A Malaysian newspaper, Sinar Harian, just published a checklist on how to spot gay people. According to the list, gay men can be identified by their love of beards, going to the gym (to cruise other gay men) and sporting brand names on their clothes. In addition, their eyes light up when they see handsome men.
The article in Sinar Harian featured bullet points of supposedly distinctive qualities that revealed LGBT people. They stated that gay men were easy to identify because of their love of beards, going to the gym — not for exercise but to check out other men — and branded clothing. Their eyes light up when they see handsome men, the article said. The stand-out attributes for lesbians were that they tend to hug each other, hold hands and belittle men, according to the newspaper.
Arwind Kumar is an LGBT activist in Malaysia. In a video he posted to YouTube, he slams the newspaper and the list. Said Kumar:
There are much more important issues in this country which need to be addressed. If you really want to educate society then explain to them the traits of a pedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, people who actually endanger the lives of others. How the hell does a gay person endanger your life? … I know a lot of priests, I know a lot ustads [Islamic scholars], I know a lot of of really really religious people who love keeping beards. Are you trying to say they are gay? That’s how stupid this is.
LGBT rights are unrecognized in Malaysia and homosexuality is is still considered illegal and punishable by 20 years in prison. Sodomy is a crime in the country, under a British Empire colonial era law.
The Guardian adds that the country’s deputy interior minister attacked Disney last year for refusing to cut a gay scene in Beauty and the Beast at the request of the Malaysian censorship board. A Malaysian health ministry youth video competition called for entries discussing the prevention and consequences of being gay, lesbian or transgender.