By Jenni Chang & Lisa Lisa Dazols August 2011 It’s always hard to find lesbians, but it’s especially challenging in Java, Indonesia where ninety percent of the population is Muslim and women fight against second class status. Amongst the jilbab dressing, we spot a fohawk and meet Ema. A university student who often gets mistaken around town for a boy, Ema challenges ideals of femininity in Indonesia. Ema meets us at a cafe with her girlfriend, and we recognize that the couple is reserved about displaying public affection. But speaking to them and learning about the sacrifices they’ve made for each other, we can tell they are deeply in love. While her girlfriend declines an interview for safety reasons, they’re very enthusiastic to meet with another lesbian couple and share their experience. As young activists and community organizers, we recognize that Ema (photo right) and her partner are the SupergaysSee the Full Version Here
The Republic of Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands. It is the world's largest archipelago state. With an estimated population of around 237 million people it is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation; however, no reference is made to Islam in the Indonesian constitution. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. Most Indonesian Hindus are Balinese, and most Buddhists in modern-day Indonesia are ethnic Chinese. Bali has a population of about 3,151,000 and is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. Tourism is the largest single industry and as a result Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions.
Unlike other Muslim countries, Indonesia is relatively tolerant of homosexuality. As in many countries in South East Asia, it is a part of everyday life. Even in the media several gay or transsexual prominent people exist. Nevertheless this subject is low key and not openly talked about. Fanatical Muslim groups have been known to attack gay men. Homosexuality is a not a crime when it occurs in private and between consenting adults. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality.
GlobalGayz News & Reports Archive:
Capital: Jakarta - Pop. 8900000
Area: 1904569 sq. km. / sq. miles.
Religion: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism
Status of Homosexuality: Legal
Telephone Country Code: 62
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Young Muslim gay Indonesians search for a balance between their natural sexual orientation and the proscriptions against homosexuality found in the Koran. For some it means renouncing Islam and for others it means being celibate. From: Jakarta Post September 23, 2009 Despite living under the same roof for years, Fachri (not his real name) thought his father had no clue that he was gay. But around five years ago, when he borrowed his father’s Koran to research a project, he was surprised to find certain verses underlined in pencil. They were about God’s wrath toward people who committed acts of sexual deviance during the time of Prophet Luth (or Lot), the Islamic equivalent of the Sodom and Gomorrah text in the Bible. Growing up in a religious family that adheres to Islamic teachings, it was not the first time Fachri had come across the verses. It was sortSee the Full Version Here
Intro: Far from the economic and political vortex of Jakarta, the city of Medan (and its environs) hustles and bustles with the business of a major metropolis. It is Indonesia’s third largest city with a population of about 2.2 million, The Asian gay travel site Utopia-Asia playfully suggests "that’s about 90,000 Utopians" (gay people). Perhaps. If there is anywhere close to that number I found virtually all of them invisible. Sumatra swarms with beauty: flowers, mountain rainforests, ancient temples, color-splashed artwork ,unique architecture, great lakes, exotic customs and swarthy friendly faces. But few of those faces reveal they are gay. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Indonesia Stories Gay Indonesia News & Reports 2004 to present Gay Indonesia Photo Galleries Medan, Sumatra Updated May 2008 It’s five AM in the city of Medan on the island of Sumatra. Rain is pouring out of the night sky, crashing down on tinSee the Full Version Here
Random images from two islands in Indonesia – Java and Bali Java is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. Once the centre of powerful Hindu kingdoms and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies, Java now plays a dominant role in the economic and political life of Indonesia. Housing a population of 130 million in 2006, it is the most populous island in the world .After Indonesian independence in 1945 Jakarta remained as the capital, while Java itself has grown into the most crowded area in Indonesia. Although parts of rural Java are still underdeveloped, the urban areas are the wealthiest and most developed parts of Indonesia. With a population recorded as 3,151,000 in 2005, Bali is home to the vast majority of Indonesia’s small Hindu minority. 93.18% of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. ItSee the Full Version Here
The village of Tuk Tuk on the eastern shore of Samosir Island in the middle of Lake Toba is a real getaway place that hardly exists. A handful of shops, hotels and eateries cluster along the water’s edge offering little to do but breathe in the beauty of nature. At the small Juwita cafe Hedi and her family (pictured here with her son Kikiandrea) serve delicious native Batak meals.See the Full Version Here
