Malaysia offers "spot the gay kid" seminars for teachers and parents

In Malaysia, being gay can get you a caning and 20 years in prison. Now the Malaysian government is holding seminars to help teachers and parents figure out which kids are gay (boys with "tight, light-coloured clothes and large handbags" are under suspicion; girls who "have no affection for men and like to hang out and sleep in the company of women" are also suspect). The seminars are reportedly hugely attended, with 1,500 people turning up to last week's event, which was organized by the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia. The official reasoning for this is that being gay is contagious, so straight kids who are around gay kids might catch it. More a Reuters report:

The latest seminar for the teachers and parents was run by deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi, his office confirmed.

Zarkashi wasn't immediately available for comment but national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying that being able to identify the signs will help contain the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle among the young, especially students.

"Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] groups," he was quoted as saying.

"This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time."

Malaysia holds seminars to help teachers spot 'gay children'


  1. You know, I’ve had some gay/bi friends and have never had the desire to stick someone’s cock in my mouth and/or bum.  You’d almost think that it was partly choice and partly genetics, rather than a contagious disease…hah.

    1. Everyone knows homosexuality is spread through multilevel marketing. That’s why gay people are always recruiting.  It’s a lifestyle yes, but it can also be very lucrative if you are skilled at persuading people to buy expensive vitamins. Sure, you know some gay folks, but have you looked at one of the introduction webinars? The opportunities are only limited by your desire to succeed. I’m sure they would overnight you an informational packet even if you had only a passing interest. They are that confident.

        1. Ah, yes, the ginsu knives.  Actually that phrase is known to be associated with late night, direct marketing, not multi-level marketing, per se.  So it is more the province of serial killers, I’m afraid. Oh, I do realize there are many homosexual serial killers, and therefore some blurring in marketing strategies, but over all, the appeal of serial murder cuts across demographics.

  2. Dear Odin, it’s hard enough coming up through the school system, emotions and hormones running wild developing affection and sexual interest in those around you without having someone tell you your sexuality is wrong. It’s a confusing time in a young persons life they should be working to make it easier to deal with, not ostracizing them for doing what their biology tells them to do. This kind of blind ignorance sickens me.

  3. Downright frightening! And almost hard to believe. What a shame for gay children there. I imagine it’s a tough enough situation to deal with anywhere, but damn! Caning?! 20 year sentences?!

    Time to count the blessings I had lost sight of, I guess.


  4. For what it is worth, Malaysia is better placed than other Islamic countries to become more socially progressive in the next few generations.  While it sounds pretty bad this situation should be compared with Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Part of the reason I think is that many Malaysians are educated overseas, but return home to raise their families, work and vote.

    1. Also the fact that it is a multi-cultural society.  Officially a Muslim country, it still has some very large minority populations, especially Chinese and Indian, which are not Muslim.

  5. I can’t believe no one’s said it yet…
    Christ, what an asshole!

    (and yes, I know he’s a symptom of the problem, not the cause, but he’s certainly doing his best to contribute)

  6. “Come on, give it a try.”
    Some of the popular boys had cornered Hakimi behind the school.  Not that he wasn’t to blame, his friend Joshua had told him who was going to be there when he invited Hakimi to this little covert rendezvous. So why had he come? He had felt curious, sure. But now, with this tall older boy dangling that thing in front of him… He was in way over his head.
    “Just think of how much more stuff you could carry, Hakimi” Joshua offered, nervous that his friend would chicken out on him.
    The the canvas of the handbag looked stiff but at the same time it was inviting. The brass clasps glistened in the afternoon sun. But no matter how alluring, Hakimi was ready to steel himself against temptation. He knew what a handbag of that size could do to a man. He had heard of the men in the cities who had started dressing in light colored clothing, good men who had become perverted, committing crimes against God.
    He gazed at it. It swayed gently from side to side as the older boy held it comfortably in his hand. This handbag wasn’t a crime against God though. Was it? What could be wrong about a bag?  What was he so afraid of?
    Hakimi reached out tentatively, his fingertips brushing the handle. “No turning back now,” he thought as he wrapped his hand around the handle and firmly gripped the massive handbag. Hakimi could swear he felt his heart skip a beat when the older boy let go and all of a sudden Hakimi felt the full weight of the bag. He had never imagined he would ever be holding such a big handbag!  The crowd of boys beamed at him with knowing smiles, remembering their first time. All at once Hakimi knew what sort of man he was. The shock and confusion would come later, but right in that instant the truth filled his heart and radiated through his whole being. “You were right,” he said to Joshua, “this is the best!”

    And then they all fucked.

    1. It starts innocently enough, with bag-curiosity…. But from there it only ends with Satan, who can carry all manner of filth and dance music in his bag.

      Patrcik’s comment has utterly made my day. Best in show.

  7. Oh, Malaysia. Would love to take those “ministers” out for a night at Kuala Lumpur’s raging gay bars, put their own “contamination” theory to test..

