Being gay in Malaysia

Malaysia was listed on the top 9 dangerous countries in the world to be LGBTQ.

It’s really tough to realise what you really want for yourself with everyone around you telling you what you should want or how to live your life. Coming out and being open about our sexual orientation can be hurtful to the people we love like our family and friends but life is too short to sacrifice our happiness for the comfort and ignorance of others.

It’s extra tough when the country you live in identifies as a Muslim country even though you have more than 1 race living together.

It’s as if we’re trying to exclude the non Malays yet again when we declare “Muslim first”. Even though our slogan is “Malaysian First”.

After we discover that our sexual orientation is not accepted by the society we start to feel oppressed, depressed and alone. It’s so hard to not question ourselves if we’re doing the right thing by trying to stay true to ourselves. Suddenly the fear of rejection comes. The next worry is the fear of being made fun of and talked about behind our backs. People love to talk, to gossip.

Then there is the fact that LGBTQ’s don’t have any rights. In fact “unnatural sex” or “sodomy” can be deemed as illegal and can result to being sent to prison like our former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim. His trials are dated back as far as 1998. Recently there was also a case of two girls who were caught kissing in a car in the state of Terengganu were sentenced to public caning.

Religion influence plays a big part in the laws being implemented in Malaysia. The Malaysian government gives power to the Syariah court.

Since the Malays who are obviously born into the religion Islam, are not able to leave the religion, we are forced to follow the laws. This means the Malay LGBTQ’s are never safe and there is little hope in living a peaceful life the way we want to.

Not ignoring that most of the people are accepting and open. Mostly don’t disturb us but secretly hope that we would change one day. Of course they do not have a big problem with the LGBTQ’s and we can all get along. But truthfully we never know what they’re saying behind our backs and if given a chance to vote, I’m sure they wouldn’t vote for us to be able to gain rights such as legalising gay marriage in the country. Anyway, there would never be a vote because our government is dead set on making sure no gay rights will be implemented in Malaysia.

With no rights for us to take relationships with our partners to the next level, relationships get stagnant and usually ends. Most of us end up giving up on our happiness and are forced to choose an opposite sex partner to settle down and start a family with.

Everyone deserves a chance to be happy. We should all have equal rights. I know the future doesn’t look so good for Malaysians but I still have hope that one day we can all join forces and fight for what’s right.

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