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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

02/12/2018, 13:35:56

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theguardian.com

Malaysian newspaper publishes 'how to spot a gay' checklist


Hannah Ellis-Petersen




Sinar Harian says LGBT people identifiable by beards, branded clothes and going to gym
















LGBT rights activists have ridiculed the Sinar Harian article.
Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images


A leading Malaysian newspaper has published a list of
pointers for identifying potential gay and lesbian people, drawing anger
from activists who said lives were being put at risk.

The article
in Sinar Harian featured bullet points of supposedly distinctive
qualities that revealed LGBT people. They stated that gay men were easy
to identify because of their love of beards, going to the gym – not for
exercise but to check out other men – and branded clothing. Their eyes
light up when they see handsome men, the article said.

The
stand-out attributes for lesbians were that they tend to hug each other,
hold hands and belittle men, according to the newspaper.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law that carries a 20-year prison sentence.

Campaigners
have called for a softening of rhetoric in Malaysian media after a
series of recent deaths of men and women suspected of being gay or
transgender.

An 18-year old student, T Nhaveen, was beaten and burned to death last year by classmates who said he was pondan,
a colloquial term for a gay man. A 27-year-old transgender woman,
Sameera Krishnan, was attacked with a knife and and shot three times in a
targeted attack in her florist shop a few months later.

Arwind
Kumar, an activist and one of Malaysia’s biggest social media stars,
lashed out at the Sinar Harian article, saying it could “take away
lives”.

“There are much more important issues in this country
which need to be addressed,” he said. “If you really want to educate
society then explain to them the traits of a paedophile, a molester, a
murderer, a kidnapper, people who actually endanger the lives of others.
How the hell does a gay person endanger your life?”

Kumar’s
outspoken YouTube video had been viewed tens of thousands of times on
social media in less than 24 hours. He particularly mocked the idea that
facial hair was the sole domain of gay men. “I know a lot of priests, I
know a lot ustads [Islamic scholars], I know a
lot of of really really religious people who love keeping beards. Are
you trying to say they are gay? That’s how stupid this is,” he said.

The
derogatory attitude towards LGBT people in the media is also
symptomatic of the increasing influence of conservative Islam in
mainstream politics and culture in Malaysia. The Sinar Harian article
was accompanied by an interview with Hanafiah Malik, a preacher who
warned homosexuality was on the increase in Malaysia and said there was
an urgent need to stop the trend.

Homophobic rhetoric is also
evident even in government discourse. The country’s deputy interior
minister attacked Walt Disney last year for refusing to cut a gay scene in Beauty and the Beast at the request of the Malaysian censorship board, and a Malaysian health ministry youth video competition called for entries discussing the prevention and consequences of being gay, lesbian or transgender.

Another
article on the health ministry’s website, entitled “Why would a person
be lesbian?”, states that potential causes of women being gay were their
decisions to prioritise their careers and believing other women were
the only ones who would understand.











LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE

Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.





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