Conq is an Indonesian-produced web series, started in early 2014, with as its target audience the Indonesian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Conq (or cong, from bencong) is a slang term for gay men and the Conq web series follows the lives of gay best friends. All the episodes engage with issues relevant to the lives of many Indonesian urban-based gay men such as stereotypes, dating apps, the familial pressure to marry heterosexually, discrimination in the workplace and HIV.
Last week Conq was taken offline, after lawmakers accused the series of degrading the morals of young people and they asked the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to ban it.
Anything to do with sexuality in Indonesia is clearly still complex and contested - we feel that it’s such an unfortunate thing that these issues are still being ignored and even banned- it won’t make them go away, it will just push these people even further into secrecy, making it harder to contact them with the correct information, for instance about the need for safe sex and getting tested for HIV. If lawmakers look for reasons why new HIV infections still are not lowering in Indonesia: look no further. And please give us back Conq!