Such a move is clearly a violation of human rights and freedom of expression and it also shows how the term LGBT has been politicised.
This process has led to shifts of the local gender and sexuality landscape. In the past decade, the entertainment industry was no stranger to the appearance of men with feminine mannerism— for example, the late comedian Tessy of the Srimulat group, the actor Aming and late TV presenters Tata Dado and Olga Syahputra.
Their regular appearances did not provoke efforts to criminalize or even conflate it with the term LGBT. However, the anti-LGBT vitriol last year has relatively contributed to and changed this “unspeakable tolerance” as “LGBT behavior”. In this case, comedy shows featuring men and women behaving like the opposite gender will be banned from the air.
It appears that since 2016 the term LGBT has entered common parlance through the moral panic created by conservative groups, mass media, officials, politicians and religious organizations. They conflate LGBT with “Western intervention”, “pedophilia”, “proxy wars”, “HIV infections”, “sex parties and pornography”, “transactional sex” and even more surprisingly, “overconsumption of instant noodles”. These extreme framings of LGBT in media reports have offered fertile ground to justify and spread fear and moral panic of sexual minorities.
The sudden popularization of the LGBT term has transformed the meaning. As such, it does not strictly refer to an acronym of a variety of gender and/or sexual identities, but instead is now being used as a single category to address a person with non-normative gender and/or sexual identity. Given this, in addition to such a bizarre understanding, the term “LGBT behavior” mostly targets men and women with non-normative gender expressions, particularly men with feminine mannerism. Through these extreme media reports, those LGBT individuals perceivably carry moral threats.
So how has this political transformation of the “LGBT” term actually changed the local landscape?
This is exactly something that we need to fight together, because how the society reacts and thinks is the most fundamental thing in order to make the society itself better. So, be a better you for a better society.