Indonesia: LGBT Network Celebrates IDAHO

IGLHRC works to establish freedom of speech, assembly, association and expression for LGBTI people and organizations. In many countries these rights are non-existent or exercising them is associated with severe penalties. As part of our commitment to build and strengthen alliances with other social justice colleagues, IGLHRC frequently disseminates information about activist organizations and allies from around the world. In Indonesia, LGBT activists came together to put a public and human face on the diversity of LGBT people, claiming their place in Indonesian society during that country’s first observance of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17. Members of the Indonesian LGBT Network chose the theme, "Homophobia: The Unfinished Story" for their events. Banners with this year’s theme were unfurled simultaneously in several major cities—Jakarta, Surabaya, Purwokerto, Yogyakarta and Makassar. Each city had its own activities to address homophobia, including an LGBT film screening, art exhibition, interactive radio talk show, and street actions such as marches and rallies where 100 roses and leaflets were distributed to passers-by. There were also discussions on sexual orientation, heteronormativity, hate crimes and the Yogyakarta Principles. The Indonesia LGBT Network is a coalition of five LGBT groups, which believes that communication is the "best way to establish an understanding and friendship between LGBT people and the heterosexual community." There are plans to hold more public events in the future.
Project Report IDAHO 2008: the Unfinished Story [International Day against Homophobia]
Organization Arus Pelangi in cooperation with Ardhanary Institute, People like Us-Satu Hati, Kelompok Sehati Makassar and Us Community
Contact Person Rido Triawan, Chairperson
Address Jalan Tebet Dalam IV No.3,Tebet; Jakarta selatan 12810; Indonesia
Tel/fax +62-21-8291310
Cell phone +62-815 8040 028
Objectives To reduce discrimination against LGBT
Period May 2008

IDAHO, the international day against homophobia, is fast becoming more important in the global campaign for the end of discrimination against LGBT persons. In Indonesia, more and more groups in many cities are now taking up that day [17 May] to combat homophobia. This year there was a genuine effort to coordinate and encourage other cities to take part. The participating organizations were Arus Pelangi (Jakarta), Ardhanary Institute (Jakarta), People Like Us-Satu Hati (Yogyakarta), Komunitas Sehati (Makassar) and Us Community (Surabaya). The common theme for this year was "IDAHO: the Unfinished Story".

Jakarta Activities:

Radio talkshow

This was held at the VHR [Voice of Human Rights] radio station, with R.R. Agustine from Ardhanary Institute (women LBT) and Yuli Rustinawati from Arus Pelangi as speakers; they talked about sexual orientation, sexual behavior and gender identity, which are often confused by ordinary people. A few listeners reacted and commented via Yahoo! Messenger.

Art Exhibition

The photo & art exhibition with an LGBT theme was held at the premises of the prestigious Indonesian Human Rights Commission. At the opening ceremony, the Commissioner Kabul Supriyadhie cut the ribbons. We got a lot of visitors since the Commission is a busy place. The commission itself is an active promoter of LGBT rights.

Public discussion

The public discussion could not be held at the Trisakti University [not available] but instead at Darmint Café on May 15. Around 50 people came to attend the program. The theme was ‘Sexual Orientation and Heteronormativity’ with speakers: Agustine from Ardhanary (women LBT) Institute, Rev. Esther Marianiga from the Feminist Theological Association, and Agung Putri for ELSAM (research institute).

Street action

This was held in the very heart of Jakarta on May 17. Unfortunately that date coincided with many other demonstrations: oil price hike, the impeding ban of the Ahmadiyah sect, 10 years after the fall of Suharto, and the 100th anniversary of the National Awakening Day. Only 50 people showed up at the demonstration; not only LGBT organizations but also supportive organizations like National Women’s Coalition (KPI). Despite the limited numbers, distributing flowers and leaflets to passers-by created a positive image. The action was very lively and got a lot of media coverage by TV and newspapers.

Yogyakarta Activities:

Although the activities took place in just three days, the string of activities undertaken by People Like Us-Satu Hati [PLUSH] was impressive. Indeed, the coordination suffered somewhat along the way but the enthusiasm was enormous.

Art Exhibition and film screening

The photo and art exhibition was held at the Jogja NationalMuseum for two weeks. The opening session was enlivened with poetry reading and the release of rainbow balloons. The meaning of IDAHO was explained to the audience.

