Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Guidelines For Gay And Lesbian "Symptoms"

laik012's picture

LGBTQ has always been a topic to be avoided and not discussed open publicly from where I'm from. Unfortunately, homophobia and just the idea of it scares many Malaysians away. This is because homosexuals engaging in sex are considered illegal in Malaysia and they continuously face discrimination from government policies such as a law that makes sodomy punishable by 20 years in prison. Just recently in the news, sixty-six Muslim schoolboys in Malaysia identified by teachers as effeminate have been sent to a special camp for counselling on masculine behaviour. As I read Blackburn’s Homophobia in Schools and What Literacy Can Do About It, I try to think of the reasons to promote how schools in Malaysia would be open to discuss about this topic. Could it be part of the core-curriculum of the national exam? If so, who would teach it? Perhaps the biggest obstacle for me is to convince parents. Just to demonstrate how the society views homosexual couples. In an article published in the news two years ago, the Malaysia's Education Ministry has "endorsed guidlines" to help parents identify gay and lesbian "symptoms" in their children. The following are the list of “symptoms” that were listed. From reading this statement alone, I am embarrassed and disgusted by my government’s actions. I can’t think of possible solutions to this especially since homosexuals are being punished legally in law. What would be the first step to tackle this subject and connect it to high school education?


Symptoms of gays:

            Likes having a fit body and likes to show off by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes;

            A preference for tight and bright-colored clothes;

            Attraction to men; and

            A preference for carrying big handbags, similar to those used by women

Symptoms of lesbians:

            Attraction to women;

            Besides their female companions, they tend to distance themselves from other women;

            A preference for going out, having meals etc. with women and a preference for sleeping in the company of women;

            Not attracted to men

Source: The Huffington Post