In northern Sumatra lies the village of Bukit Lawang, known for its laid back lifestyle and rustic beauty along a mountain river. It is home to an orangutan ‘orphanage’ where abandoned or injured orangutans are healed and sheltered before returning to the jungle. In addition, the orphanage has a feeding station in the hills where none or one or several wild orangutans swing down from the trees to feed. Bukit was devastated in 2003 by a torrential rainstorm and flood which nearly wiped out the village. Reconstruction has been slow. These photos were taken in 2002 before the storm. Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Toba, Parapat village is home to various handicraft shops, cafes, several hotels, friendly people and a weekly market at the harbor. From here boats travel across the lake to Tuk Tuk village on Samosir Island and to west shore villages. In Parapat live Batak Toba and Batak Simalungun tribes, and are happy and easy going people. They are known for their lively and sentimental love songs. The town is 176 kms from Medan and can be reached in 4 hours by bus. Large goldfish are indigenous to the lake and are not seen as aquarium pets but as tasty meals. Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
Medan city is the capitol of Sumatra and Indonesia’s third largest city with about 2 million people. Although it has few attractive tourist sites it is a bustling commercial city with international companies and countless mom-and-pop shops. The two most handsome buildings in town are the great Raya Mosque and the former sultan’s palace, now the Istana Maimoun Museum. On December 26, 2004, the western coast and islands of Sumatra, particularly the northern Aceh province, were devastated by a nearly 15 meter high tsunami following the 9.2-magnitude Indian Ocean earthquake. The death toll surpassed 170,000 in Indonesia alone, primarily in Aceh. Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
Along the rural roads of Sumatra life in many forms happens every day of every year, from small children carrying their bookbags from school to the local coffin maker displaying his wares. Markets, motorbikes, monuments… and more. Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
Indonesia – lifeguard try-outs on Kuta Beach enliven an already busy social gathering place for natives and visitors. not far from the Hard Rock Hotel south of Legian Beach. (My insincere apologies for the many repetitive photos of lifeguards!) Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
In early October 2002 terrorists exploded a huge bomb outside two popular nightclubs in Bali killing nearly 300 young people, mostly vacationing Australians. These images were taken two weeks later on a day that (then) President Mrs. Makawati Sukarnoputri visited the site. She is shown wearing a peach-colored outfit and with a rainbow-colored umbrella held over her head for shade. After most of the debris had been cleared a couple of months later, a purification ceremony was held to purge the site of evil spirits (last two photos.) Read the stories about gay IndonesiaSee the Full Version Here
Intro: In 1998, a magazine declared Indonesia as "descending into madness"–government instability, economic liability, racial attacks, religious violence. But an individual is not a label and a country is not a headline. I added Indonesia to my journey because that country of 14,000 islands swarms with beauty: flowers, mountain rainforests, ancient temples, artwork, architecture, exotic customs and swarthy friendly faces. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Indonesia Stories Gay Indonesia News & Reports 2004 to present Gay Indonesia Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon October 2002 Updated May 2008 Changing History During my previous stay in 1998 I saw protests, political street demonstrations and banner-waving motorcycle parades by government opponents. In Jakarta I was confronted with countless smashed windows from earlier riots that brought down President Suharto; there were burned out buildings especially in the Chinese areas. My Sheraton Hotel’s entrance atrium had large broken windows covered with colorfully painted plywood.See the Full Version Here
A week in sun-drenched Bali can be very seductive for anyone. Despite the bombings in ’02 and ’05, Bali continues to be a place of calm repose, swaying palms, restful beaches, green forests, friendly faces and master wood carvers. Bali is also home to a small resident lesbigay community that lives calmly among the easy-going mostly Hindu populace. Quite distinct from these locals are the international LBGT tourists who land in Bali for a short intense dose of beaches, beer and boys. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Indonesia Stories Gay Indonesia News & Reports 2004 to present Gay Indonesia Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon Updated February 2008 Come to Bali for the rolling surf, the white palm-lined beaches, the scarlet sunsets, the smiling Balinese charm, the informal beachfront cafes and economical holidays. Come for these and many other reasons such as the 100,000 temples, the brilliant colors ofSee the Full Version Here