Members of Malaysia’s LGBT community, whom conservative Malaysians perceive as being “different” have been persecuted, beaten up, rejected, their lives made a living hell and in some cases, they are murdered.
Here is a video from a member of the Malaysian LGBT community.
He talks about his teacher (yes, his teacher!) calling him names in class, of being bullied and how some of his friends would reject his friendship.
He talks about the high rates of depression and suicide amongst the LGBT community. Both the Muslims, and the Christians can show intolerance.
He describes how when he went to England to study, where he was treated like a normal person, and he felt liberated; whereas in Malaysia, he felt as if he shouldered a heavy burden. Although he has not received threats, he knows that other people have.
He describes his Malay friends who are gay and what they think and do, to lead as normal a life as possible without being persecuted.
His biggest challenge is finding a partner. His advice to other members of the LGBT community is “Don’t live in denial. Be confident.”
His advice to other Malaysians, “Every human is equal. I am not better than you, nor are you better than me.”
The questions and his answers
0:22m Tell us what it is like being a gay in Malaysia?
2:57m Were you confused as a child?
3.00m You’ve known you were different for a long time. What did your family think?
4:57m How was it like as a child?
5:50m How was it at school?
6:50m What was the response of the teachers?
7:33m What happened at university?
8:47m And what happened in your family?
9:34m What about coming out, which you claim you will never do?
9:52m How do you think your mother will react?
11:15m Do you try and hide the fact that you are gay? Why is that?
12:05m Is there a difference in the way you were treated in Malaysia and when you went to England to study?
13:34m What is the most challenging things about living as a gay man in Malaysia?
17:43m Have you received any threats, of any sort, against you?
19:08m What do the Malay gays do?
20:09m You are returning to Malaysia soon, what is your message to other Malaysian gays who live there, and who are under threat?
23:30m What is your message to other Malaysians ,who treat gays as weird, abnormal people?
This video is NOT about promoting homosexuality. It has nothing to do with upsetting religious and cultural sensitivities. It is not about insulting Islam.
It is about giving a voice to Malaysians who are gay, whose voices are being muted or silenced. Who cannot conduct their lives without having to look over their shoulders.
This video hopes to stimulate more discussion into a section of the community, which conservative people would like hidden away or erased completely.
This video is a glimpse into how gays live, how we think of them, in Malaysia. It is about fear and intolerance.
It is also a reflection of us, how we treat others to whom we object, because they refuse to conform to our rules.
Do you need help?
If you have been affected by this video, and wish to seek further help and counselling, please contact the following organisations:
1. MindWorks, a LGBT friendly mental health service provider:
2. PT Foundation provides Telephone counselling, Anonymous HIV screening, Make Safe Sex (MAKSS), and Face-to-face counselling
HIV testing & counselling info: http://ptfmalaysia.org/v2/hiv-sti-info/