Two steps forward, one step back: On Dalam Botol, Malaysia’s first ‘gay’ film

Written for the LSE equality and diversity blog For a country keen on displaying its hyper-modernity, Malaysian law and social attitudes on sexual morality in general have always had a conservative bent. While there are pockets of change, much of the public discourse on sex and morality are dominated by sexist and homophobic language. A… Continue reading Two steps forward, one step back: On Dalam Botol, Malaysia’s first ‘gay’ film

An excerpt from my dissertation on ‘traditional’ same-sex eroticisms in Indonesian fiction – Part 2

First in the series of excerpts from my MA dissertation I looked at the tolerant attitudes toward homoerotic relations in Indonesian religious boarding schools as depicted in the novel Mairil. Below I explore the way the Indonesian tradition of the gemblak and warok relationship is framed in a novel by Enang Rokajat Asura. Unlike Mairil,… Continue reading An excerpt from my dissertation on ‘traditional’ same-sex eroticisms in Indonesian fiction – Part 2

Forbidden Love: Indonesian LGBT book covers

The following are just a few of the many books I will have to plough through this summer. Cinta Terlarang – Sebuah Novel Untuk Dewasa (Forbidden Love – A Novel For Adults) by Andre Aciman. Synopsis (translated from Indonesian by yours truly): Elio, a young Italian man, has fallen head over heals for Oliver, his… Continue reading Forbidden Love: Indonesian LGBT book covers

A bumpy road, just like Malaysian sexual politics: A review of Body 2 Body – A Malaysian Queer Anthology

Body 2 body (2009) is the product of Malaysia’s young, hip and well-connected who’ve banded together to compile a collection of short stories and essays on living la vida non-normative. Edited by local art scene stalwarts Jerome Kugan and Pang Khee Teik, Body 2 Body is a landmark of sorts, mainly as the first anthology… Continue reading A bumpy road, just like Malaysian sexual politics: A review of Body 2 Body – A Malaysian Queer Anthology

Muslim feminists have too much to worry about already to think about homophobia

Once a week I meet with people studying gender in the Middle East and we talk about the assigned articles we’ve read during the week. Last week, it was about sexuality and homophobia. Emerging from our discussion on homosexuality rights in the Middle East (particularly in Lebanon and Palestine) is the question why many Muslim… Continue reading Muslim feminists have too much to worry about already to think about homophobia

The hidden penis: on censorship, the female gaze and the queer eye

Memory can sometimes be a strange beast. While thinking about this piece, I suddenly remembered an article that Cath Elliot wrote on the Bad Sex in Literature award two years ago under the title, Flaccid prose and the first comment the article provoked: flaccid is an unnecessary man-hating word to use in the title. I’m… Continue reading The hidden penis: on censorship, the female gaze and the queer eye