‘This silence is what feeds the beast of oppression’

Activist responds to claim campaign for LGBT rights is making life worse for gay people in Malaysia

‘This silence is what feeds the beast of oppression’
02 April 2012

It's a dark hour for LGBT rights in Malaysia. Conservative Islamist politicians have decided to make suppression of homosexuality a political platform (one suggesting gay 'rehab' centres), there's been a series of gang attacks on transsexuals and the authorities quickly dismissed an appeal on the ban of the sexualities freedom festival Seksualiti Merdeka, which was held in 2008 to 2010 but banned in 2011.

One of the organisers of Seksualiti Merdeka, LGBT rights campaigner Pang Khee Teik has now responded to people within the community who have said that LGBT rights campaigning is making life worse for gay people in Malaysia.

Pang quotes a letter on the Seksualiti Merdeka blog that says: 'According to many of my friends, they were doing just fine getting around under the radar until Seksualiti Merdeka “decided” to fight for LGBT rights publicly. Now they blame Seksualiti Merdeka and its organisers for the scrutiny that they are being put through.'

In his response, Pang recognises the fears of the anonymous source of the letter, saying that he too was afraid to live openly as a gay man. ‘We live under the radar because we think under the radar is where we belong,’ he says.

But Pang argues that LGBT life doesn’t have to be underground in Malaysian society. ‘This silence is what feeds the beast of oppression,’ he says. ‘If we refuse to feed the beast, it will starve. Yes, it will get angry and it will sniff for blood. When we stop being afraid, the beast will find more ways to make us fear it again. It bares its fangs and howls louder. It snaps its jaws at us. It is afraid. Of us.’

Read the full blog post here.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Were Mick Jagger and David Bowie once lovers?

New book claims they had intense affair in the 1970s
No thumbnail available

Bangkok University issues new uniform rules for trans students

'The school has an open view on sexuality, but let’s dress appropriately'
No thumbnail available

Axe man hacks to death Belgian in wave of gay hate crimes

Gay man brutally murdered with an axe in the city of Liège following a string of homophobic attacks across the country
No thumbnail available

Gay football player Michael Sam welcomed by new teammates

'They respect me as a human being' says Sam of his St. Louis Rams teammates 
No thumbnail available

T-Pain slams anti-gay ‘idiots’

Rapper and singer has defended his gay assistant from online bullying, saying they can 'unclench' now
No thumbnail available

US lawmakers co-sponsor national LGBTI Student Non-Discrimination Act

A group of federal Democratic lawmakers have joined forces with Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to introduce a bill to protect LGBTI students from bullying and discrimination in public schools
No thumbnail available

Pope Francis supports referendum in Slovakia banning gay marriage and adoption

Head of Catholic encourages 'everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family'
No thumbnail available

Singapore gay blogger charged with contempt

Alex Au is accused of implying courts are 'systemically biased' against homosexuality
No thumbnail available

Kirk Cameron says remarks about gays not 'hate' speech

Former sitcom star goes of mini media blitz to  defend self and promote film
No thumbnail available

Laverne Cox objects when TV host Gayle King says she was 'born a boy'

'I was assigned male at birth but I always felt like I was a girl'