Malaysia newspaper publishes 'how to spot gays' list

Malaysia newspaper publishes 'how to spot gays' list
A leading Malaysian paper has come under fire after it published a checklist describing 'how to spot a gay person'.
3 min read
14 Feb, 2018
Gay men's eyes 'light up' when they see handsome men, apparently [Twitter]
A leading Malaysian newspaper has come under fire by activists and on social media after they published an article last week describing "how to spot a gay person".

According to the article in Sinar Harian, gay men are "fond of growing facial hair and wearing branded clothes".

Other distinctive qualities include a love of going to the gym – not for exercise, but to check out other men. Their eyes light up when they see handsome men, the article said.

Lesbians on the other hand, "despised and belittled men, preferred to be alone, tend to hug each other and hold hands when walking," the article went on to add.

People took to social media platforms in outrage, calling out the publication.

Some mocked the ludicrous idea of such 'signs'

Most agreed the list was 'disturbing'

Arwind Kumar, a social media activist, hit back at the article in an angry video mocking the so-called signs, describing it as dangerous enough to "take away lives".

"If you really want to help society, educate them on the traits of a depressed individual," he tweeted. "With an article, we could have saved many lives. With an article like this, you're only going to take away lives."

The video has been viewed more than 55,000 times since its release, prompting a conversation on Malaysia's stance on LGBTQ+ rights.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, where laws criminalising 'sodomy' can result in imprisonment, corporal punishment and fines. Last year, Disney indefinitely postponed the opening of its film Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia after censors in the Muslim-majority nation reportedly cut out a 'gay moment' in the movie.

That same year, the country's Health Ministry launched a contest titled 'The National Creative Video Competition on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health' with an aim to 'prevent' homosexuality and transgenderism.

Another article on the health ministry's website titled, "Why would a person be lesbian?" outlined the reason women are gay is based on their decision to pursue their careers and their belief that only women would understand their choices.

Neighbouring country Indonesia, also finds itself in the midst of rising anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. As part of a sweeping criminal law overhaul, Indonesian parliament is pushing forward a clamp down on gay and pre-marital sex.

Officials have been using the country's strict anti-pornography laws in a string of raids against the LGBT community, and last month, Google pulled one of the world's largest gay dating apps from the Indonesian version of its online store in response to government demands.

Indonesian police hit the headlines after they forcibly cut the hair of a group of transgender women, forced them to wear male clothes and told them to speak in a masculine voice.