“Go to hell fucking faggots, may you die!” framing the LGBT subject in online comments
SourceLodz Papers in Pragmatics
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There are numerous NGO reports detailing the widespread violence, discrimination and hostility, as well as “hate speech” that LGBT people across Europe experience (Article 19 2018: 5).3 The situation in the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) is no exception. It is also well-known that the media play a critical role in disseminating, perpetuating and/or challenging hate speech. We first contextualize the prevalence of hate speech in online Greek Cypriot comments against members of the LGBT community and, more generally, against non-heterosexuals, and then examine the different levels of discursive discrimination practices, providing a snapshot of the type of hate speech directed at the LGBT community prevalent in the Republic. We focus on identifying the frames used to construct LGBT identities, noting how they discursively construct homosexuality and heterosexuality – in particular via a compulsory and hegemonic masculinity – while also deriding non-heterosexual choices. The data were collected within a specific time frame (2015–2016) and within the EU C.O.N.T.A.C.T.4 project, using keywords and retrieving online comments posted in reaction to local news stories regarding the LGBT community. We explore our data with corpus linguistic tools (Baker et al. 2008Brindle 2016), as well as with a qualitative analysis of the identified frames. Our aim is to provide an understanding of the nature of arguments against the LGBT community, as well as an evaluation of the extent of such discontent. It is not meant to be a comprehensive study of the frames and argumentation used against non-heterosexuals, but it is meant as an illustration of such phenomenon on the basis of samples of Greek Cypriot homophobic hate speech.