This article analyses the interaction between MyKali, the first LGBTQ webzine/platform in Jordan, and mainstream Jordanian media and society. It explores the moral panics occurring over the 11 years of Mykali’s trajectory, and analyses the webzine’s attempts to resist these panics and articulate its agenda through pop-activism. From inception to censorship, the trajectory of MyKali illustrates the limits of freedom of expression and the articulation of non-heterosexual identities, as well as the role of media panics in enforcing social control in Jordan. This paper is comprised of four main parts: the first introduces MyKali as a queer counterpublic. The second presents the theoretical framework I draw on and the key concepts used in the analysis. The third part presents what I term the discourse of “homophobic authenticity” and its role in the moral panics surrounding MyKali. Finally, in the fourth part I analyse MyKali’s use of pop-activism tostake its claim to Jordanian identity and counter the discourse of homophobic authenticity through a comparative study of two of its most iconic cover images.
- popular culture