Fear haunts LGBT community

On Jan 26, 2016 The Jakarta Post reported: The verbal and online persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students following media reports about a University of Indonesia (UI) group has extended to the wider LGBT community and those who support them.

Members and founders of the Support Group and Resource Center on Sexuality Studies (SGRC) at UI, who are of diverse sexual orientations including heterosexuals, have become the victims of a witch-hunt, particularly on social media, where they have been subject to attack.

Nadya Karima Melati, an UI alumna and SGRC co-founder and coordinator, said the issue had affected her and her colleagues both socially and psychologically. “All of our members have been summoned home and interrogated by their parents,” Nadya said.

She said she and her friends and colleagues had received threats in many forms, some by SMS, email and also from messages on social media. “One of the members’ parents was called by their boss and asked whether their child was a part of the LGBT community or not. The issue poses a serious threat to the parent’s job,” she said.

Another SGRC co-founder, Arief Rahadian was disowned by his family after conservative daily Republika published online reports on the group’s activities and membership, according to Nadya. Republika followed up the online pieces on Sunday with a front-page headline in its print edition stating: “LGBT Poses Serious Threat”.

The SGRC had opened a counseling service at UI in collaboration with melela.org. The poster for the service featured three openly gay men and a “pansexual” woman who testified about the benefit of counseling for LGBT people.

The four, who are SGRC counselors, have since experienced harassment, mostly from strangers, but also from relatives. However, they have also received a lot of support from family, friends and lecturers.

Continued at Fear haunts LGBT community | The Jakarta Post.

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