UPDATE (September 20 2012): Malaysia's Education Ministry has "denied endorsing a guideline on how to spot gay and lesbian schoolchildren," Malaysian newspaper The Star reports:
In a three-paragraph statement posted on its official Facebook page on Saturday, it said the ministry had never endorsed such guidelines to be published and circulated in schools by any party. It added that the parenting seminar on the issue of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) held in Penang attended by Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi was organized by "concerned” NGOs.
A Government spokesman told Huffington Post UK: “Contrary to media reports, the Government has not produced any guidelines regarding individuals’ sexuality, nor does it endorse them. They were produced by private organisations, who are not affiliated with the Government.”
Original post continues here:
Seminars to help teachers and parents identify signs of homosexuality in children are being held in Malaysia, local news reports.
Guidelines which advise gays can be identified by a propensity for wearing V-necks and carrying handbags have been published in a joint venture by the Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and the Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Associations.
The “symptoms” of lesbianism include “being attracted to women” and “having no affection for men”.
In March the federal government made reference to the “problem” of homosexuality, The Guardian revealed.
Oral sex and gay sex are described as “against the order of nature” and under civil law, offenders can be punished by caning, fining or a 20 year jail sentence.
The guide is as confusing as it is contradictory, for as Free Malaysia Today points out: “In Malaysia life, any Malay society, the two sexes are deliberately kept apart. There is little chance for either sex to interact normally with each other.”
Online newspaper Free Malaysiakini published a selection of the guidelines handed out at the most recent seminar, which have been endorsed by the country's Education Ministry.
Tips for spotting gays include:
- Have a muscular body and like to show their body by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes;
- Prefer tight and light-coloured clothes;
- Attracted to men; and
- Like to bring big handbags, similar to those used by women, when hanging out
Symptoms of lesbianism are aparently:
- Attracted to women;
- Besides their female companions, they will distance themselves from other women;
- Like to hang out, have meals and sleep in the company of women; and
- Have no affection for men
Sinar Harian quoted Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi who attended the seminar, as saying: “Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups. This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time.”
The guidelines state: “Once the children have these symptoms, immediate attention should be given,” with The Star reporting "such behaviour could be corrected if teachers and counsellors were to intervene."
The seminar on Wednesday was entitled “Parenting in addressing the issue of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders)” and was attended by 1,500 people.
Andrew Gilliver, a spokesperson from The Lesbian & Gay Foundation called the guidelines “absolutely ridiculous, inaccurate, harmful and homophobic”.
He told The Huffington Post UK: “These guidelines create a fearful atmosphere for young people to grow up in, whether they are straight or identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is questionable why such guidelines would ever be needed in the first place, but to imagine that all people attracted to members of the same sex can be identified in this way shows a distinct lack of understanding of the diverse nature of human sexuality.
"It is concerning that the guidelines have been endorsed by the Education Ministry, adding Malaysia to the growing list of countries where LGBT people are unable to live their lives due to homophobia.
"We would very much like to see pressure brought on Malaysia by the UK Foreign Office, The British Council and The British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to overturn this offensive initiative and help educate local officials in Malaysia that this is not the way to support families and young people of any sexual orientation.”
From Scott G. Brown aka Gene Brown, a member and participant of the 1969 Stonewall Inn raid and riots: "My ailing health has prevented me from making this 1,200 mile trip by Bus for next week's Pride Parade, but I can, truthfully, say that I was there in June 2011."
From Ashley Bartolome: "I took these photos at the Pride Parade in Washington, DC on June 9, 2012." What I love about pride is not only seeing but feeling the acceptance of everyone there. Gays, lesbians, heterosexuals and families attend every year supporting with cheers and smiles. I make it a point to attend pride every year not just for myself, but to give a voice and be a face for all LGBT people who can't speak up due to their closets or fears. I want to show them that it's ok to be who they are and there are countless Americans who accept them. I also like to be there out of respect for the LGBT who have been killed by others - or by their own hands - because of their sexuality.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
From Welton Trindade, journalist and a gay activist: "I took part of Sao Paulo LGBT Parade. The march was realized on Sunday, June 10. That was the 16th edition of the event. Well, I wanted to show my body but a parade, in my opinion, is not just fun! So I've decided to show my muscles and, in the same time, to send a good message. The solution: to write 'Poder gay' (or 'Gay power') on my chest! It was a great experience!"
