The first sentence of this article I want to use for clarification. There is no intention to change, influence, or refute the beliefs and religions of anyone who reads this article. Everyone has the right to defend what he believes. Nevertheless, I believe, everyone also has the right (and obligation) to seek balanced information before determining the position.
After the news about the legalization of gay marriage in America joined the scene in Indonesia, several times Hipwee issued an article themed LGBT. Hundreds of comments came in, mostly pitched back. The comments made me wonder:
Before we hate something, do we really know who we hate it?
You do not need to know the taste of chicken dung for saying chicken dung is ugly, said one comment on Facebook that is in-like more than 80 people. The problem is, LGBT is not chicken dung. They are human, just like us. And like other humans, they also have stories.
And that's why this article exists. The three speakers in the article are young Indonesians who have come out as LGBT in their social life. For the sake of writing, all their names are disguised.
Again, there is no intention to change what you personally believe. And if your principles are strong, you should not be afraid of listening to the stories of those who are different?
I never asked to be born, Reza said. And never ask for a gay born.
I started the interview by reading the comments of one of Hipwee's readers to Reza, 22 years old. It said, Those gay people forget they live in the world because his parents are straight?
I realized that my parents were straight, that I was born because they were straight, "Reza said. But I never ask parents to be born into the world. And I never asked to be born gay.
Reza was born and raised in Lampung, in a family of five sons and daughters. He is the youngest child. Only on one of his siblings Reza decided to come out. In both his own parents Reza did not have time to tell the truth because his father and mother had already died.How did Reza's sister react after hearing her sister's confession?
Well, he just said Oh Dan after a long silence, essentially he told me to keep myself.
Is being gay a violation of nature, or is it nature itself?
This question has always provoked a debate between pro- and counter-LGBT people. Reza himself responds to this question casually.
So the gay is actually the same aja like people Minang or Java. That's me. That's my identity.
I then asked, Have you ever struggling or found it difficult to accept your identity?
Not really. I'm always trying to find information. Try it, for everyone, not just a gay aja. Lots of looking for information out there.
Reza then recalled: who is arguably still struggling is his ex-spouse, who decides to separate because he wants to marry a woman.
Because he did not want to make her mother disappointed. She grew up alone, her mother's single mother. My ex is willing to see him happy.
I respect her choice. I'm sad, but that's his choice.
When I was in high school, I became a religious fanatic. All I do to atone for sin.Different from Reza who relatively quickly received his identity, Aldo travel transgender guy who grew up his parents and his environment as a woman including long and repetitive.
Just over the last year I'm coming out as a guy, Aldo says. It's only been a year since I've been reconciling with my family.
Aldo's journey into a trans man begins by accident. He was fun to move the TV channel when a guest star on The Oprah Show took his attention.
They invited Chaz Bono to be a guest star. Ngedenger story, his experience, and how until now his mother felt lost daughter, I immediately yelled while pointing TV screen: THIS ME!
Previously, Aldo only knew that transgender were those who grew up as men but identified themselves as women. All I know is a transvestite, he said. Although I do not like the term because it's as if they're half-women-half a man. It was as if they were not real women.
Whereas the real woman what the hell actually? Some say a new woman to be a true woman if already a wife and have children. So, those who have no husband and no children are not real women?
Aldo is the first child of a devout Catholic family. His father was a religious teacher and church activist with his mother. Growing up in a very religious environment certainly made Aldo understand religious values ??since childhood. Even in high school I became so fanatical. Catholic fanatics is, hahaha. All the things I do to make amends. Pathetic.
Not at all sad, I replied. And is not that just a reasonable reaction?
At the age of 16, Aldo confessed to his family that he was indeed interested in women. This is not something simple. Aldo's father and mother repeatedly blamed themselves after finally finding out the identity of his son.
My father, who was stiff and never crying except when he left my grandfather died, cried sobbing.
My parents must have failed to raise me. But I already realized I liked women from the first.Immediately after coming out, Aldo brought his parents to face 4 people and two psychiatrists romo.
Until now I still can not forgive the most senior romance, which should be the wisest. I was seated in a corner of the room, as if I were a prisoner. Left turning toward me his face full of disgust. He pointed at me while talking to my parents: Mr. Father-Mother is sick!
It's not about me. But how do my parents feel that their own son is treated like that?
Instead, Aldo felt indebted to the two psychiatrists he had met. I was still a teenager, still do not understand how difficult it is for my parents to accept their own son like this. Then one of the psychiatrists said,
If you only need 16 years to receive yourself, imagine how long your parents need to receive you?
