Newspaper slammed for 'how to spot gay people' checklist
Newspaper slammed for 'how to spot gay people' checklist
The list has angered LGBT rights campaigners More
15 February, 2018, 10:15
Gay men's eyes light up when they see handsome men, the story claimed. They also apparently "adore beards, mustaches and [name-brand] clothes".
Lesbians, it continues, tend to hug each other, hold hands, and talk about how much they hate men. That's what a Malaysian newspaper says.
LGBT rights are unrecognized in Malaysia and homosexuality is is still considered illegal and punishable by 20 years in prison. And the country's outsize heterosexual antipathy toward gay people has sparked reactions that run the gamut from hilarious to horrifying.
A "gay moment" in the Walt Disney cartoon movie "Beauty and the Beast" nearly led to a ban on it being screened in Malaysia a year ago. But the Malaysian Censorship Board finally relented after Disney refused to make a cut.
The movie flap came years after Malaysian censors revised restrictions on religious and sexual content in movies but, the AP said, still promoted a negative view of LGBT people. In June, the health ministry launched a contest on how to "prevent" homosexuality and transgenderism, though it dropped it after pressure from LGBT groups.
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An 18-year old student, T Nhaveen, was beaten and burned to death last year by classmates who said he was pondan, a colloquial term for a gay man.
The derogatory attitude is a reflection of the rise of conservative Islam in the Muslim-majority country.
Arwind Kumar, an activist and one of the country's biggest social media stars, called out the newspaper in a YouTube video where he said the checklist could "take away lives" by encouraging witch hunts of gay people.
Kumar added, "If you really want to educate society then explain to them the traits of a paedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, those kinds of people that actually endanger the life of another".
"Do not tell them about gays - how the hell does a gay person endanger your life?".
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