    1. And when they lead you to the less well known places you’ll understand they contaminated everyone with their self-hate.

  8. Why does they (special category people) need to be punish? It might not be their fault to behave like that. The so called “GOD” who have brought them to this world, does it mean that god is the one to be blamed for it?

    1. But you were wrong in saying so. 
      Homosexual activity is a crime and forbidden in most Muslim-majority countries.
      In the Islamic regimes of Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, North Sudan and Yemen, homosexual activity is punished with the death penalty.
      Very few secular Muslim-majority countries have no specific civil laws against homosexual practice.

      1. A slight correction… Very few countries had no specific civil laws against homosexual practice, anywhere, until recently.  And there is no country which treats homosexuals equally under the law in theory and in practice.  Most don’t even vaguely pretend to in theory.

        Gender equality is new, equality of sexual identity is newer, and most countries suck at dealing with both.

        Pointing out that repressive authoritarian regimes suck much more badly is hardly surprising; they’re more repressive about *everything*.

        Islamic countries include a disproportionate number of the world’s most repressive regimes right now, so naturally they have a disproportionate number of the ones with murderously stupid attitudes fuelled by authoritarian moral panic.

        Conflating this with an Islam issue is just missing the point; the Christian, Hindu and secular countries did just as badly, historically, and we’re doing better now because we’re more affluent and more liberal, not because we have a better religion.  Al Corrupt is right: the problem is fascism, dictatorship and authoritarianism.

        1. Fascism, dictatorship, and authoritarianism supported by Islamic fundamentalism.

          You cannot just remove religion from the equation. The religion is the excuse that allows the fascism, dictatorships, and authoritarianism.

          1. People have used Islamic fundamentalism to try to justify homophobia. They have also used Christian fundamentalism, Roman traditionalism, eugenics/racism, psychodynamics, behaviorism, objectivism, and certain versions of dialectical materialism, as well as generalized sexism.

            Now where do you draw the line between religious and non-religious ideas, that only the religious ones are ever used to try to justify homophobia?

          2. Even though there’s still widespread institutionalized anti-gay repression, they have changed the laws. Hopefully, reality will catch up with policy. I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if they had gay marriage before the US, just because they have fiat government.

          3. @boingboing-acc24295a031cec540665b451bde7e07:disqus The comment I was replying to made no mention of homosexuality. It did mention Fascism, dictatorship and authoritarianism  and it’s relation to Islamic fundamentalism.

            I was simply pointing out that Islam, or even religion is not a necessary part of the equation to get fascism, dictatorships or an authoritarian state. Simply put, you can “just remove religion from the equation” it can easily be filled with some other excuse.

          4. Let’s just point out that Iraq was entirely fascist under Saddam Hussein and he was in no way an Islamic fundamentalist. It’s about how much of the population are benefiting from progress and prosperity, not the specific justifications used to keep them down.

            The US could fall into fascism if its citizens allow it to happen, and it would be big corporations pulling the strings, not one of the Christian churches, or even the magic underwear cult.

        1. Yes, a tad. 
          Religiophobic really. 
          Looking at history up until right now, that doesn’t seem the slightest bit irrational to me. 
          I wouldn’t be so afraid if all the organized religions weren’t against all these things I deeply care for:
          Nudity, equality of the sexes, freedom of choice, science education, free speech, artistic expression, freedom of religion, the freedom to be free of religion included, sex of almost every variety, certain kinds of food, secularism and more.

          You think, had I wanted to claim that only Islamic majority countries can be dictatorships, you would have to ask if I meant that?

  9. Oddly enough, rich Malaysian businessmen brought up in this system (as anywhere else) will pay top dollar for women who “like to hang out and sleep in the company of women”.

  10. I am happy to announce that according to the criteria of the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia there are no gay men in Vauxhall. I think they should be invited to visit us here to see how we do it and experience our healthy family friendly nightlife free from the fear of contamination.

  11. Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong. I own many large bags but NONE of them are handbags. If I’d only known that when I was twenty. I could infect ANYONE with gayness!

    1.  Actually there is no punishment for being homosexual.  The punishment is for the specific acts of anal or oral intercourse.  These laws also apply to heterosexuals.

      1. We’ve only outlawed writing with the left hand, not being left-handed.  It’s perfectly fair, because the law also applies to right-handed people.

  12. What is the homelessness rate for lgbt kids in Malaysia? Just thinking of the homelessness rate for lgbt kids in America, and the anti-lgbt violence in America, I guess it has to be even worse in Malaysia. What is the life expectancy?

  13. As kids, we worried about cooties.  I don’t recall it having anything to do with orientation.  It was cooties, you could catch it, and you didn’t want it.

    Apparently Malaysians have made “You’ve got cooties” a national sport.

    1. Apparently Malaysians have made “You’ve got cooties” a national sport.

      They keep arresting their opposition leader on trumped-up sodomy charges to try to get rid of him.

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