Attention everyone! Feast your eyes on James Longman, our latest obsession.
At 30 years old, James is a regular on Victoria Derbyshire’s show on BBC News, covering Syrian and middle eastern affairs while also working to ensure safety for other on the ground reporters. Bonus! He’s fluent in Arabic and French.
“I did a story in Lebanon about a man who had been arrested by ISIS because he was gay and had been tortured,” he recounted in an interview with Attitude Magazine. “It struck me that the one group of refugees – those who are fleeing the war in Syria, anyway – who really need a lot of attention, and my job as a journalist is to shed light on things, is the gay community.”
As an openly gay journalist, Longman’s sexuality is something that does cross over into his work while reporting from countries where it’s illegal to be gay. However, he doesn’t let it interfere with his work and doesn’t want to perpetuate any false sterotypes about the Middle East.
“…it’s just not something I tend to think about because I’m dealing with life and death situations and it’s bigger than that.”
“I’m obviously not going to wander around in an unsafe space and be all like ‘hey’ and get on a dating app to find guys,'” he explains. “But it’s one of the images people have about the Middle East which is a stereotype and that they probably need to think about a little more carefully.”
You can read the full interview with James and see his photo shoot over at Attitude Magazine.