The psychiatrist drew a large circle for Aldo, and shaded a small part. Your sexuality is only a small part of you. Do not let your other identity sink because of your sexuality.
I knew Aldo for a long time, more than 6 years ago. At that time I still call him as Mbak. When we met again after a few years, I realized the physical changes. Her voice is no longer as high as a woman. He was wearing a breast pembebat that makes his chest look flat.
Aldo's appearance change is clearly visible, but I deliberately avoid questions about the physical. There are already so many interviews with transgender people who focus on organ change only. You still have a penis? I envisioned an interview interview template with a transgender woman. I do not want to raise the same question in this interview. I believe it's better to write their story as a human rather than obsessed with their penis and vagina.
The worst discrimination I've ever received? Aldo thought for a moment when I asked him. Not me directly, anyway. But my boyfriend was fired that day from work because he was dating me. Sacking someone just because his sexual orientation is discrimination.
Aldo now works for a community organization in Yogyakarta focusing on the basic rights of LGBT people: such as the right not to be bullied in school, the right not to be fired from work because of their sexual orientation. We do not pursue legalized marriage like in America there, really. Aldo said. Moreover, marriage in Indonesia [sakralnya] what the hell? Marry same minors aja legal.
I ask: if he has to choose, is he more like to make himself happy, or his parents? Aldo took a breath.Not like that [how to see it]. Loss if it just stops the question of making yourself happy or happy parents.
Parents just want to see their child is fine. The happiness of the parents and the happiness of the child goes hand in hand. Me and my parents, we are both studying.
When they call us sinners, they do not know how it affects our self-esteem.
The existence of LGBT is often contrasted with religious values, especially Samawi religions such as Islam and Christianity. I asked Reza, who comes from a Muslim family and still daily sets up prayers 5 times. The Prophet Muhammad never said anything about homosexuals, Reza said. The people are noisy.
Reza then suggested I read the interpretation of the story of Prophet Luth on a site. According to that interpretation, the cursed by God is not the homosexual activity itself, but the irresponsible sexual behavior of the Sodom and Gomorrah. This interpretation is very different from the interpretation that has been taught to me through the class of Religion.
Next, I asked Aldo about the concept of Hate the sin, the popular love the sinner among those who are Christians. Aldo paused, before replying:
Ever do they think what it feels like to be labeled a sinner? Have they ever wondered what effect it would have on our self-esteem [which is arguably sinful]?
Aldo added. I'm not anti-religion. Many also LGBT children who nyinyirin fellow LGBT still trying to obey the worship. I do not want to be like that. Yes we respect each other aja lah.
This is a test for me. Someday, I want to marry a woman.
Different views I gained from interviews with Irwan, a gay who also lives in Yogyakarta. I consider this a test from God, says Irwan, an activist in an organization that is fighting for the health rights of LGBT people. All Muslims must be given the same test of God. My test is to be gay.
Irwan told me that he now has a boyfriend. But I always say to BF [boyfriend], Do not expect me too much. Because in fact one day I want to marry a woman. Of course if there are women who can accept me like this.I told him about ex Reza who decided to split up because he wanted to marry a woman and make her parents happy. Irwan nodded.
I respect people like that. As far as I know, having a feeling of affection for a boy is not a sin. The sin is when having same-sex sex.
Does Irwan believe that he will be happy with marrying and living life as the people who are called normal by society? He thought for a moment, then said:
I do not know. But this is a test I have to pass.
Treat us plain!
Aldo chattered when I asked how he wanted to be treated by the people around him. We just wrote, we are not special. Aldo recalled that when he was still called lesbian first, many who asked him about lesbian sex. Maybe he meant to say that they are cool and support us. But I really feel uncomfortable when asked so ya? My impression is special.
So what should we do if a friend comes out?
Not all children who decide coming out it can already reconcile with his identity, said Aldo. Often, they do it because they need help. Whether it was driven from home, or bullied in school. They want to know who still wants to be their friend, and who will steer clear of them because of their sexual orientation.
When you know they need help, help them.
I asked Irwan what he wanted to say to those readers who made a lethal comment on Hipwee's articles on LGBT. Irwan laughed.What is it? he said.
He paused. The question was not answered.
On the way back to the office, I replayed the sentences they conveyed in my head. On the one hand, I feel more familiar with them and their struggle as LGBT youth. On the other hand, I became more self-conscious: whatever struggle they had ever faced would forever be alien to me, which was not one of them.
Then I remember all the comments that equate them with animals, or even call them lower than animals.
With all their advantages and disadvantages, Reza, Aldo, and Irwan are human beings just like us. Already, that's it.