For three days several gay & lesbian films were screened in the same room as the public discussion so that the atmosphere was sometimes not conducive.

Public Discussion

The public discussion was also held in the same place; the theme was ‘Homophobia, the Yogyakata Principles and Hate crimes". There were 60 participants and the discussion was lively. Now, in the very birthplace of the Yogyakarta Principles, ordinary people there are slowly getting to know of it.

March rally

A demonstration with the theme "1000 Flowers to Fight Homophobia" was held on May 17th in the heart of the city; flowers were distributed to passers-by. The action went well except for the fact there were other demonstrations at the same time. In the same evening a group of trans-people staged a lip-synch singing performance; a lot of people came to watch and it became the culmination of the activities.

Ambulant medical clinic

To close the series of activities PLUSH organized a charity action to a poverty-stricken isolated village in the south coast, Pantai Sundak. The group went there together with a medical clinic team while distributing rice, milk powder, second-hand clothes and school supplies. They staged a playback show and even screened the film "Iron Ladies" as an educational tool. The villagers were delighted and became sensitized of LGBT issues along the way. This activity was covered by the Jakarta Post, the national English newspaper.

Makassar Activities

Cultural evening

This social gathering drew more than 50 people; it was entertained by a lip-synch show and the Sexy Boys Dance group. The idea of IDAHO was explained to the public.

Street action

Like in other cities going to the streets is a major goal; the local group took to the streets and distributed flowers and leaflets to passers-by. Their response was definitely appreciative and positive.

Surabaya Activities

Street action

Again, taking to the street and distributing flowers and leaflets was a major event for Us Community in Surabaya. It went without a glitch.

Photo exhibition

Less successful was the photo exhibition at the "Togamas" bookstore; the two-day event was unilaterally shortened by the bookstore management after complaints from a few customers. The fact that the management pulled down the photos without consulting the organizers was quite disappointing. On the other hand, there was nobody from the organizers present to watch over the reaction of customers.


The objective of creating a greater visibility of the LGBT people was achieved. The role of the mass media has been crucial; newspapers and almost all TV stations in Jakarta covered the various events. Even the events in Yogyakarta was covered by the Jakarta Post (English) as well as other, local newspapers.

The activities had a wide range of creative and educational values; it was also a valuable learning experience for most of the organizers.

For the first time, lesbians took part in street actions in large numbers. Before, only gays and transgender people had enough courage to come out in public.

The reaction of the public had been generally positive.

Homophobia in Yogyakarta, an unfinished story

The Jakarta Post - Features - June 01, 2008

At least three acts of homophobia took place in one nightclub in Yogyakarta city in the last two years.

First, a waria (or, in its oversimplified translation, transvestite) was dragged out by the club's security after she danced on stage. Second, two lesbians were removed from the dance floor after they embraced. Third, an HIV/AIDS organization was about to hold a rehearsal for an AIDS Day event, but was told to leave after it became apparent to the club manager that there would be "men wearing high-heels" involved.

The club and the organization had signed a contract; the event was to be held there that night. "The manager didn't care about the contract. The organization was told to find another place," Matius Indarto, 21, said.

Matius heads PLU-Satu Hati (People Like Us-One Heart), a non-governmental organization that runs programs related to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered person/transsexual) issues in Yogyakarta.

Formally legalized just last year, the organization has tried to tackle a number of legal cases regarding discrimination or violence against LGBT, including those taking place in the infamous club, especially since it has refused to explain the incidents.

Coordinating events to call for respect for LGBT, May 17 is the date chosen to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). PLU-Satu Hati, in cooperation with various organizations such as Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association) and Jakarta's Arus Pelangi (Rainbow Flow), took part in the marking of the removal of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization on May 17, 1990, with a painting and photo exhibition, public discussion, film screenings, musical performance, and charity works from May 15-19.

"This is the second time IDAHO is being celebrated in Yogya. Our primary target is, of course, to reduce the stigma associated with LGBT, and therefore gradually eliminate homophobia," Matius said, "whereas the specific target is to bring all LGBT in Yogya together, working hand in hand to attain that main goal."

