Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why is Malaysia trying to spot gay schoolchildren?

So the Malaysian government has finally enlightened us all as to how to identify the gay child in your classroom. In an effort to "curb the problem of homosexuality", the Teacher's Foundation of Malaysia is holding seminars where parents are instructed on how to identify gay kids. Homosexual boys "may wear tight, light clothes and carry large handbags". Lesbians are apparently easy to spot, as they like to "hang out and sleep in the company of other girls". So, um, all girls then.
How can the Malaysian authorities be so stupid? All young gays know that large handbags are completely over. At International HQ, new recruits are instructed to be fashion forward. We had the baby Karl Lagerfeld look in the 80s, tiny combats and DM boots in the 90s, and the same decade's indie moment came when the Marilyn Manson look become popular (instead of just Marilyn). Now in 2012 we are going for the butch look. Clearly some baby gays are still into accessories but most gays will be wearing tracksuits and trying to look butch.
Of course, it is easy to scoff at Malaysia's frightening campaign (try looking for the gays like Gareth Thomas, you know, the ones who play rugby) but we in the UK are not in a position to take the moral high ground.
In the UK we seem unable to even countenance the idea that children may have some kind of burgeoning sexual orientation, and even worse, that a small number of them may be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Sssh, don't talk about it; you'll make them all start having sex!
I knew I was different from the other boys (yes, zzz) when I was four or five, and actually realised I was a bona fide homosexual at the age of 10. I wasn't worried about the size of my handbag or about having sex, I was too busy crying myself to sleep, trying to change, wondering if my parents would abandon me and whether I should get married to a woman or just kill myself.
I want to sneer at Malaysia for the mental torture they will be inflicting on kids (and their parents), but we all need to wake up to what therapist Dr Joe Kort calls the "covert cultural child abuse" that is being inflicted on all LGBT kids in every single classroom in every single school in the UK, the US and across the world.Read more.

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