As if it’s not enough that we have ill-educated politicians scaremongering the public about the LGBT community, sadly many in the Indonesian media are also contributing to the country’s current LGBT panic when instead they should be speaking up for the marginalized.
One of the most used rhetoric to discriminate against LGBT individuals is that homosexuals and “sexual deviants” can negatively influence impressionable children. It’s a belief that is upheld by many in the media, as evidenced by this newspaper clipping that recently went viral:
This is meant to be a guide for parents to identify gay men so that they can keep their children away from the gays’ supposedly immoral influence. The 10 points in the bottom are supposedly “characteristics” that define gay men. Here they are translated:
1. Likes to take selfies like an ‘alay’
2. Likes to stare at other men’s behinds
3. Likes to repeatedly stare at men he likes
4. A gay usually cares about his appearance
5. Up to date with fashion
6. Smells nice
7. Wears make up
8. Wears an earring on one of the ears (right)
9. Admires men
10. Wears V neck t-shirts.
Just wow. We hope this isn’t what the average Indonesian believes. Sure, some of the points make perfect sense (even if some of them overlap with one another), but “smells nice”? “Up to date with fashion”? Also, V NECKS?!?!
So, uh, are all these men gay?
That last one is Superman, by the way. Is Superman gay too? If that’s the case, then V-necks are probably his new kryptonite.
At this point, it’s not clear which newspaper the clipping came from.
Yet hopefully this kind of thinking won’t prevail in Indonesia. Otherwise, Indonesian men are going to be smelly and have questionable hygiene while only wearing round neck t-shirts so that they won’t be wrongly labeled as gay and be discriminated against.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that these 10 points were based on observations from the National Commission for the Protection of Children (Komnas PA). The National Commission for the Protection of Children (Komnas PA) has contacted Coconuts Jakarta and denied they ever issued a set of guidelines to spot gay men in Indonesia. Komnas PA Commissioner Elizabeth Santosa said that the guidelines that appeared in the newspaper clipping were falsely attributed to the commission as she maintained that nobody in the commission ever made a statement about homosexual characteristics.