Stop Homophobia and Demonisation of LGBTs

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, and as such I feel compelled to write something that is being viewed as most of Malaysia with a stigma that has reached truly frightening proportions. First and foremost, let us review some facts.

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, as one Dr Marshitah, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, can so casually suggest without any reference from the Malaysian Psychiatric Association. Being gay or lesbian has not been seen as a mental disorder since 1979 and, in fact, her view point is not even recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Similarly, there is no just cause, religious or civil, to suggest that transgender people should be beaten up, as what has happened in Kuantan in the months passed, with no further word from the police up till now on what actions will be taken against them.

Instead of providing education that homosexuality is a normal occurrence, having been recorded in hundreds of animal species of avian, mammalian and reptilian descent, we have a government education system, a non-government organization and even religious leaders who still come out and state that homosexuality is something that is unnatural. The evidence is of course to the contrary.

The simple truth is that homosexuality has now become the new boogeyman in Malaysia for purely selfish reasons. It does not affect the work of a doctor, nor does it make any civil servant less or more of a capable leader, as suggested by a certain Parliament member through his ludicrous call to screen future elected leaders for homosexuality. This, of course, is the same leader who decided to brand a certain party a group of pondans for not contesting in a by-election two years ago.

For those in school, homophobia becomes a constant cause of torment and bullying. While most Malaysian teens are capable of shrugging it off and do not bow down to the concept of teenage suicide as we see in America, it is imperative to know that such bullying will have long term scarring on a person’s psyche’.

A person’s sexual orientation nor gender has no effect whatsoever on the way they perform in their selected professions. Homophobia, however, will affect them to the point of a lacking in focus and a burden of shame caused by societal pressure that will result in a decrement to both the individual and those that surround him.

On this particular day, I just implore that we take a moment to read up on what we know about homosexuality before catering to prejudice. Malaysia has always been a land where we have learned to agree to disagree without having to resort to violence and hate speech in such a manner deemed life-threatening.

Malaysians may not agree with homosexuality. They may state so for religious reasons. However, the very same people who speak so loud against homosexuality should take note that somewhere in their family, nuclear or extended, there are gay and lesbian relatives hearing him shame them. It is a fact that you may have an uncle, an aunty, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, a son, a daughter or perhaps even your own grandchildren, who are gay. Would you cause them such emotional damage for something they have no control over?

What the LGBT community is asking for right now is a right to proper education, an acknowledgement of their existence and a right to be protected under the law, something that the transgenders have in the Federal Constitution, but not those of us with differing sexual orientations.

In other words, what we want for ourselves is the right to be recognised as human beings just like everyone else. Would you deny us even that?


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Hafidz Baharom is a nonsensical openly 'overtly happy' individual who spent his childhood in Shah Alam, went to school in Shah Alam and got his degree in Shah Alam. He writes at his Tumblr blog,dubmeshalom, and would rather write openly and be cynical about anything and everything he wants to.

Posted on 17 May 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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4 Responses to Stop Homophobia and Demonisation of LGBTs

  1. MalaysiaRocks

    Beware of this article. Do not fall into its trap of sounding humanistic and innocent. Beware, for it contains the same sort of sentiments that the West first put forth, and the result is clear in today's times. Let's not confuse humanism and tolerance with the stand for what's right & wrong. No transgender or person with different sexual orientations should ever be discriminated against, abused or treated in a derogatory manner in their workplace, schools or anywhere else. The hand of society must always be extended with warmth and welcome. Nevertheless, the very fabric of that society must never allow its destruction, its tearing apart by confusing and circuitous reasoning. The natures of man and woman are intrinsic to nature as well as to humanity. The sexual call in Nature has but one purpose: to create new life. All other purposes must be hand in hand with this, otherwise we WILL sink into the deplorable sexual promiscuity we see so rampant, and even praised, in the West, and also encroaching on beloved Malaysia. True, the sexual act is also a bonding experience, but left without procreation, it becomes entertainment. So yes, Malaysia as a whole, as a wonderful diverse society should never treat transgenders and homosexuals as lesser humans, but never, ever, for the sake of our society and humanity, should we allow their sexual acts to be legal and allowed. We should never be cruel, but we must also uphold morality and the cause of right.

  2. Again harangue or complain, but no lawsuits against the people who refuse to amend laws. Is Hafidz at least well connected enough to be featured regularly here on Loyar Burok, or wealthy enough, are ready to take the below results yielding actions?

    A single aye or nay from all 222 MPs will determine who is liable to be included in that lawsuit that can be filed at the UN, NAM, International Criminal Court or even applications for degrees of the MPs who went nay to changing of laws to legalise and protect LGBTs. If Pang is serious, he will carry out the above plan instead of floundering around marches. Remove the anti-LGBT MP’s degrees, damn the anti-LGBT MPs into unvotability make a massive statement that educational recognition will be denied anti-LGBT racists.

    The first only effective step is lawsuits against the anti-LGBT MPs and the removal of all degrees from such persons EVEN within the entire legal profession of 14,000+ lawyers and even the ‘Law Minister’ of the day. The international community of billions can crush a petty handful in Malaysia.

  3. pepperlim

    Nice!

  4. marketrealist

    It was not long ago that homosexuals and transgenders were an accepted part of Malaysian society. Go to Thailand and even Indonesia and you will still see this.

    With the racialization of religion in Malaysia, tolerance is going the way of the Dodo. All Malaysians need to take a stand to reverse this. We cannot just roll over and let people make proclamations under the guise of religion. Just look at the hole countries that have allowed this to happen (like Pakistan) have dug themselves into, They are failed states. If we want a fair and progressive Malaysia, it is not going to happen on its own. We have to take a stand.