On the afternoon of the big day, PLU-Satu Hati went to Malioboro Street in a peaceful act of handing out 1,000 roses to the people as a sign of good intentions. Three young women wearing headscarfs and a man in Muslim dress came to show their support.

"We are taking this Introduction to Peace Studies class at university and are required to step out of our comfort zones and research the lives of people we aren't familiar with, and we chose them," Sukmawani Bella Pertiwi, 19, added.

"It wasn't easy for me to step out of my comfort zone and interact with gay people because I usually spend my time in the mosque," Ade Nuansa Wibisono, 20, Sukmawani's research partner, confessed. "It's worth it, though, because we've come to understand them better and it's proven that the negative assumptions I used to have about them are not true."

PLU-Satu Hati members are aware of the misperceptions people have about LGBT. "They should realize that heterosexuals also have the tendency to do most of the things homosexuals are guilty of, like hedonism and free sex. But what happens is that people tend to emphasize our negative side," PLU-Satu Hati member Dudy Iskandar, 32, commented.

The consequences of homophobia are upsetting. PLU-Satu Hati members gave copious examples of violence in public places, discrimination in the workplace that mostly ended in resignation and dismissal, backbiting, verbal harassment, and many others. "Being a woman alone is hard in a patriarchal country like Indonesia. Imagine being a woman and a lesbian," Deo, 22, who was fired from her job for being a lesbian, pointed out.

The theme chosen by Indonesia's LGBT network for this year's IDAHO is "Homophobia: The Unfinished Story". Besides in Yogyakarta, banners bearing this slogan were simultaneously put up in Jakarta, Surabaya, Purwokerto, and Makassar. To respond to the constant threat of homophobia, the network sees communication as the best way to establish an understanding and friendship between LGBT and the majority of heterosexuals, and plans to hold more discussions in the future.

"Last year we invited a homophobe to a discussion about homophobia, and we learned that he wasn't really against homosexuals, but homosexuals who act like complete fools, like talking loudly in public or making a pass at strangers," Dudy explained. "Many of us still have to learn that as a part of society, LGBT have to act like respectable citizens too."

To learn more about homophobia, please visit

--Daniel Rose

Way to go, Waria! - IDAHO in Jakarta

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Gay and trans activists in Jakarta took advantage of the International Day Against Homophobia last Saturday May 17, to demonstrate on behalf of GLBT Indonesians.

The small group of activists called for more tolerance for gays and for transgender people, who are known as ‘Waria’, derived from the words wanita (woman) and pria (man) in the Indonesian language.

With an estimated 234,693,997 people as of July 2007, the Indonesian archipelago is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. While homosexual acts are legal, the Aceh province was given the right to instate Islamic Sharia law in 2002, and as a consequence, the city of Palembang in South Sumatra subsequently introduced jail time and hefty fines for Indonesian citizens caught committing homosexual acts.


Peringati IDAHO, Arus Pelangi Gelar Serangkaian Acara

International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) diperingati setiap tahun pada tanggal 17 Mei. Tanggal tersebut dipilih untuk memperingati keputusan WHO yang pada 17 Mei 1990 mengeluarkan kelompok lesbian, gay, biseksual, transgender/transseksual (LGBT) dari kategori mental disorder (gangguan jiwa).

Peringatan IDAHO sendiri lahir pada 26-29 Juli 2006 dalam Konferensi Internasional tentang Hak Asasi Manusia LGBT di Montreal, Kanada. Di Indonesia, LGBT menjadi isu yang terus diperjuangkan dengan ditandatanganinya deklarasi yang kemudian disebut The Jogja Principle.

Homophobia bisa diartikan sebagai sikap atau perasaan negatif, tidak suka terhadap gay atau lesbian atau homoseksualitas secara umum. Definisi lain dari homophobia yaitu penolakan terhadap orang-orang yang dianggap gay atau lesbian dan semua yang diasosiasikan dengan mereka. LGBT tidak mendapatkan perlindungan, akibatnya sering terjadi tindakan diskriminasi dan muncul stigma negatif. Selain itu, kebijakan negara juga tidak berpihak dan berperspektif keadilan kepada mereka. Peringatan IDAHO kemudian digunakan sebagai momentum untuk memperjuangkan pengakuan, pemenuhan, dan perlindungan hak LGBT.