Vorstand, the organization team from the Zurich Pride Festival is meeting Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, from left: Chriss, Patrik, Nathalie, Simonetta Sommaruga and David.
From Eva Adams: "Hundreds of thousands came out to celebrate gay rights in Berlin this year and I had the privilege of riding on a hetero-leaning wagon in support...It was extra special to land at the Reichstag with tens of thousands behind us celebrating love and tolerance. I'm not able to pick a best photo but needed to share. Thanks for your project!"
From Marilena: "I was at this year's national italian Gay Pride in Bologna! It was my first pride and it was amazing! I felt surrounded by so much love and most of all I felt safe and proud of who I am! Baci!"
From Evert Hermans & Birger De Rese: "We've been married for 4 years now. We're proud to have in Belgium legalized same sex marriage!"
Seoul, South Korea
From Nate Meyer: "I am an American teaching English here in South Korea, I recently
West Hollywood, California
From married couple Andi & Carissa: "Our pup Simon enjoyed his first Pride Parade in West Hollywood on June 10!"
From Abby Lavin, a volunteer with shanghaiPRIDE, who shares this image of a "Pink Picnic" (photo taken by Linda Li)
Tel Aviv, Israel
From The Israel Project
Gran Canaria, Spain
From Chris Wadsworth: "This is (left to right) myself, Gareth and Daniel at Maspalomas GayPride 2012 in Gran Canaria, Spain. The whole island (and thousands from all over Europe) turn up for the week long event every May to celebrate and meet LGBT people from all over the world!"
From Memo Macas: "It was the first time that I ever participated in the event and I really enjoyed it, next year I'll go with my boyfriend to Mexico City's Pride Parade."
Baton Rouge, Louisana
From Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge: "We made history in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, June 23, with the first ever statewide Equality March. Here's a picture of both the youngest and the oldest marchers!"
From Daniel Douglass, founder/director of Flaggots: "Here's a photo of FLAGGOTS performing to Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' at Philly Pride, June 10. FLAGGOTS are a group of friends from the color guard and drum corps community that come together to celebrate Pride in a most fabulous way. Founded in 1991, they have performed in at least one pride event a year for 23 consecutive years.'
From Karen Belgrad: "At my friend's apartment, overlooking the parade route, he casually tosses out beads...and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel catches them with ease! OK, and a little lunging!)"
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sergeant Don Mueller and LAX Airport Police Officer David Ayala celebrate pride as they prepare to march with over 60 other openly gay officers in the 2012 West Hollywood CSW Pride Parade.
From Bob Brennan: "Also there was a party at Allah Moana Beach Park. Everybody was gay that day."
From Keli Stooksberry: The picture on the right is my friend Courtney talking to protesters. The picture on the left is of my partner DeAnna and I kissing in front of the protesters. This was my second pride and the first interaction with protesters. I was not surprised but still overwhelmed by their presence in such a wonderful and uplifting celebration. My friend Courtney had one of them speechless by the end of their conversation not by throwing obscenities his way but rather using her knowledge of scripture. Again, I was not surprised that the man she spoke with had no more knowledge of the bible than the words written on his sign but it was priceless to see him have nothing left to say because Courtney was right!
Baton Rouge, Louisana
From John Desselle: "It only took what, 42 years, for Baton Rouge to have a state wide Equality March. Headed up by Capital City Alliance: www.ccabatonrouge.org, we had representatives from all over the state. About 300 people showed up for the march. Most went on to our Baton Rouge Pride Festival which was at LSU Student Union this year."
Queens, New York
From Michael Cruz: "I am the Secretary of the Queens Pride Lions Club. We are the first LGBT Lions Club in NYC. Here is a photo of us marching in the Queens Pride 2012 parade on June 3."
From Teena Lashmore: "Hi from Berlin!"
Melanie Pang (in pink) taking a photo with the men (and "noodles") of Jenni's Noodle House, a Houston favorite.
