Children in Malaysia targeted for “gay cures”
Here’s the first article from another of our fantastic new writers, Charley:
Over the years there have been some fairly radical proposals made in reference to homosexuality; what “causes” it and what “cures” it, often being main talking points. As the world has progressed into a more enlightened place, many people who once searched for the answers to these mysteries have realised that they’re searching for things that don’t exist.
It would seem, however, that there are still some who are fighting towards a “cure” for what the Deputy Education Minister of Malaysia refers to as an “unhealthy lifestyle”.
The Malaysian Teachers Foundation is in fact so committed to stopping the spread of this “lifestyle” that they are now running seminars that promise to help people identify gay children. They have outlined some basic ideas that parents and teachers alike should be looking for within their children and students:
For gay males:
- Having a muscular body that they enjoy showing off by wearing v-neck/sleeveless tops
- A preference for light-coloured and/or tight clothing
- They express a liking for big handbags, similar to those used by women
And the ultimate give-away for any gay man…
- They express a sexual preference/attraction to men
- Female friends aside, they will distance themselves from other women
- They are comfortable hanging out, having meals and sleeping in the company of other women
- They have no affection for men and are attracted to women (wow, these people have really done their homework…)
Apparently if these signs are noticed early enough, it will help to eradicate the problem; a problem which is apparently being exacerbated by the presence of LGBT blogs and websites that are easily available to students.
It seems that the key proposal to getting rid of this so-called problem is to get rid of the cause of it; unfortunately the closed-mindedness that has been used to create this programme is doing nothing more than singling out those who are unfortunate enough to exhibit the registered “signs”, whether they are gay or not.
President of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), Sharifuddin Abdul Latiff, is said to be “appalled” by this movement; he explained:
The mental and emotional damage it will certainly cause to our children is incalculable.
This idea was followed by the proposal that these methods will simply bring the alienation and terrorisation of people who do not conform; an idea that was supported further by gay activist Pang Khee Teik who claimed the Education Ministry is “only interested in teaching hate, promoting inequality and playing politics”.
Nonetheless, the ministry views cases of social ills in the community seriously and will give guidance directly and indirectly to all schoolchildren to ensure they stay away from unhealthy activities.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first extreme action that’s been taken by Malaysia to eradicate homosexuality.
Several human rights groups within the last year have been disgusted to discover that a significant number of boys between the ages of 12 and 17 were rounded up by their teachers, who suspected them of being homosexual, and sent to a gay “cure” camp that exists on the northeast coast of the country.
Further investigations and reports have suggested that this may not be the only camp of its kind in the country, with many speculating that there are other “cure” camps available.
It might seem alien, extreme and offensive to most of the people reading this article; although with a Deputy Prime Minister that describes homosexuality as a “sexual orientation disorder”, before calling for a “homosexual rehabilitation centre” to help stop the “rampant” spread of this sexuality, it becomes less surprising that these seminars have been allowed to take place.
However we can’t possibly offload all the blame to a few individuals, particularly when we take into account the staggering 1, 500 people who turned up to the most recent seminar in order to pin-point these alleged “signs” and single out certain children who may or may not be homosexual.
Admittedly Malaysia has a long distance to travel in terms of homosexuality and public acceptance, and it is certainly a far cry from Ireland’s home-grown BeLong To which has been praised as a perfect model of how to deal with homophobic bullying.
Malaysia, which still considers homosexuality to be an illegal behaviour, issues punishments ranging from fines all the way through to 20 years imprisonment.
Needless to say, these seminars are just one thing in a list of many that raises obvious issues and flaws with this homophobic government.