Sexual Minorities

REVIEW— Mata Hati Kita, The Eyes of Our Hearts

Mata Hati Kita, The Eyes of Our HeartsCompiled by: Angela M. Kuga Thas and Jac SM Kee Petaling Jaya: Gerakbudaya Enterprise, 2016, 142 pages The recent widespread impression that religion, especially Islam, is to blame for the policing of sexuality in Malaysia is associated with the fact that two trends, Islamization and increasingly tightened regulation of bodies, have obviously been running [...]

Queer Southeast Asia: Recognition, Respect & Legitimacy

Over the past few decades, diverse new cultures and communities based on same-sex preference and transgender identity have become increasingly prominent in all the countries of Southeast Asia. Across the cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity of region, and despite the distinctive colonial and semicolonial political histories of the modern states of Southeast Asia (see Jackson 2010), new [...]

Familial Transphobia and Kinship of Opens in Myanmar

In Myanmar a range of vernacular Burmese terms and borrowed English expressions are used to denote gender and sexual minority subject positions. The main male subject positions are apwint (“open”), apôn (“hider”), homo and thu nge (“guy”). Opens are males who act and appear feminine. For opens, taking female hormones, imported from China, is a common although not universal rite of [...]

Living in a State of Suspension: Emotional Dimensions of Normative Violence Towards Indonesian Queers in Islamic Legal Discourse

Debates on homosexuality and religion in Indonesia have moved onto centre stage following recent announcements of two Islamic legal proposals to prosecute nonnormative sexualities in the country. The two developments have been the passing of a criminal bylaw under the Syariah implementation in Aceh Province (, 29/09/2014), which penalises people who are caught engaging in same-sex [...]

Activism to Decriminalise Homosexuality in Singapore

On 28 October 2014 Singapore’s highest court ruled that the law criminalising sexual relations between men, Section 377A of the Penal Code, was constitutionally valid. This disappointing ruling nonetheless marked a vibrant phase of queer activism directed at decriminalisation in a Southeast Asian state known for its conservatism and legal control of social mores and civil-political liberties. [...]

The Death of Gay Malate: One-Time Gay Capital of the Philippines

The Malate district of Metropolitan Manila was the gay capital of the city, indeed of the entire archipelagic Philippines, from the 1970s until the early part of this century. However, a quick walk along the now quiet streets is all one needs to confirm the fact that gay Malate is dead. Several interlocking factors have brought about the demise of Malate as a gay space and this paper is a modest [...]