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Malaysia: the reality behind the headlines

After a year of headlines about shockingly homophobic statements from the government, Gay Star News visits Malaysia to find out what life is really like for LGBT rights activists there.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

20th January 2013 13:29

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Out of all Asian nations, Malaysia has the dubious honor of collecting the most negative headlines on Gay Star News in the last 12 months. From plans to set up ‘rehabilitation’ centers for gay people, to the Prime Minister decrying ‘deviant aspects’, to the laughable, if it weren’t so damaging for the children involved, ‘gay guidelines’ endorsed by the Education Ministry.

A visit to the country gives us the chance to meet the activists on the ground and find out what life is really like for LGBT people in the racially diverse, majority Muslim country.

We meet Jerome Kugan, co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka sexualities rights festival, which was banned by the government in 2011, and ask him to give us the word from the frontline of LGBT rights activism in Malaysia.

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