Posts Tagged 'culture'

New book sheds light on gay groups in Indonesia

The Jakarta Post
13 August 2009

New book sheds light on gay groups in Indonesia

Ni Komang Erviani , The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Society still strongly refuses to accept the lifestyle choices of gay men in Indonesia, causing many to lead double lives, a US scholar says.

Tom Boesllstorf, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, launched his book Monday titled The Gay Archipelago at the Queer (Q) film festival in Denpasar. Though the book has been in circulation in English since 2005, the recently reprinted version is in Indonesian.

The professor meticulously studied the origins and history of gay communities in Indonesia, and details the lives of several individuals struggling against social prejudices. Continue reading ‘New book sheds light on gay groups in Indonesia’

ST: Delhi ruling a victory for gays

5 July 2009
Sunday Times

Delhi ruling a victory for gays 

by P. Jayaram, India Correspondent 

Exactly a decade ago when homosexuality was still a very hush-hush affair in India, more than a dozen men staged a march in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), the teeming eastern metropolis.

The rag-tag bunch, wearing yellow T-shirts with the words ‘Walk on the Rainbow’, simply wanted to visit officials, judges, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and anyone who mattered to tell them ‘what we were all about’. Continue reading ‘ST: Delhi ruling a victory for gays’

BBC: The march of gay politics

30 June 2009

The march of gay politics

By Jon Kelly
Political reporter, BBC News

New York’s Stonewall riot in 1969 is credited with launching the gay rights movement – and 40 years on, its impact is still being felt by politicians in the UK.

stonewall_40anniv1It seems a world away from modern-day Westminster, where openly gay MPs and peers sit around the cabinet and shadow cabinet tables while politicians on all sides of the House profess their tolerance.

On 28 June 1969, following a campaign of police harassment, patrons of Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn – mostly gay men, lesbians and transvestites – fought back following a raid.

The event prompted the first gay pride marches, inspired a new wave of the equality movement and eventually gave its name to the campaign group Stonewall. Continue reading ‘BBC: The march of gay politics’

ST: ‘Coming out’ in China

20 June 2009
Straits Times

‘Coming out’ in China

While homosexuality is still largely a social taboo, Chinese society is slowly opening up

By Sim Chi Yin, China Correspondent

TWO empty white picture frames hung on the art gallery’s wall.

Hours earlier, the authorities had marched in, inspected each art piece and asked for the sexually explicit ones to be removed.

But apart from those casualties, Beijing’s first gay art exhibition opened without trouble last Sunday.

A crowd of 200 gay, straight, Chinese and expatriate guests gathered over soft drinks and beer at the Songzhuang Art District on the city’s outskirts for what organisers quietly hailed as a breakthrough for gays in China, where homosexuality was delisted as a ‘mental illness’ only in 2001. Continue reading ‘ST: ‘Coming out’ in China’

TOI: Gay couples ‘marry’ with parents’ approval, hawan and priests

10 May 2009
The Times of India

Gay couples ‘marry’ with parents’ approval, hawan and priests
10 May 2009, Mansi Choksi, TNN

MUMBAI: Last week, Durban-based sales advisor Joe Singh and his partner Wesley Nolan solemnised their relationship at a ceremony where a Hindu priest officiated. In the Singh living room, Wesley tied a necklace with a Ganesha pendant around Joe’s neck. The couple, now honeymooning in Mauritius, chose the Ganesha instead of garlands because both of them are “staunch Hindus” and wanted the Elephant God to “ward off evil and remove obstacles from their path”. Continue reading ‘TOI: Gay couples ‘marry’ with parents’ approval, hawan and priests’

SSO: When image prevails over equality


Author: Lyndon Barnett
Posted: Wednesday, 15 October 200

Singapore-raised Saiful, 36 (surname withheld) believes his government is more concerned with upholding a conservative, strict image of Singapore than allowing the population to enjoy equal legislation.

“The Government makes statements for the sake of saying things. Singapore has a reputation that it is strict on everything and that is the impression the Government wants to maintain,” he said.

It is for this reason that Saiful believes the anti-gay legislation will never be overturned.

Singapore is governed by the British colonial remnant of section 377A which prohibits “any act of gross indecency with another male person”. The law is generally interpreted as acts of sodomy or oral sex. Continue reading ‘SSO: When image prevails over equality’

To say homosexuality is immoral is a cultural view

Source Straits Times Print Forum
18 June 2008

S’poreans guilty too, not just rights activists

I read Lydia Lim’s article ‘Let’s not turn human rights into a battle ground’ on Saturday in which she reminded us what the Attorney-General, Professor Walter Woon, said rather critically: ‘These are people who evidently believe that they and their values represent the apex of human moral development.’

I find the statement rather ironic because it seems to me that there are among us enough Singaporeans who also believe that their values represent the apex of human moral development. Continue reading ‘To say homosexuality is immoral is a cultural view’

Phoenix TV, China, showcases a gay family

Source: A posting made on SiGNeL – People Like Us’ GLBT email group – by “Kris” on 1 June 2008, referring to a TV program that was made some months earlier

China is so much more enlightened than Singapore

Came across these videos on a documentary shown on China’s Fenghuang Dianshi (Phoenix TV) some time before March 2007.

Part 1 is here:

Part 2 is here:

These were recorded from “Lu Yu You Yue”, or ‘A Date With Lu Yu – Tell Us Your Story’.  Lu Yu is a famous female talk show host in China. The show is in Mandarin, with Chinese sub-titles.  My apologies to those who do not understand Chinese/Mandarin…

Baiscally, the entire show focuses on the lives, love, trials and tribulations of Li Lunzuo and Ju Jiazhong.  Li was born into a farming family in Chengdu, while Ju was born in Chongqing.  Both of them were born 10+ days apart in March 1956. Continue reading ‘Phoenix TV, China, showcases a gay family’

Waria outreach in Yogyakarta

Editor’s note: The name “People Like Us” or “PLU” originated (at least in Asia) with the group in SIngapore in 1993. As observed by veteran Indonesian gay rights activist Dede Oetomo, the term has since spread widely throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, used by all sorts of other groups, as well as LGBT individuals to refer to themselves. This news story in the Jakarta Post refers to one such group.

Source: The Jakarta Post
1 June 2008

Bags of friendship from people like us

Daniel Rose, Contributor, Yogyakarta

May 18, 2008. In the dark, hot kitchen of her house, just meters away from the beach, Surati, 45, and three other women are preparing dinner for 45 new arrivals from Yogyakarta city.

Some of the guests occupy the semi-open common room, sitting on a wooden platform or lying around on mattresses; others chat and sing in the bamboo house in front of the main abode. Almost everyone there is under the age of 30 and describes themselves as gay, lesbian or transgender. Continue reading ‘Waria outreach in Yogyakarta’

Cuban president’s daughter leads anti-homophobia drive

Editor’s note: There are two articles in this post. The one below is from a week earlier.

Source: MSNBC/AP
Date: 17 May 2008

Cuba holds large gay rights rally
Raul Castro’s daughter presides at government-backed event

Associated Press Writer

HAVANA – Cuba’s gay community celebrated unprecedented openness — and high-ranking political alliances — with a government-backed campaign against homophobia on Saturday.

The meeting at a convention center in Havana’s Vedado district may have been the largest gathering of openly gay activists ever on the communist-run island. President Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela, who has promoted the rights of sexual minorities, presided. Continue reading ‘Cuban president’s daughter leads anti-homophobia drive’