So throw out that well-worn yellow shirt ’cause it’s now time to put on that pink* and/or lavender* low-cut v-neck tight tee.
You see, the yellow-shirted groups behind Bersih two-point-o have apparently moved on to another cause.
It’s called Seksualiti Merdeka 2011: queer without feer and the people behind Bersih two-point-o demand, through Bersih gay & lesbo, that gays and lesbians be given equal rights!
(News on TV, which I am watching right now, tells me the police just declared the event ILLEGAL!)
I’m still quite vague about this version of Bersih (and actually still not very clear about Bersih 2.0, especially when people insist it wasn’t a politically-driven action).
But what I’m quite clear about is that yet again, the Malaya-based groups behind Bersih 2.0 continue to prove to be totally irrelevant for the people of Sarawak.
I’m not sure how Sarawak’s record is on respecting the rights of gays and lesbians, closeted or otherwise, but personally I don’t think we need to hold a sexuality festival to prove that we respect our fellow Sarawakians…regardless of their sexual orientation.
Maybe in Malaya the problem is really bad. Who knows?
Based on the organiser’s website, this isn’t the first year the festival’s been held!
I guess the only reason we’re hearing about it this year is because of the Bersih two-point-o connection.
Otherwise, I don’t actually believe we’d be making a big fuss about the whole thing.
Not sure if Pakatan Rakyat is picking up this cause, just like they clung on to Bersih two-point-o, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot about it in the media in next few days (but hopefully not for the next few weeks!).
By the way, as I watch TV, as I’m posting this, Pakatan member PAS seems not to want anything to do with Bersih gay & lesbo…so says the Spiritual Advisor.
Anyway, I personally have family and friends, who happen to be gay, and I respect them all…because they’re pretty decent people (and they’re my family and friends, to boot!)
And that’s all that matters at the end of the day, isn’t it?
So why can’t we all just stay fabulous, darling?!
* No confirmation on whether there will be official shirt colour for Bersih Gay & Lesbo.
Seksualiti Merdeka 2011: queer without feer
SEKSUALITI MERDEKA 2011
Queer Without Fear
1 Nov – 13 Nov, 2011
The Annexe Gallery, KL
Malaysians have been fearless these past few years. We have demanded for fair elections, for justice, for democracy. Let us then remember that democracy does not only belong to the majority, or the powerful, or the loudest. Democracy belongs to all. Let’s demand for equal rights and human dignity not just for ourselves, but also for those who are different, whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transgender, asexual, unsure or simply fabulous. Let’s be queer without fear.
Seksualiti Merdeka, meaning Sexuality Independence, is Malaysia’s only festival celebrating the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. It is organised by a loose coalition of NGOs, artists, activists and individuals and has been held annually since 2008. The festival programme includes forums, talks, workshops, book launches, art exhibition and performances.
This year, our theme – Queer Without Fear –highlights how homophobia and transphobia have negatively affected and continues to affect the lives of untold numbers of Malaysians who are discriminated against and persecuted because of their sexual orientations and gender identities. It is our firm belief that all Malaysians have the right to live and love without fear.
Wed 9 Nov, 8pm
SEKSUALITI MERDEKA 2011 LAUNCH
Wed 9 to Sun 13 Nov
THE FRIENDLY POSTER SHOW
Thu 10 Nov, 8pm
Fri 11, Sat 12, Sun 13 Nov 2011, 8pm
RAINBOW MASSACRE – Love Out Loud!
Sat 12 Nov, 2pm
POLICING SEXUALITY: Sex, Society & the State
Sat 12 Nov, 4pm
THE TRANSSEXUAL VS THE MINISTRY OF POPULATION CONTROL
Sun 13 Nov, 12pm
DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK HEARTS: Homophobia 101
Sun 13 Nov, 2pm
UNDER A RAINBOW ROOF: The Siti & Pepper Show
Sun 13 Nov, 4pm
FIERCE & FABULOUS: Shelah’s Finishing School for Drag Queens
Wed 2 Nov, 8pm
HUMAN RIGHTS for LGBTIQ: Making it real in Malaysia!
Thu 3 Nov, 8pm
NINE TO FIVE: Sexuality Rights In The Workplace
Sat 5 Nov, 8pm
JUSTICE FOR SISTERS: Nyah Rights Now!
SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS of Seksualiti Merdeka 2011:
Amnesty International Malaysia
Bar Council Malaysia Human Rights Committee
KRYSS (Knowledge & Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces)
Justice For Sisters
Precious Old China Restaurant
Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok
Rev Yap Kim Hao
Quek Sue Yian
Women’s Aid Organisation
Women’s Candidacy Initiative
United Nations Theme Group on HIV
and many other individuals
~ ~ ~
All programmes are at The Annexe Gallery. Address: 2nd Flr, Central Market Annexe (Behind Central Market), Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur. All programmes are FREE except for Rainbow Massacre & Justice For Sisters. There are a few events not listed on the calendar. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or if you have any queries.