Homosexuality in Indonesia: Banality, Prohibition and Migration (the Case of Indonesian Gays)

Wisnu Adihartono
April 2015


A State and a national identity are formed on the basis of mutually unifying thoughts and beliefs through the processes of social imagination and social representations. Through these two processes, people also have rights to determine which thoughts and beliefs are acceptable and which ones are not. Thus, issues relating to homosexuality cannot be avoided. Most Indonesians consider homosexuality as a set of abnormal acts and contrary to their religions. In Indonesia, homosexuals are denied access to power and have almost no access to pursue their rights. Consequently, in order to survive, Indonesian homosexuals usually must hide their orientations, or in extreme cases, they move to other, more tolerant countries. Through face-to-face interviews with several gay Indonesians who lived in Paris, the study on which this paper reports sought to establish the reasons for the participants' migration to Paris. It also sought to establish the motives for the choice of Paris as a city of destination. I particularly focus on gays (gay masculine and/or gay feminine). This research was entirely conducted with qualitative methods. Thus, in this paper, several short stories that have been collected from the participants are recounted and analysed.

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