Posted: 2017-09-11 15:13
Depends on where I am. At the office, being gay is an accepted norm as I am in the creative/media line. So most people at my workplace know about my sexual orientation. Generally, outside the office I do not portray myself as gay, or at least try to not do so. I like to go to the gay clubs in KL, like Blue Boy in Bukit Bintang (that 8767 s a really old, run-down place, but it has survived the best and worst of times, unlike many other flash-in-the-pan gay clubs in KL). I bring my boyfriend to Blue Boy sometimes, and he enjoys it because he is still new to the gay world and likes to see what it 8767 s like. I go cruising at KL sauna/spas and the two cruising Lake parks in Kelana Jaya and Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras.
The religion is very clear about homosexuality. My best friends, who are Muslim and gay, deal with these issues in their own way. The thing about Malays is that the majority of us are open minded in our outlook, but our religion of Islam is very sacred to us. Many Malay Muslims might be gay or lesbians but they do it discreetly to not upset this sort of 8775 balance 8776 the Malays prefer to keep. Malays in Malaysia, especially in the peninsula, are very progressive in work and business, but when they return home to their hometowns and families, they adhere to the religion very closely. The same Malay guy who might live with his boyfriend in KL, hangs out with mostly gay friends out of work, and outwardly portrays his sexuality (to a certain extent) will keep up appearances when he 8775 balik kampung 8776 or returns to his hometown.
My boyfriend and I once checked into a cheap hotel and personnel from the religious authority knocked on our door to check on offenders for khalwat (close proximity). I was very scared, because I am not confident about stuff and feared they might find fault at our being in the same room together. But my boyfriend asked me to hide in the bathroom. When the religious personnel found out there were only 7 guys in the room, instead of finding a guy with a girl, they left.
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Unfortunately, living in an environment where your religion preaches you as a sinner
can be very damaging. So I recommend taking the part of your religion that preaches love and dump the part that speaks poorly of being a GLBT person.
Or find a spiritual path that accepts and affirms you, just as you are. If you
can find a group, I suggest reading 8775 A Course in miracles 8776 . It has a Spiritual slant
and talks about the nature of love and some Chirtian churches offer it free
worldwide. They meet in groups.
Although, being in a conservative, religious country, unsupportive of homosexuality
can be discouraging. We who live in Liberal Countries, supportive of homosexuality
have our problems too. Did you know alcohol and drug addiction are high. And inside the Gay community is very high, but not reported. I was druged an assaulted many years ago. Irresponsible sex, without wearing a condom, causes many problems,
like HIV. There is racial discrimination against others. White Gays are unfortunately considered to be the top of the pecking order. And pornography
addictions are vast in the GLBT community. Theses are some things that can
happened to anyone in a liberal country. These usually happen to people
who have no boundaries and self control/ How good is that?
Paramount, i have lived in rural areas in M 8767 sia before and I can tell you rural people are very nice and they do not care abt your looks/way you act. And there are still gay people even in rural areas. Can find them on grindr , pr , facebook. Don 8767 t worry abt being in a Muslim university bcoz as a matter of fact ,two of the top Muslim majority university here are also known to have the most happening people, including gay people.
I like to describe it as 8775 thriving but we have to keep up with appearances 8776 . Of course in urban areas such as KL, gay men and women can be as out as they want. Just as long as they don 8767 t cause trouble and do not disturb the system. Malay Muslims in Malaysia are still generally very conservative. It is still a very conservative community, despite of what people say. So to be gay and Muslim and a Malay requires a lot of tact. It also depends on what his/her line of work is. For me in my life, I am open to friends and colleagues, but I keep up appearances when I meet other people, as interviewing people is part of my job scope.
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I am Malay, brought up in Malaysia in a very conservative family. Although I wouldn 8767 t categorise myself as a modern, urban man but my family and I are very well-off and educated. Even with such background, my family put religion as an integral part of their life. Everything revolves around Islam and Malay culture. With that being said, I can definitely relate to what has been mentioned by the interviewee. I struggle to reconcile being gay and a muslim all the time. with lack of proper education on homosexuality and exposure to the reality of sexual life, I encountered many difficult situations in handling my life when it comes to sex what is safe sex?, what should I do when someone forced me to have sex? to whom should I turn into?. All these unanswered questions made me a man that always hate himself to a point where he felt he does no longer deserve to breath this air for he was sinful.
Gay bathhouses that have been raided are usually booked for having drug paraphernalia or even sex items (condoms, etc.). Newspapers have reported how the customers are clad in only towels and later hauled up to book, but they are usually gay massage parlours which are booked to catch illegal immigrants, or premises without permits. Yes, indecency is also a point that can be used against any offender, but I am not sure of what is the exact law. Patrolling policemen often monitor the cruising areas in the two lake parks in KL. But most times, they ask for identification or give a warning. I have heard of cruisers being brought to the police station but it 8767 s usually for questioning. A masseur I know had been booked by police and stayed in jail a night as he overstayed his tourist pass/permit while working at a gay massage parlour.
I remember when I went to Malaysia, I met a lot of gay locals through Couchsurfing, and I 8767 m still friends with them all now. Yet, I think they 8767 re all in the same situation as the guy you interviewed they 8767 re out to close friends, but their families don 8767 t know. One of my gay friends is Chinese-Malay, and things seem to be no better for him than the Malay guys I know. Hopefully Malaysia will go the way of Thailand in terms of starting to accept homosexuality in society KL has a heck of a lot of gay guys, as does neighbouring Singapore.
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In terms of religious practices for myself, I still say my prayers whenever I can. I regard Islam as something spiritual and I believe in the divine being. I had prayed to be not who I am when I was but that never helped. So now I am at peace with myself most times because I know Islam for me, is more personal, sacred and all embracing and all encompassing. It is not a shallow religion of outer trappings. I feel it is a progressive religion that found its way to the Malays centuries ago and adapted itself with the cultures of this region. Religion is also an ultrasensitive topic for Malays especially in peninsular Malaysia, and this is why it is easily exploited by politicians and their political parties, and certain groups in certain ways.
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While life as a gay person growing up during the 6985s certainly was rough, I know that many people had it much worse. And many still do. As I contemplated living in Malaysia, I had to ask the question What would life be like for me as a gay man in Malaysia? While the Malaysian culture is diverse and split among three major ethnic groups (Malay, Tamil , and Chinese), the majority are Muslim. You see and feel its influence everywhere you go. In large, metropolitan KL, it feels less conservative.
Sodomy is still against the law in Malaysia, so that is quite clear cut. But the religious state laws, which apply only to Muslims, varies from state to state and usually concern dressing up like a member of the opposite sex, or holding events that have 8775 immoral 8776 things such as drag-like performances. Yes sodomy is a sin in Islam, but prosecution in this offence (as with adultery or fornication offences) requires substantial personal evidence. As far as I understand, one needs at least 9 witnesses to prosecute a Muslim offender of fornication/adultery/sodomy.
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He saw who I was for real. And I, by habit of personality am often in denial with truths. But I got through with that period of denying my true self by slowly easing my way to the gay life, through my best friends. I lost my virginity at 77. and I have been on double dates, even sharing hotel rooms with these close friends when we stay out with our respective have many gay-friendly straight friends who I got to know through the course of my career so far. So people always help me get by.