Malaysian newspaper publishes ‘how to spot a gay’ checklist
A Malaysian newspaper has published a checklist that gives guidance on “how to spot a gay”.
The leading outlet Sinar Harian placed the bullet-pointed list of “qualities” that make LGBTQ people recognisable.
Amongst the traits that were held by gay men were the love of beards, branded clothing and going to the gym – although not for the purpose of exercise but to pull other men.
The list also said that it was a telltale sign of gay men if their eyes lit up when they saw men who they found to be attractive.
Lesbian traits included their love of hugging each other, holding hands and belittling men.
The article appeared alongside an interview with the preacher Hanafiah Malik in which they warned that homosexuality was “on the rise” in the country and it needed “to be stopped”.
The checklist has been heavily criticised by LGBTQ activists who say that it will only perpetuate stigma against the community and put them at further risk.
Arwind Kumar, an LGBT activist in Malaysia made a YouTube video hitting out at the article, which he said could “take away lives”.
“There are much more important issues in this country which need to be addressed.
“If you really want to educate society then explain to them the traits of a paedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, people who actually endanger the lives of others.
“How the hell does a gay person endanger your life?” he said.
Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has been on the rise in the country over the last year.
The government announced plans to launch a programme targeting trans women with ‘conversion’ therapy.
Health ministry figures from 2014 estimated that there are 24,000 trans people in Malaysia but there no official estimates for the numbers of trans people.
A report from Human Rights Watch said state-sponsored discrimination against LGBT people is “pervasive”.
Another article on the health ministry’s website, entitled “Why would a person be lesbian?”, states that potential causes of women being gay were their decisions to prioritise their careers and believing other women were the only ones who would understand.
Malaysian health authorities earlier this year backtracked on an anti-gay video competition aimed at “preventing” homosexuality and transgenderism.
The country also became the second to censor Beauty and the Beast after its director revealed the film contains an “exclusively gay moment.”
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister also this year vowed to block a planned gay festival in the country’s capital – and ban its organisers from the country.
Gay sex is illegal in Malaysia, and punishable by up to 20 years in prison, caning, or a fine.
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