By Hafidz Baharom
I find it quite awkward that there are still people who wish to frame the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as being in cahoots with Bersih.
Mostly because Bersih is a coalition for free and fair elections, but also because me being part of that community who has been dead set against this non-government entity is now being framed for supporting it.
Let me be direct – it wasn’t the entirety of the LGBT community that supported Bersih, and calling us militant is definitely one of the dumbest thing to accuse us of.
I for sure made no secret of my disdain and cynicism for the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, going so far as to call it nothing more than the annual street party similar to Mardi Gras without beads.
The LGBT community, just like the gigantic heterosexual majority – is politically diverse, with conservatives, centrist and liberals. Which is why in the United States you have Log Cabin Republicans and also the LGBTs in the Democrats.
There are those fighting for gay marriage, while there are those who would rather look at economic equality and equal opportunities in social mobility as a priority.
We are not a single shade of colour, which is very appropriately portrayed through the pride flag as the community’s trademark symbol.
Thus, who exactly are militants? And what exactly defines a “militant LGBT”?
Is it because they’re being outspoken and taking to the streets in protest?
If this defines it, then I would recommend branding the Red Shirts, the Black Shirts, Bersih, the Rohingya freedom supporters and all as also being militants.
It is merely an application of the same standard on all, avoiding the concept of Orwellian “some are more equal than others”.
Words carry weight, and branding the LGBT community as “militant” is the trying of planting the idea that somehow being gay makes someone the equivalent of an Isis suicide bomber.
And I am sure that those who do so, are doing so with this in mind simply to throw off the scent of stink of rotting corruption from the multiple issues at hand.
The fact remains that scapegoating the LGBT community has become a norm for the government and its supporters.
We had Najib in 2012 branding us as “enemies of Islam”.
We had Centhra trying to say that the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) was fighting for LGBT rights during the United Nations hearing on human rights in 2013.
And now, we are seeing the LGBT community becoming a punching bag for Bersih as well, simply because a bunch of people brought a banner with a Pride flag on it during Bersih.
Personally, it stinks of desperation to portray what was nothing more than a low attendance a street party as an orgy of humongous proportions.
Which is weird, since my job dictates me to make mountains out of molehills, and the actions of Centhra was laughable.
Bersih didn’t gain any traction this year. In fact, fatigue is setting in. Centhra and its allies should have left it right alone.
Instead, someone made an idiotic statement and continued to give Bersih the one thing it needed – oxygen in the press, so to speak – to keep its embers lit.
Should have left it right alone to die a natural death instead of working your itchy fingers.
If Centhra wanted to say Bersih was bad, there are so many great examples, primarily the idea of somehow not wanting to be at the table discussing political donations until Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stepped down.
This clearly shows that Bersih is not keen to work with both sides of the political divide and instead, would rather criticise rather than be part of one huge segment of the future solution for issues on free and fair elections.
Instead, somehow the LGBT community is “militant” for taking part in a protest.
Trust me, the only thing a militant LGBT would do at most is probably a glitter bomb.