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IDAHOT Day: Please Don’t Discriminate Me


IDAHOT Day: Please Don’t Discriminate Me

Tomorrow, May, 17th, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, so I open this note with a passage by John Locke from his famous book The Second Treatise of Government in 1690:

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any supervisor power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule. The liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but that established, by consent, in the commonwealth, nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact, according to the trust put in it.”

This passage clearly states that human beings are not under the domination of other human beings. We are free and equal in nature.

In contrary, there are rules that restrict the social lifestyle of people that are seen as deviant and sinners. And gay, lesbian, and transgender people happens to belong under this category. Homosexuality is label as out of place when a “real” women and a “real” man is the perfect relations for procreation, especially in my country. It is undeniable that a gender belief system still exists in Indonesia. This dynamic creates tension between men, women and homosexual groups when forced to adopt this system. A stigmatized person does not have power or ability to fight the gender belief system because of the hierarchical relationships between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals. The homophobic social class manipulates the beliefs, perceptions, values and morals to meet their paradigm.

Now I live in France and there are many Indonesian gay people in here. I have asked many in a casual manner about their desire to return to Indonesia and from the bottom of their hearts they all said yes. They do not want to move to France in the first place as they prefer to live with their family in Indonesia. For them, surviving in a foreign country without social support from the family, a life, of course, is not ideal.

Sadly, the situation does not seem to allow them to return to Indonesia. The Islamic mass organization in Indonesia always depicts homosexuals as despicable and blasphemous peoples. Homosexuals did not choose to be born as a homosexuals. The situation is the same one with those who were born as a “woman” and “men”. Did they ask to their God, “Please make me as a woman”?

The presences of gay social movement is a marker that “we are here”. Social movement such as the resurgence of gay wrestling group all over the world. I would like to commend the efforts of Dédé Oetomo (Indonesian academician and LGBT activist) and Mami Yuli (Indonesian transgender) who have struggled to be a member of Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission. Although they have not succeed but they fought for all human rights especially for LGBT. Being a woman, men, gay, lesbian, and transgender, for me personally, there is no difference. It’s not about labels. It’s about respect and contributions to society.

To close this little note, 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, that happiness will never be able to walk without the freedom of the individual, and to get it, we cannot impose a single model.


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Dr. Wisnu Adihartono

Dr. Wisnu Adihartono received his Ph.D in sociology (gender studies, migration studies, family studies, and Southeast Asian studies) from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France. He wrote the articles for journals, the book reviews and the short articles for the website. He is the author of the book Migration et Soutien Familial. Le Cas des Gays Indonésiens à Paris (French version only). You can contact him at or


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