Newspaper slammed for 'how to spot gay people' checklist

An article by a Malaysian newspaper on how to identify lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people has sparked outrage on social media.

The LGBT community is routinely persecuted in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where sodomy is a crime and the government sanctions campaigns seeking to curb homosexuality and transgenderism.

The offending article, published last week by top-selling Malay-language daily, Sinar Harian, included a bullet point list giving tips on how to identify gays or lesbians.

The list describes masculine gay men as having a penchant for "wearing tight shirts to show off their six pack" and keeping facial hair, and a separate line that says effeminate gay men go wide-eyed every time they see a handsome man.



The offending article, published last week by top-selling Malay-language daily, Sinar Harian, included a bullet point list giving tips on how to identify gays or lesbians. Source: Twitter/IHubertLee

Lesbians were described as man-haters who are extremely jealous and enjoy hugging and holding hands.

"I know a lot of priests, I know a lot of ustaz (religious teachers), I know a lot of really religious people who love keeping long beards... are you trying to say they're gay?" asked Arwind Kumar, who posted a four-minute video on Facebook criticising the story.

Malaysia has a record of taking homophobic positions. In June, the health ministry launched a contest on how to "prevent" homosexuality and transgenderism.

In 2015, Malaysia's highest court upheld a ruling that banned cross-dressing.

Neighbouring Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population, is on the cusp of revising its national criminal code to impose restrictions on same-sex relations and consensual sex between men and women outside marriage.

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