Memperingati IDAHO 2008, Arus Pelangi menggelar serangkaian acara bertajuk "The Unfinished Story" yang dimulai pada Senin (12/05) dan berakhir Sabtu (17/05). Pembukaan dilakukan di gedung Komnas HAM Jl. Latuharhary Menteng, Jakarta Pusat. Selama lima hari, Arus Pelangi akan menggelar pameran visual. Agar bisa dinikmati banyak kalangan, pameran diselenggarakan di tiga tempat, yaitu di Gedung Komnas HAM, Bom Beauty & Culture Centre, serta di Darmint Cafe.

Rabu (14/05) pukul 19.00-20.00 WIB, Arus Pelangi bekerjasama dengan jaringan radio internet Voice of Human Right (VHR) menggelar talkshow interaktif bertajuk "Orientasi Seksual, Perilaku Seks, dan Jenis Kelamin". Hadir sebagai narasumber adalah Agustine dari Ardhanary Institute dan Yuli Rustinawati dari Arus Pelangi.

Guna memberikan pemahaman kepada masyarakat, Arus Pelangi pada Kamis (15/05) mengadakan diskusi publik dengan tema "Orientasi Seksual dan Heteronormativitas". Narasumbernya adalah Agustine (Ardhanary Institute), Ms Rina (volunteer), Pendeta Ester (ketua PERWATI), serta Widodo Budidarmo (Arus Pelangi). Acara dilaksanakan di Darmint Cafe pada pukul 15.00 hingga 18.00 WIB. Dalam acara tersebut, Arus Pelangi juga akan melakukan peluncuran Data Kekerasan dan Diskriminasi LGBT. Rangkaian acara IDAHO Arus Pelangi akan diakhiri dengan Aksi Damai pada Sabtu (17/05) di Bundaran Hotel Indonesia Jakarta.


Perjuangan Mengubah Stigma

26 May 2008

Homoseksualitas masih menjadi kontroversi di masyarakat. Kaum homoseksual masih mendapat stigma sebagai pendosa, manusia tak bermoral, ataupun manusia yang dilaknat Tuhan. Mereka juga sering mendapat perlakuan diskriminatif. Padahal sebagai warga negara, mereka pun memiliki hak dan kewajiban yang sama dengan warga negara yang lain. Demikian antara lain yang berkembang dalam seminar yang diadakan PLU (People Like Us) Satu Hati, organisasi berbasis komunitas, bekerja sama dengan PKBI DIY.Kegiatan ini merupakan salah satu rangkaian dari peringatan International Day Againts Homophobia (IDAHO) bertema Homophobia: The Unfinished Story, yang dilaksanakan tanggal 15-17. Agenda lainnya, pameran lukisan dan foto, pemutaran film, diskusi publik, aksi damai, pentas musik waria, dan bakti sosial.

Menurut Aris Arief Mundayat, menjadi homoseksual merupakan sebuah pilihan, bukan kelainan. Dalam proses ini, sosok yang paling mengalami homophobia orangtua. Mereka merasa khawatir jika anaknya memilih untuk menjadi seorang homoseksual. "Mengapa? Karena hubungan homoseksual tidak akan dapat menghasilkan keturunan. Generasi penerus dari keluarga mereka akan terputus," katanya.

Kaum homoseksual, tambah Aris, antropolog dari UGM, mengalami kekerasan secara fisik dan simbolik. Kekerasan itu bisa berasal dari keluarga mereka sendiri dan lingkungan terdekat. Lantas, mereka lari dari keluarga dan mencari komunitas yang mau menerima keadaannya. Komunitas menjadi modal sosial untuk membangun kerjasama dan dukungan moral. Ruang yang dapat mengakomodasi perjuangan mereka antara lain media massa terutama media audio-visual. "Media ini pun diperebutkan oleh kaum homoseksual dan heteroseksual untuk menyuarakan kepentingan mereka," lanjutnya.

Sementara itu, Widodo Budidarmo, aktivis LSM Arus Pelangi mengatakan, saat ini sudah ada dua kesepakatan internasional mengenai orientasi seksual sebagai HAM, Montreal Principle dan Yogyakarta Principle. "Prinsip-prinsip Yogyakarta merupakan sekumpulan prinsip-prinsip Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM) yang dikaitkan dengan orientasi seksual dan identitas jender," katanya.

