66 teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 17 who were selected by teachers for being “effeminate” have been forced to attend a four-day camp to learn masculine behavior. The camp has been branded as a “self-development course”, and yet, Malaysian authorities are said to be making the boys attend. It sounds less than self-developing to us.
They will undergo religious and motivational classes and physical guidance, Razali said. He declined to give further details.
The camp is meant “to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return,” Razali Daud, the state’s education director, told The Associated Press. “Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their studies and their future.”
“It is not an overnight cure,” he said. “We can’t force the boys to change, but we want them to know what their choices are in life. Some effeminate boys end up as a transvestite or a homosexual, but we want to do our best to limit this.”
Pang Khee Teik, the co-founder of a Malaysian sexual rights awareness group, called the camp “outrageous.”
“If we don’t do anything to stop the rot of homophobia … I worry it may get worse,” he said.
Gay Malaysians say they face discrimination from government policies such as a law that makes sodomy punishable by 20 years in prison. The law is seldom and selectively enforced, but some states also impose jail terms for public cross-dressing.
No. A world of no. Masculinizing these young men, who may not even be gay, is not the cure for what ails Malaysia. The problem is institutionalized homophobia, and it will continue to persists until the government accepts and promotes equality for all.
I loathe it when opposing political ideologists accuse one another of being Nazis, but it’s worth noting here that the Malaysian government is literally identifying “supposed homosexuals”, rounding them up, and sending them to camps. Just chew on that for a bit.