With only half an island that’s shared with homophobic Indonesia to the west, tiny Timor Leste has a giant statue of Christ at the east end of the island on a sacred hill. (98% are Roman Catholic) What chances are there of finding a lively LGBT community in this remote mostly ignored nation of just
East Timor is Asia’s newest and probably poorest country. Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century on May 20, 2002. It’s just south of the Equator, has the usual requisite tropical landscape of palm trees, mountains and sometimes sandy beaches. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor and for tourists it’s also expensive. The gay ‘scene’ in Dili is small, slow and mostly quiet. A few men are more or less open about their sexuality and a much greater number of “hidden” men, who take what chances are offered. There is very little knowledge about HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and safer sex.
Introduction East Timor (Timor L’este) is unique in southeast Asia–it is Roman Catholic, standing nearly alone among thousands of Islamic Indonesian islands. But such a distinction does not make it any easier for LGBT citizens to live their personal lives. Male and female homosexuality in East Timor is legal. There was a clause against discrimination
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