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10 Malaysian LGBTQs and allies ‘Break the Silence’ this IDAHOTB

By QUEER LAPIS | Published on 18 May 2020

This year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has the theme of ‘Breaking the Silence’, and this was exactly what we set out to do! We asked LGBTQ folks (and one ally) what was one thing they needed to say. Whether it was to themselves, their loved ones, their past or their country, they spoke up proudly! Here are 10 great messages for IDAHOTB 2020:

1. Message to my bullies

“Since an early age, I’ve been exposed to violence. As a result, I’ve struggled to accept myself but it didn’t stop me from living. Because of you, I have learned not to give a fuck about what other people think of me. I choose to be visible today. These experiences have made me stronger and more resilient. I have grown into the person that I am in love with. Yes, I love myself. Because of what happened, I am motivated and fuelled to keep me moving forward, to keep fighting and resisting until the day Queer Rights are recognised.”

— Kenny Chiu, Queer, Non-binary Person, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

2. Message to my ex-girlfriend

Message to My Ex-Girlfriend:
“I wish I had the courage to tell you the real reason we were breaking up. Maybe that would have salvaged whatever friendship that was left. Maybe it could have given you a reason to move on sooner. I was a coward, and I have so much guilt I live with now because of that, and I probably deserved it.”

Message to My Younger Self:
“Stop helping your best friend (crush) in chasing the girl he loves, you are wasting your time and it isn’t worth the effort. Love yourself and embrace yourself.”

— Gavin Chow, gay man, activist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3. Mesej untuk golongan cisgender

“Seakan berbeda tetapi hakikatnya kita sama saja. Kami juga manusia berdarah merah sama seperti kamu, ada hati dan perasaan, punya keluarga dan tanggungjawab, hidup bermasyarakat di kalangan kamu. Menyirup udara yang sama, bercahayakan matahari yang satu. Kami bukan ancaman, bukan juga bebanan, malah bukan musuh kamu. Sebaliknya kami juga mampu menyumbang kepada kemajuan, permodenan dan peradaban manusia jika diberi peluang yang sama rata.”

— Gisele Rimong, trans woman, Malaysia

4. Message to our queer community

“Our hope for the queer community in Malaysia is for us to keep on chipping away for our place in society. Every little thing that we do count—be it young people discovering their sexualities, conversations in real life and social media about queerness, activists pushing through changes, queer couples building a life together, queer families taking care of each other, queer artists making queer arts and queer event spaces dedicating a place for queer people to come together—all of these matter. I am proud that we do not wait for changes to come from people who do not support us. We make changes happen and we will push through.”

— El + Zhu, Lesbian couple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5. Message to straight and gay people

“Even among LGBTQIA peers I’ve faced discrimination for being bisexual. I hope that one day my identity would be taken seriously among straight AND gay people.”

— NL, bisexual man, Sabah, Malaysia

6. Untuk kau yang merasa berbeza

“Kau sempurna seadanya. Apa yang kau rasa itu bermakna. Perbezaan yang kau rasa dari rakan sebaya itu membuatkan kau, engkau. Tidak ada yang salah, tidak ada yang buruk, tidak ada yang jijik. Fitrah manusia itu berbeza-beza, tidak ada dua yang serupa. Perkasakan diri dengan ilmu, kasih sayang dan belas ehsan agar kau dapat menepis segala kebencian yang datang. Sentiasa berbuat baik. Dalam dunia penuh dengan kebencian manusia bobrok, perkara paling radikal adalah untuk menjadi manusia berkasih sayang.”

— Aidan, Biseksual, Penulis, Malaysia

Read Aidan’s article Catatan Picisan Penulis Lucah (The musings of a pornographic writer) here.

7. Message to my LGBTQ community

“START by addressing the many phobias within the community. It’s not always easy to change the hate from the hetero world, but we can all be less bitchy with how we treat ourselves and others within the community. Internalised homophobia / vaginaphobia / biphobia / transphobia / queerphobia / sissyphobia / chubphobia / dragphobia / HIV-phobia (and so on) only weaken the LGBTQ community. Be kinder to yourself, love yourself more, and treat other members of the LGBTQ community with more respect and understanding.

Stop denigrating other queer folks. Stop the moral policing over how others choose to live their lives. When you see a queen slay it, get off your backside and applaud that shit. Celebrate queer culture in all its diversity. It’s amazing to be LGBTQ, period, and unless we own and accept it of ourselves, we will never find the acceptance we so desperately want from the world.”

— Jerome Kugan, queer artist, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Read Jerome’s article Drawing The Virus Out: Making queer art on my own terms here.

8. Message to my friends

“I consider myself lucky, for having most of my friends and some family members accept me for who I am. Like everyone else, coming out was the toughest thing I ever had to do. But with every person that I share my true self with, I get more comfortable. Nothing feels better than having someone you care about accept you in your entirety. I understand that not all of us have the privilege of a support system, or the freedom to show our true selves. Whenever you think there could not be another person who feels the same way as you do, trust me, there is; we just need to know who to reach out to. Sometimes, it’s not what others think of you that hurts you, but how you perceive yourself that hurts the most. Don’t judge yourself and others. I’m glad to have many friends who not only acknowledge me, but fight for me even harder than myself. Thank you to all who’ve helped me on my journey.”

— T, queer person, Malaysia

9. Message from a Queer Ally

“Being queer is not just a singular challenge on its own. Being queer intersects with so many other crucial aspects of life in a country that criminalises people for loving no more different from others. Therefore, being queer is a lifelong fight for speaking up, even if it is only speaking up in safe spaces now, for those who can’t afford to be seen and heard yet. Eternally grateful to those before me who have been speaking up and pushing and holding the line for the LGBTQ+ community for this long and still soldiering on strong and fierily. Take a bow!”

— Chia Mei Yeng, queer ally, Kuala Lumpur

And finally, from the Queer Lapis BM team…

10. Mesej untuk semua yang mengenali diri ini

“Kami dari Kumpulan Penterjemah dan Sidang Redaksi Queer Lapis mengucapkan Selamat Hari Menyayangi dan Memahami Komuniti Lesbian, Gay, Biseksual, Trans, Interseks dan Queer Sedunia! ✌🏽🌈 Maaf zahir dan batin ❤️🐝


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