I had first "encounter" Seksualiti Merdeka in December 2010 through the famous Saya Gay, Saya OK video by Mr. Azwan Ismail. To be frank, I had vigorously opposed the act by Azwan Ismail . For me, being a Muslim, and a Malay, we have our own culture that need to be uphold and given that we're living in an "Islamic Nation", his act was intolerable. And I wasn't alone, during that time, it can be said that people all across the country (surprisingly, including some homos that I know) were on the opposition site of this issue. Saying that, it's okay to be gay, but to shout it loud, its stupid. That's the story of how I know about Seksualiti Merdeka, I won't be going any further, as, that is not what I am planning to discuss.
Organized for the first time in 2009 (correct me if I'm wrong), this year's festival had gained a tremendous media attention from both the main stream and the internet. Mostly going against it and as usual, religious is the main substance used for the debate. First a foremost, which religion was against homosexual? Islam, Judaism and may be Christianity (once again, correct me if I am wrong) are against homosexuality, but, how about other religion or even the Atheist, can we take away their rights because OUR religion don't allow it? Analogically speaking, pork is prohibited to be eaten by Muslims, wouldn't it be cruel of us to forbid it to our Buddhist brothers and sisters?
Secondly, from my observation, religion is just used to justify our opposition against this group, and to be frank, I can see that we're disgusted with this group, we're just being an extreme homophobic to the extend of labeling them in the same group with rapist, murderers and pedophiles with various statements such as this one;
Kalau kita membenarkan perilaku seks sejenis, lebih baik kita menghalalkan jenayah rogol pula.
"If we allow the act of homosexuality, we might as well permit rape"
Quoting a statement from Ustaz Haji Hasrizal Abdul Jamil, the author of the blog Saiful Islam;
For me, the community are to scared of changes, to accept this people as who they are, rather than labeling them with various names. Because, accepting them doesn't mean promoting the lifestyle of homosexuality. Me myself, can be considered as a mild homophobic, and frankly, am not to comfortable being around them, but, to treat the LGBTs with the current treatment that the society are giving them, that makes me uncomfortable even more.
Most homosexuals were born with the tendency of loving a person from the same sex (refer here), and, same as the "straights", they're born with the instinct to love a person from the opposite sex. And, due to the community stigma, a heterosexual will most probably be a homophobic. So, how can a homophobic guys(or girls), simply turns into gays when we accept the LGBT community? If changing perception is just as easy as organizing a month-long festival, then, Pakatans don't have to work so hard, just have a Pakatan's Festival, and all of the hardcore BN's supporters will support them. Damn, I had drifted, back to Seksualiti Merdeka.
Next, let's review the players in Seksualiti Merdeka's festival this year.
|Pang Khee Teik|
Pang Khee Teik is the co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka and also the organizer for this year's festival. Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir, is the daughter of the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, and also a human rights activist and Dato' Ambiga, is the First Malaysian to receive the International Woman of Courage Award by United States Government and famous for the organizing of the 2011 Bersih 2.0 rally.
Both Pang and also Ambiga had been question by the police regarding this matter, but, not surprisingly, one was saved. Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir wasn't called for her statement to be taken by the police and I wonder why. It's to the extend that Marina herself, dare the authorities to take action and question here regarding this matter (Marina Mahathir : Why Go After Ambiga, come after me if you dare!)
Seeing what had been happpening, I got a feeling there's a political games being played behind this issue. Ambiga had opposed the government before with her Bersih 2.0, and, now, it's payback. Not only by the authorities, but also by public who labelled her as an "insurgent", on which for me, the act by a few parties can be seen as childish. By the way, I loves a tweet made by a journalist, Niki Cheong about this matter;
FREE SEX PARTY??? WTF??!!
Seksualiti Merdeka had been labelled by TV3 as a free sex festival that promotes hedonism in Malaysia. To all Malaysians, this is not even a Gay Parade, it is just a gathering to discuss and highlight problems that are faced by the community of lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transsexual. Other than TV3's immature condemnation towards Seksualiti Merdeka, another statement was made by the "celebrity parliamentarian", no other than, our beloved, Bung Mokhtar Radin
Thanks Bung, you done it again, after the bocor statement, now Bung had accused that the HOMOSEXUALS community will contribute to the exacerbating of the baby dumping problem. Hmmm... if I was a gay, how can I decides on which one of us (me or my partner) will be giving birth to our child? I hope that I can get an answer from any science teacher.....or..any sexist parliamentarian.
All and all, what had Seksualiti Merdeka shown us is not about accepting gays, but they show us, how we always denied the rights of minorities, the rights of those who are not the same with us, the rights of the good men and women, who are, a little different than us. And, with this kind of thinking, the nation had been presented with 13 May incident, United States was shocked by the killing of a 15-years old Lawrence King and also Mandalay Killings in Burma.