I’ve never particularly favoured V-necks over round-necks, and bags that look like man-purses can all be collected and burned in a bonfire while we all skip and dance around it for all I care. I’ve always found such bags girly LOL. But whoa, no more huggy and nipple-friendly T-shirts for me? Oh, the indignity!
Oh well, I’m not supposed to be cavorting around with my nips all pointy-tointy and threatening to poke holes through the fabric of my top in the first place, anyway. I learnt some time ago that apparently it’s more proper for them to be flattened LOL; for a guy to have on an undershirt as well. (This was fun to read).
Anyway, last Saturday the 15th, I was both tickled and alarmed to read in Singapore’s Straits Times, an article from the Agence France-Presse (AFP) with the title: KL seminars on how parents can spot gay children. The article states that in Malaysia, two teachers’ groups have held seminars to advise parents on supposedly tell-tale signs of homosexuality among young teenagers. Deputy Education Minister Puad Zarkashi was quoted telling AFP that:
Definitely we support the seminars, because it’s good for parents to be exposed to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) symptoms. At least preventive action can be taken.
I’m assuming that “we” referred to the Education Ministry, the government.
An online article about the story can be found here at news.asiaone.com. Excerpt:
To the fury and disbelief of rights activists, the Malaysian government has endorsed a list of identifiable gay and lesbian traits for schools and parents to prevent the spread of what it perceives as a phenomenon among teenagers, especially students, media reports said.
The list, which was published by the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily on Thursday, categorises lesbians as people who are attracted to women, who like to eat, sleep and hang out in the company of other women, and who have no affection for men.
The term ‘witch hunt’ came to mind when I read the first paragraph. Well as for gay men, the list includes:
Gay men have muscular bodies and like to show off by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes
They prefer tight and light-coloured clothing
They like to carry big handbags similar to those used by women
If that’s not funny enough, click here to read Malaysia’s The Star Online writer Wong Chun Wai’s humourous take ‘Oh dear, it fits me to a V, uh, T’.
Actually, I personally don’t have an issue with parents groups or teachers groups having seminars about how to spot potentially gay children, and what preventive action may be taken. I also personally find the very idea ignorant and stupid. However, it’s about their children, their families. As sorry as I feel for gay kids who have parents putting them through years of trauma trying to ‘change’ what they were born as, ultimately it’s a personal family matter and it’s their business what they choose to do about it.
What I felt sad and disturbed about, was that it was said to be endorsed by the government. I mean, it should not be surprising to anyone if the Malaysian government does not officially support the gay community (just like Singapore). However, there’s no need for them to officially support what can be considered an anti-gay event, either. Because obviously, that would only serve to validate hatred and attacks against gay people, who are also part of any nation, including Malaysia. Who deserve protection by the state as much as anybody else.
Anyway, I thought all that while bearing in mind the report that there was endorsement from the government. It had been reported there was endorsement. So naturally I feel confused when just now I’ve read this article on Malaysia’s The Star Online dated Sunday the 16th, titled ‘Ministry denies any part in guidelines to spot LGBT tendencies‘. Exerpts:
The Education Ministry says it has nothing to do with the reported guidelines for parents and teachers to spot lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tendencies of their children and students.
In its official Facebook page yesterday, the ministry denied that it had endorsed the parenting seminar in Penang which reportedly distributed the guidelines.
In a three-paragraph statement, the ministry said it had also not endorsed any party to publish LGBT guidelines for circulation in schools, adding that the seminar was organised by “concerned NGOs”.
The so-called guidelines have drawn a lot of brickbats on the social media and exposed Malaysia to international ridicule on prominent foreign news sites.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi reiterated that the ministry was not aware of such guidelines and the matter must be clarified by the seminar organisers.
He also denied the ministry had supported the guidelines that were distributed during the event.
Ooohhh… heads are gonna roll, I guess!
I mean, who the heck spread the word and sounded off to the Agence France-Presse and other news agencies that Malaysia’s Education Ministry supported whatever guidelines? What actually happened? Which is fact and which is fiction?