From William George: "This is me at Indianapolis Pride 2012. I consider myself a Pride aficionado. I love all the togetherness and the fun times. This year's Indianapolis Pride was the largest the city had ever hosted, with the festival expanding to twice the size it was previously. The headliners were Deborah Cox and Cazwell. While I didn't get to see him in person, I snapped this picture next to a promotional poster of him."
Jenny Lee tells us: "I am the girl wearing the rainbow sarong, under the banner that says 'Coming out, coming together.' It was taken in August 22, 2011 during a Wisconsin Pride parade. None of my friends was in the event. I had just finished my run that day when I noticed that something was going on. When I realized it was a LGBTQ Pride event, I went home home, grabbed my sarong that I got in Thailand and jumped right into the parade to show my support and that's why the picture. I had only been in Madison, WI for about 3 months. I moved to the city for grad school. What I noticed about the community is that it's liberal, tolerant and I felt belong...I'm straight and I stand for equality."
From gay superhero: "I didn't manage to be at the parade from the beginning, but that gave me the chance to find myself at the head of the march later, as they were going up Stadiou street. This is a central Athens street that saw a lot of disturbances during recent protests, including the death of three bank employees when their building caught fire. So it was nice to see a pacifist, colorful demonstration for a change."
Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck march in the 2012 West Hollywood CSW Pride Parade with over 60 openly gay peace officers from the LASD, LAPD, FBI and other police departments throughout southern California.
From Melissa: "This is me and my partner Jean. The first picture was taken at Toronto Pride in 2010 -- we are just up on Church Street. Our first pride and we are still very happily together 3 years later!"
Brooklyn, New York
From Bob: "Five-year-old corgi Carter (recently rescued from a shelter in Alabama) steps out Brooklyn to celebrate his first LGBT Pride in New York City."
From right to left: Stephanie (far right) with girlfriend Jackie (left of me) along with best friends Erika and Katie at Philadelphia Pride in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Penns Landing.
New York City
Sharon Needles performs at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration in NYC on June 20.
Happy Gay Pride 2012 from Amarillo, TX -- Route 66 Cadillac Ranch!
Happy Gay Pride 2012 from Amarillo, Texas -- Cadilliac Ranch!
Charleston, West Virginia
From Bob Brennan: "It was a gay (happy) sunny day on O'ahu. First there was a parade from Ala Moana Beach park to Kapiolani Park where there was a celebration. Also there was a party at Allah Moana Beach Park."
Huntington, New York
From Maosung Yao: "I went to [Long Island Pride] with my partner Walter last weekend and we had a good time with our friends as well. The pride was great even thought it was small.
From Adam Barnhardt: "I'm the one with the rainbow mohawk, the one with the Pink hair and football gear is Emilio Cordova, and the one in white with the body paint is Loa Brannigan. We were featured in Metro State's student newspaper for our bizarre homemade outfits and all around theatrical method of showing pride in our true colors."
From Angela Huerta, rider: "First time [Kristin Holloway and I] participated in Dykes on Bikes!"
New York City
Sharon Needles performs at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration in NYC on June 20.
From Ashley Bartolome: "I want to show them that it's ok to be who they are and there are countless Americans who accept them. I also like to be there out of respect for the LGBT who have been killed by others -- or by their own hands -- because of their sexuality."
The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is a multicultural youth agency for youth of all backgrounds with the mission to support youth and their families to live, work, and study with dignity, hope and joy. LAYC staff and youth participants walked in the parade with hand-made tie-dye t-shirts handing out candy and information about LAYC's LGBT support services. We had a fantastic time feeling the love and support of the community.
From Betty Viveros: "I got the greatest experience to participate in my first of many PRIDE festivals in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year. I went with a group of my closest friends who are all, like myself are huge LGBQT supporters. Walking around shirtless guys and half-naked girls never looked so hot...literally. It hit 100 degrees that weekend!"
New York City
Sharon Needles fans root her on at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration on June 20.
Providence, Rhode Island
From Mark Peters, who took this photo of Providence's "Nighttime Illuminated Pride Parade" on June 16.
Miss Trans New England
Jeff, Sal and Michael enjoy beverages in the scorching heat.