Gay and transgender struggle for acceptance in Indonesia

The BBC highlights the challenges faced by gays, bisexuals and transgenders in Indonesia as a growing number of radical Muslim groups are actively campaigning against them.

The BBC reported on June 19, 2010:

In the corner, instead of a urinal, there is a female toilet, hidden by a modest wall designed to discourage peeping toms.

But among the women is a man – or certainly a person who looks like a man, judging by the way he is dressed and from his demeanour.

Alter Hofan says he is a man, but doctors say he was born a woman.

Alter is charged with falsifying his identity papers.

He was reported to police by his mother-in-law, who says he changed his gender on his birth certificate in order to marry her daughter.

A few miles away from Alter’s Jakarta cell, Hartoyo is also fighting for his right to be accepted.

A devout Muslim and a gay activist, he has suffered for his sexual orientation.

Three years ago he was living with his boyfriend in Aceh, one of Indonesia’s most devoutly Islamic provinces, when a dozen people raided his house and turned the couple over to the police.

Hartoyo thought the police would protect them. Instead, the police assaulted them.

He cannot contain his emotion as he recalls what happened that night.

“I get so angry when I remember what happened,” he says. “The police urinated on my head and beat the two of us up. I am still traumatised by that experience.”

Read full article here.

by News Editor
Source – Fridae