Indonesia, Asia

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



Interview With a Young Lesbian Activist in Indonesia

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… Read more »

Indonesia Buddhist Statue

Being Gay, Muslim and Indonesian

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… Read more »

Gay Indonesia–Jakarta 2002-08

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… Read more »

Gay Indonesia-Bali: Perennial and Tranquil

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… Read more »

Gay Indonesia-Sumatra (Medan)

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.… Read more »

  Indonesia – Java and Bali

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.… Read more »

  Indonesia – Sumatra – Lake Toba

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… Read more »

  Indonesia – Sumatra – Bukit Lawang Village

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… Read more »

  Indonesia – Sumatra – Parapat Mkt

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… Read more »

  Indonesia – Sumatra – Medan City

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… Read more »

  Indonesia – Sumatra – Road Scenes

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 Indonesia

  Indonesia – Bali – Kuta Beach

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 Indonesia

  Indonesia – Bali – Kuta Bombsite

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… Read more »