Still from the same class as the previous post, the Intercultural Understanding class. This one is more ‘controversial’ in a way, because of the topic that I chose to write. So again, this essay is purely my own opinion. Again, this warning is here because I’m just paranoid. But reading this, perhaps I changed a bit since that time too. Looking back, the question arise : did I do that too without I realize? Maybe; Of Course Not; Perhaps. Well, I can’t really answer that myself. Maybe someday, I can really be a better person who is really open-minded about these things. Now, I’m simply trying still…
P.S.: This essay is in no way representing the Indonesian community. This is the result of my observations only. Perhaps it’s not like that at all and my observations are wrong. Perhaps I’m right. Well, who knows? And I wrote this in my first year in University (around 2010-2011)
This is not a common issue in the Indonesian’s community, or rather; it is not one that is openly spoken in public. I’m talking about homosexuality discrimination. People here in Indonesia are not as permissive as in western’s countries such as America, but we are starting to accept that there are people with different sexual preferences from us. Yet, unconsciously, we usually insult and are disgusted by their mere presence and talks surrounding them. We are not openly rejecting it but we are not accepting it either and in my opinion, that is the problem.
As I watched a movie series about a show choir titled ‘Glee’ I keep seeing ‘gay bullying’ in the movie and I thought to myself that even my friends do this too, without they knowing about it. They do not toss people around or dump people to the dumpsters like what they do in the movie, but every time they encounter a topic of homosexuality they will react with,”Yikes.” When one of the lecturers was telling us a story about the homosexual community in Thailand and how they would wave at this lecturer, one of my friends said, “Gosh, that’s disgusting.”
When I hear those words coming from my friend, I thought isn’t that also a kind of verbal abuse? Every negative reaction about homosexuals is a kind of abuse of their preferences, abuse at their differences from the rest of us. We abuse them for being different. With that words we simply put them in a lower status than the rest of us which is considered ’normal’. This leads me to a question about what exactly is normal. To us, we are normal, and they are abnormal. But, have we ever considered looking this matter from their perspective? To them, they are normal.
After seeing the short movie about racism in last week meeting of this lesson, I keep thinking that just like the whites in the people there who do not know that they are actually negatively biased towards the black people; Indonesian people are still unconsciously holding negative biases towards homosexuals. This is considered discrimination. Like what my friends did when they said those things and when they thought that being LGBT is a disgrace; a mistake that someone make. Well, what if they cannot help it. What if the problem is that they cannot choose their own sexual preferences? This reality hits me hard and I am starting to think whether or not I unconsciously do those things as well, discriminating them, abusing them verbally, and lowering their status. I am starting to think more and start taking notes mentally about this subtle discrimination that happen here in Indonesia, or even, here at Petra Christian University, just like my friends’ cases.
I feel awful when I hear that my friends say something like that, when I think that we are an open generation already; that we are ready for changes and erasing prejudices, but maybe we are not as ready as I think we are. I am not saying that my friends and people saying those comments are bad, but maybe they do not realize it, just like what the kids do in the short movie ‘How Biased Are You?’ Maybe we need more time and better system about this matter. Whatever we need, I just hope that there will be a time when there is no more discrimination against minorities such as homosexuals here in Indonesia.