“The Malaysian government has begun holding seminars aiming to help teachers and parents spot signs of homosexuality in children, underscoring a rise in religious conservatism in the country.
So far, the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia has organised 10 seminars across the country. Attendance at the last event on Wednesday reached 1,500 people, a spokesman for the organisation said.
“It is a multi-religious and multicultural [event], after all, all religions are basically against that type of behaviour,” said the official.
The federal government said in March that it is working to curb the “problem” of homosexuality, especially among Muslims who make up over 60% of Malaysia’s population of 29 million people.
According to a handout issued at a recent seminar, signs of homosexuality in boys may include preferences for tight, light-coloured clothes and large handbags, local media reported.
For girls, the details were less clear. Girls with lesbian tendencies have no affection for men and like to hang out and sleep in the company of women, the reports said.
Official intolerance of gay people has been on the rise. Last year, despite widespread criticism, the east coast state of Terengganu set up a camp for “effeminate” boys to show them how to become men.
The latest seminar for the teachers and parents was run by deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi, his office confirmed.
Zarkashi wasn’t immediately available for comment but national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying that being able to identify the signs will help contain the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle among the young, especially students.
“Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] groups,” he was quoted as saying.
“This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time.”
“Gigi Chao is in the awkward position of being the most famous lesbian in Asia, if not the world, now that her billionaire father has offered a bounty of £40m to the man who persuades her to marry him.
It was an undeniably eye-catching response on the part of Mr Chao to the news that back in April, Ms Chao, 33, and her female partner, Sean Eav, 45, had received a church blessing on their relationship. Offers of marriage from would-be suitors have flooded in.”
[SocProf; no !@#$]
Oh, but this is ok, apparently:
“Mr Chao, a 76-year-old playboy property developer, told The South China Morning Post that he was being flooded with replies from hopeful men, half of them from overseas.
Ms Chao, the eldest of three children, seems relaxed about her father’s record with women. “We laugh about it,” she says. “He’s really happy that he’s slept with 10,000 women. I mean, he definitely sees it as a good thing.””
“Family is king in Afghanistan – a mini-mafia structure that rules over life and death, providing protection for those who comply with its rules and punishing those who dare to stray from the rules. To be gay and Afghan means to live life in perpetual fear of discovery and betrayal, a paranoid existence spent in continuous terror of forced outing.
In addition to such soul-crushing anxieties, there’s the tyranny of a conformist society with a stubborn image of the ideal manhood to which every male is expected to aspire. This ideal is represented by the figure of the strong and powerful patriarch.
To get married and have children is not enough to live up to this ideal. A man has to be tough and masculine, rich and powerful. More importantly, he has to father many sons and raise them as obedient foot-soldiers under his command. That’s the kind of man who is envied in Afghan society. (The warlords, with their big bellies and long beards are all but a contemporary reincarnation of this traditional model of brutish, militant masculinity).
Needless to say, far from aspiring to this ideal, gay Afghan men dread the prospect of wedding, dodging the barrage of questions and postponing marriage as long as possible.
It’s a conformism where married life is forced upon everyone, young boys and girls, homosexual men and lesbian women as well as those who simply have no interest in sexuality or in leading a typical Afghan family life.
Many Afghans don’t flee because of politics, they flee their society and escape their culture, Hamid writes in his memoirs after meeting teenage runaway boys who fled Afghanistan to avoid marriage.
Hamid finally settled in Canada where he wrote his pioneering memoirs. It was there in Canada that he met online the man he would have become had he not fled Afghanistan. This other man, also gay, had succumbed to society, marrying and fathering four children.”