A university in Makassar, South Sulawesi has apologized to a freshman after faculty members discriminated against the student after they identified as non-binary.
Muhammad Nabil Arif Adhitya was one of many students from the law faculty of Hasanuddin University (Unhas) who attended campus orientation on Friday. During one event, Law Faculty Deputy Dean Hasrul singled Muhammad out over their supposedly unconventional mannerisms and for sitting between male and female students, before asking them what gender they identify as in front of other orientation attendees.
“I was [sitting] in the middle because I am gender neutral. That’s how I identify myself,” Muhammad told Hasrul.
Hasrul was visibly offended by the fact that there are more than two genders that he ordered Muhammad to leave the event. The deputy dean later told reporters that Muhammad was taken to a lecturer’s room, where the student declared that he was willing to identify himself as male.
Later that day, Muhammad complained about the discriminatory treatment on social media, leading to the video of their orientation confrontation with Hasrul to go viral.
Blessed be the progressive-thinking Indonesian netizens who lambasted Unhas, because amid the public outrage, the university’s Dean Jamaluddin Jompa met with reporters the next day to apologize for the incident.
“Unhas is inclusive. Unhas is open for all. But, of course, we are also prone to making mistakes, for which we will rectify and apologize for, if necessary,” Jamaluddin said.
Unhas Faculty of Law said it guarantees Muhammad will be safe from any discriminatory treatment from now on.
On the flipside, as expected, there is major opposition to inclusionism in Unhas to the point that an online petition was launched yesterday to oppose “LGBT communities to grow” within the university. As of this article’s publication, more than 18 thousand people have signed the petition.
Coincidentally, Makassar is home to the Bugis people, who historically recognize five genders. These encompass a spectrum of cis male, cis female, and others in combination or in between.
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