada chastized the magazine for "harmful and irresponsible reporting.”
"Jian's life and decisions is his to live and I wish him the best but alluding to a HARMFUL and SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN FALSE process that causes SEVERE mental health issues on young LGBT is downright reprehensible,” she said.
Estrada was referring to “conversion therapy” – a pseudoscience that "that attempts to change sexual orientation, or reduce feelings of sexual attraction to others of the same sex,” according to the BBC.
"For Preview's editorial board to decide to run this story is a horrifying proof that ALL THAT THIS MAGAZINE DID IN SUPPORT OF LGBT WORKERS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY IS NOTHING BUT LIP SERVICE. No real and profound support can be expected from this online publication. This ‘reportage’ is a slap on the face of the hard working LGBT men and women you have long employed to make your publication exist up to this day,” she added.
Back in 2018, the United Kingdom considered banning “gay conversion therapy” in an effort to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals.
The Preview article was released just days shy of Pride Month in the Philippines – a celebration and continuing movement for and by a sector that continues to be underrepresented, judged, and marginalized. – Rappler.com