A Long Journey to say “We Are Here”

Author: Wisnu ADIHARTONO

Indonesia, source: American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia

Indonesia, source: American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia

Democracy normally requires a government system that be able to accommodate all the aspirations of all peoples. Democracy should be able to avoid an arbitrary system, guaranteeing the fundamental rights of its citizens, providing vast opportunities for citizens to determine their own destiny and freedom. But what is happening if freedom itself is still disputed by certain ideologies? I am sure that violence and discrimination are obviously still occurs in everywhere, no exception for sexual communities, such as gays, lesbians, and trans-gender.

Gay and Muslim, source: www.sdgln.com

Gay and Muslim, source: www.sdgln.com

It is undeniable that a gender belief system exists in almost all countries. This dynamic creates a sharp sexual difference between men and women. Homosexual groups were forced to adopt this system because according to heterosexual’s thinking, the heteronormativity is a perfect norm to be implemented. A stigmatized person does not have any power and almost no access to fight. Stigma in this framework is the result of the expression of the hierarchical relationships between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals.

The heteronormativity categorized as a cultural hegemony that society is dominated by the rules of the social class that manipulates the beliefs, perceptions, values and morals. Charlotte Bunch said that it is obvious that heterosexuality upholds the home, housework, the family as both a personal and economic unit, as well as French feminist Monique Wittig declared that heterosexuality is (basically) a political regime. She explain that the category of sex is the product of a heterosexual society in which men appropriate for themselves the reproduction and production of women and also their physical persons by means of a contract called the marriage contract. Heterosexuality is not only distinguished but also considered to have a highest degree rather than a non-heterosexuality act. Plainly she said that sexuality that is good, normal, and natural should ideally be heterosexual, marital, monogamous, reproductive and non-commercial. It should be coupled, relational, within the same generation and occur at home. Bad sex may be homosexual unmarried, promiscuous, non-procreative, or commercial.

Muslims in Indonesia, source: University of Western Australia

Muslims in Indonesia, source: University of Western Australia

Some autocratic countries impose sanction to homosexual groups. But the case of Indonesia is unique. Indonesia does not have some detailed laws and sanctions to punish them. On the contrary, Indonesia is likely to have a “moral authority” to punish them as you already know that Indonesia is one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world. You have to realize that even though Indonesian population covered by the Muslims but Indonesia is not an Islamic country who use the Islamic law system as countries in Arabic regions. But as an Indonesian, I know and I realize that I am surrounded by the culture wrapped in religion aspects. So “culture + religion” and “culture = religion” become of the important dimension in Indonesian society. As it can be said, that Indonesia is not a secularist country. Every single aspect in life should be considered and adjusted with “culture and religion”.

Poster of the association Gay Islam Indonesia (GII)

Poster of the association Gay Islam Indonesia (GII)

Speaking about LGBT in Indonesia in conjunction with culture and religion, it is very obviously very strict. That’s why we can find some Indonesian LGBT NGO who are doing their promotions to reduce the discriminations. The result is that gay wrestling group identity emerges in order to achieve some changes. The presences of new social movements are in a process to have an identity that “we are here”. It will be a very long “journey” to fight for the freedom of expression for Indonesian LGBT but I am optimist that the system can little by little change in order to minimize the discriminations and giving them some rights in their daily live. It becomes interesting when French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau through his masterpiece, Social Contract, said that every man must be free of any unimpeded, although in the end there should be a social contract. But it must be understood, and agreed together to create security, freedom and equality of mankind to achieve sovereignty. And also interesting to understand the statement of John Stuart Mill in his masterpiece, De La Liberté, happiness will never be able to walk without the freedom of the individual, and to get it, we cannot impose a single model.

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of the Philopolitics. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the article lies entirely with the author.

Written by aleksandar

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