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Gunawan admits at first he set the video to private viewing only for his friends and relatives across the two continents. However, an unknown person downloaded the video and shared it anonymously at de Waal's office in Jakarta, leading to the couple receiving threats. Nevertheless, the pair found meaning in the incident. After hiring a lawyer to help them consider taking legal action, Gunawan decided, after some consideration, to instead make the video public. Despite Gunawan's confidence in outing himself and sharing his personal life, discrimination against LGBT people in Indonesia has been growing louder recently.

Government officials and religious leaders have publicly stated they are against sexual orientations that they say deviate from the morals and values of the national identity and religious norms. The minister suggested the LGBT community's presence was "corrupting the nation's morals", which inspired a slew of statements in response.

Other ministers joined in, making hostile statements against the minority group, calling them a threat to the state's religious life and even suggesting LGBT people be provided therapy to cure them. The Jakarta Post, January 25, This is not about LGBT people, but more to do with their behavior. There is a lot that is deviant about it. The Jakarta Post, February 09, The Jakarta Post, March 05, We must limit its room to move. However, as individual people, they must be protected like any other citizen. The Jakarta Post, March 04, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin Religious Affairs Minister "We cannot be hostile or hate them because they are also citizens of the state.

This doesn't mean that we will condone or allow the LGBT movement to shift the religious values and identity of the nation.


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They have the right to be protected as well. I want us to become a civilized country. It [being homosexual] is not what the person wants. The Jakarta Post, February 13, Rio Damar founder of Melela. Human judgment tends to be incomplete and flawed and, therefore, we should approach it with humility. The Jakarta Post, March 14, Yuli Rustinawati Arus Pelangi chairperson "Some LGBT people share their stories on blogs and several websites have become a place for them to discuss various issues. Those are informative for the public and are certainly not propaganda.

The Jakarta Post, March 07, Recently the body went as far as calling for legislation to ban LGBT activities. Read also: Although MUI's fatwa is not legally binding, it is considered a strong recommendation by conservative Muslim groups in Indonesia that often do what a fatwa states. Many hard-liners have shut down discussions on LGBT issues, including forcing authorities to close the Al Fatah Islamic School for transgender people, established in in Yogyakarta, in March.

Authorities shut down Yogyakarta transgender Islamic school. Popular South Korean-based mobile chat application Line also conceded to government warnings and removed stickers featuring same-sex couples, also issuing an official apology. The party deemed LGBT groups a danger to social relationships and stated that related practices were prohibited by religion.

The leading Indonesian psychiatric body has also classified homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism as mental disorders, which it claims can be cured through proper treatment. Suzy Yusna Dewi, member of Indonesian Psychiatrists Association PDSKJI , said the aforementioned sexual identities were often triggered by external factors such as a person's social environment, and therefore, they could be healed through psychiatric treatment. Indonesian psychiatrists label LGBT as mental disorders. The classifications are in stark contrast to those of the World Health Organization WHO , which removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders on May 17, Members of SGRC, consisting of students, alumni and lecturers of the most prominent state university in the country, particularly felt the heat at the time.

SGRC head of studies year-old Fathul Purnomo says the group focuses on sexuality studies such as feminism and gender and minority issues. Every two weeks the group holds an academic discussion event called "Arisan".

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Also, those who want to get counseling can register and the committee will get them in touch with a counselor who can help them, he added. Fathul joined the group as one of its first members in its early days after it had just been launched on May 17, In fact, he says, there is a diversity of backgrounds, including people who are liberal, conservative and also religiously devout people. Fathul expresses disappointment in the media's misrepresentation of the group, with local headlines recently labeling SGRC a dating platform for LGBT people.

The stories raised many eyebrows and attracted criticism, especially from those who oppose the LGBT community. Some were ex-communicated from their families due to embarrassment about their affiliation with the group, while others felt such heavy pressure that they had suicidal thoughts.

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The media madness brought on some trouble for the group, including the university cutting them off its list of student organizations. One person who has been helped by the group is year-old Riris Carolina, who is on an ongoing journey to fulfill an academic curiosity. Or so she thought. The negative reactions didn't only come from her friends but also from complete strangers in her day-to-day environment. She shared her experience of what would usually be an ordinary trip for lunch at a warteg: It was then that people whom she had never spoken to but were aware of her sexual orientation audibly commented, "Just kill her off" — as if she wasn't even human.

They also seemed offended by her tomboyish nature. Riris was one of the first organizing-committee members of SGRC in We're all academics here, and that's what this place is for. SGRC has been a learning community for Riris, as the group discusses many sexuality-related issues from a scientific viewpoint. Even so, it is a discussion topic that Indonesia sees as uncomfortable, even among family and schools. The group's consultation facilities also help those who are confused about their sexuality to learn more about themselves — a therapeutic option for young people who are sometimes subjected to social pressures that put them at risk.

The group is something that Gunawan wanted when he was growing up, confused about his sexuality. He feels that it is important not to view LGBT people in any exclusive context, and important not to play the victim. The more people point out differences while calling for equality, the less the movement achieves, he believes. I object to that. We have to think beyond that," he said sternly. A portrait of a gay Indonesian. Listening to gay Republicans take credit for gay civil rights victories is a mind-bending exercise for many L.

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Though L. Transgender Americans have borne the brunt of those efforts. Trump has tried to block transgender people from serving in the military and reversed several Obama-era policies that protected transgender Americans from discrimination in workplaces, schools and prisons. In addition to more symbolic gestures, like failing to recognize L. On the same day as the transgender military ban announcement, for example, the Trump administration landed two other blows against L.

As governor of Kansas, Brownback signed an executive order in prohibiting the state government from penalizing religious groups that deny services to married same-sex couples. The most obvious is the G. And yet, many L. Angelo, who said the Log Cabin Republicans had a spike in membership and social media followers in , believes that this greater G.

Considering how much criticism L. The assimilationist-minded Log Cabin Republicans, the Trump critics like Sullivan, the deliberately trollish Yiannopoulos acolytes and the conservative-leaning college students coming of age in an era of greater social acceptance have seemingly little in common besides their sexual orientation — and their oft-stated distaste for identity politics.

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I routinely heard conservative gays criticize other conservative gays as ineffective, boring or empty vessels. He did not, he told me, though he recently had gone on a Tinder date with a Trump appointee. But Hattaway was friends with a gay former conservative — a year-old named Ryan Newcomb, who worked in the White House during the George W.

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Though he is out of the closet, he asked me not to use his name so he could speak freely about his personal life. His liberal boyfriend of about a year, whom C. Though C. As we waited for C.


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I heard something similar from Tim Miller, a gay former communications staff member for Jeb Bush, who told me he was surprised by how quickly a community of mostly young, openly gay conservative men has formed in recent years in Washington. Conservative lesbians often have less luck finding community.

Sarah Longwell told me that she personally knew only a handful of conservative lesbians, and that her spouse and all her close lesbian friends are Democrats. When C. Awkward silence ensued. Before long, C. In late I visited Chadwick Moore, a year-old former liberal and writer for the national gay magazine Out who is now one of the most combative L.