Prinsip-prinsip Yogyakarta ini dirumuskan oleh 29 pakar HAM dari 29 negara di Yogyakarta pada 6-9 November 2006 dan disosialisasikan oleh International Gay Lesbian Human Right Commission (IGLHRC) di New York , 26 Maret 2007. Menurut Widodo, sosialisasi ini untuk mendorong semangat negara-negara anggota PBB, sehingga akan mengadopsi prinsip-prinsip ini ke dalam hukum nasional mereka. "Acara IDAHO bukan sekadar ajang pamer, tetapi merupakan ruang bagi kaum homoseksual untuk mengekspresikan kemampuan mereka," lanjutnya.

Selama ini, teman-teman gay terstigma sebagai komunitas yang suka pesta dan seks bebas. Melalui serangkaian kegiatan IDAHO diharapkan bisa menjadi sebagian proses penghapusan stigma dengan menunjukkan berbagai aktivitas dan rtentu saja cara pandang terhadap berbagai persoalan sosial yang ada, yang salah satunya melalui bakti sosial. "Nantinya program bakti sosial ini akan menjadi agenda rutin tiap bulan dalam program kami," kata seorang panitia dan pengurus PLU Satu Hati di sela-sela acara.


Jacky: Naluriku Benar-benar Seorang Wanita

Sabtu, 17 Mei 2008 | 15:44 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS - "Aku memang laki-laki, tapi sejak kecil jiwaku adalah perempuan. Namun, aku tetap pakai sarung lho kalau shalat, aku tetap sadar kodratku adalah laki-laki di hadapan Tuhan," ujar Jacky atau yang lebih dikenal dengan Joyce (24) kepada, saat aksi damai International Day Againts Homophobia (IDAHO) di Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Sabtu (17/5).

Joyce mengaku, sejak kecil ketika teman-temannya bermain kelereng dan layang-layang, ia lebih memilih bermain boneka barbie. "Aku tidak tahu bagaimana semua ini terjadi, tapi naluriku benar-benar sebagai seorang wanita," ujarnya.
Laki-laki asal Makassar ini adalah anak ke-3 dari 7 bersaudara. Kakak perempuannya seorang lesbian, salah satu adik perempuannya adalah seorang biseksual, selain itu sepupunya juga seorang waria. "Orangtuaku marah besar ketika kakakku, aku, dan adikku mengaku ketidakwajaran ini, sampai sekarang pun beliau masih sering mengingatkanku untuk sadar dan hidup selayaknya seorang laki-laki," ujar Joyce.

"Secara casing aku laki-laki, tapi aku juga mencintai laki-laki. Aku tidak memungkiri bahwa seorang wanita itu sangat indah, tapi orientasi seksualku lebih dengan sesama jenisku," tambah Joyce yang mengaku sedang jomblo 2 tahun terakhir ini.

Mantan juara MTQ Porseni di Makassar tahun 1994 ini adalah seorang konsuler orang dengan HIV/AIDS di Makassar, selain itu ia juga aktif di organisasi Arus Pelangi yang mewadahi kaum homo dan lesbian di Jakarta.


Kaum Homo dan Lesbian Gelar Aksi Damai

Sabtu, 17 Mei 2008 | 11:26 WIB

JAKARTA, SABTU - Sekitar 50 orang yang tergabung dalam International Day Againts Homophobia melakukan aksi damai dengan membagikan bunga kepada sejumlah pengendara mobil di Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Sabtu (17/5).

Kaum homo dan lesbian ini menggunakan baju berwarna-warni dan meneriakkan, "Kami ingin diakui!", "Lesbo phobia!", "Transgender phobia!"

"Sekeras apa pun upaya untuk menghapuskan keberadaan kami, tapi kami akan tetap bernapas dan ada. Tidak lebih, tidak kurang, kami juga warga negara Indonesia," ujar koordinator aksi Agustin dari Arus Pelangi.

Agustin juga mengimbau kepada pemerintah untuk menghapuskan peraturan dan perundang-undangan yang cenderung diskriminatif terhadap kaum homo dan lesbian.

Lalu lintas di kawasan bundaran HI tetap lancar, namun sejumlah pengendara melambatkan laju kendaraan untuk sekadar melihat aksi damai para homo dan lesbian ini.