Seems the brickbats are out for the hosting of the Big Gay Iftar by the Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative (Pelangi) which took place last week.
Before I say more, let me just point out a few things – I am gay. I have been officially out since 2008 (you can find that piece in The Star) and even came out again in 2010. Thus, I do have a bias when it comes to attending events such as this one.
The idea for a Big Gay Iftar, in itself, is not original. In the UK, it is hosted annually in London, and for 2017 will be on June 17. It is when the Islamic community in London have an iftar event for the LGBTQ+ community, and this year it apparently takes place in a churchtakes place in a church.
Meanwhile, the one in Malaysia took place last Saturday, 10 June. It was a closed and private event away from prying eyes, though I don’t believe they applied the Chatham House Rules to this one.
I attended it with a few packs of nasi lemak, seeing as how it was a potluck gathering. Awkwardly I arrived late and walked in right in the middle of the forum regarding hate which led to the Orlando shootings.
So, what took place at the event? Were there a lot of gay power talks?
Not really. All it was, was a forum asking for equality – not so much gay marriage, but more on the need for anti-discrimination when it comes to everyday living things such as jobs, access to medicine, access to welfare, and such.
In fact, I think I’ve pointed this out before in an earlier post.
Other than this, there was singing, there was poetry, there was some confusion as to what time berbuka was (7:25 PM, for that night), and there was pizza – in fact, there was really a lot of pizza and I’m not sure if it was finished by the end of the screening.
And about that – the event ended with the movie screening of Pride, which took place in the UK during the Miner’s Strike of 1984 – 1985. The story is about how a group of LGBT people collected funds and donated them to the miners in Wales, which later led to the inclusion of gay rights in the manifesto of the British Labour Party.
It feels rather surreal for myself, since I’ve actually been to the Bloomsbury based “Gay’s The Word” bookshop, and in fact gave the Rainbow Ribbon pin to someone as a souvenir.
More to the point, that was all it was.
For the amount of brickbats being given by the nonsensical conservatives, you would think that somehow there was a drag show and an orgy taking place on the street where it was held, with people spewing rainbows from every orifice from Bangsar to Pantai Dalam.
It was no such thing. In fact, the only physical takeaway I have is a small rainbow flag for my desk and a bunch of beautiful pins to tag unto my Crumpler.
But more to the point, haters will be haters, and they will use whatever device they can to create a mountain out of a molehill either for politics or for personal gain. After all, we know who wrote the stories and who made it a big deal. We know who they are attached to and who funds them.
It isn’t exactly a surprise – especially when they decided to mention political connections to an event with no such thing.
And quite honestly, I wonder why the government is so quiet, especially since we now know that the TN50 also includes the talk on rights for the LGBT community, which was sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Somehow, that one missed the fake outraged conservative firing squad for some reason. Thus perhaps, it is all politics. It is part and parcel of a bigger game being played for the profit and purse of people who have nothing better to talk about, and nothing better to do than to rile the dumb population into a frenzy.
It’s basically Goebbels and Hitler calling for the purge of the Jews, by the read of everything that was written. And that is exactly what they want, not just for the gay community, but for the Christians, for the opposition political parties, for the liberals, and so on so forth.
It is the message of hate that is being used to justify violence against those who are out of the norm, and one day, someone will take it too far and cause hurt and death. I just hope at such a time, we all remember who is guilty of selling the message and know how to take action against it.