VALERIA GURROLA WRITES — Jang Yeong-jin has found love as a gay man nearly twenty-five years after his escape from North Korea. He first made international headlines in 2015 with A Mark of Red Honor’s release, his memoir about living as an openly gay defector in South Korea. In the…Full Article NORTH KOREA: SPECTER OF SEXUALITY
JAMES HANSON WRITES — Despite being an important industrial nation and beacon of democracy in Asia, Japan still does not recognize same-sex unions. Since 2019, 13 same-sex couples have filed ongoing lawsuits against Japanese city governments, including Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka. These cases triggered a wave of same-sex couples in…Full Article JAPAN: WILL SAME SEX UNIONS GAIN THEIR COUNTRY’S BLESSING?
ALEX DASHWOOD WRITES — Malaysia’s top court on February 25th ruled that a Syariah (Sharia) state law banning gay sex “against the order of nature” was unconstitutional. Its ruling exemplifies a step toward strengthening legal protections for the LGBT+ community in the Southeast Asian country. The case “arises from a…Full Article MALAYSIA: COURT RULES LAW BANNING GAY SEX UNCONSTITUTIONAL
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Beautiful beaches, divine seafood, welcoming people, a wide array of flavors-those are the words I would use to describe Indonesia, my birthplace. I take pride in having lived there most of my life, but at the same time, I grieve the lack of progress in certain…Full Article INDONESIA: WHY I LEFT THE COUNTRY WHERE I WAS BORN
LILLY WEBBER WRITES – The long-awaited Japan 2020 Olympics is finally in full swing— or it would be if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t forced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the event to 2021 (hopefully). The Olympics would have brought renowned athletes and thousands of tourists to the East…Full Article UNDER OLYMPIAN PRESSURE: LGBT RIGHTS IN JAPAN
PAULA MARKOW WRITES– Outfest Fusion, a film festival that showcases the LGBTQ community, ran from March 1 to 5 at the Chinese Theatre, offering an array of short films. One segment that caught my attention was a series of shorts about the LGBT community in India. The first short, Yaman,…Full Article LGBTQ: The Indian Films From Outfest You Need to See
Singapore lags behind many countries in its protection and support of the LGBTQ community. On September 10, 2018, 43-year-old Singaporean resident Johnson Ong filed to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalizes any sexual behavior between two consenting adult males. Ong’s petition has since received support from international…Full Article Singapore: Movement to Gain LGBTQ Rights
MICHAELA MERTZ WRITES – Ugly controversy erupted after the release of an article in a leading Malaysian Newspaper reporting on characteristics that explain how one might identify members of the LGBT community. Some of the characteristics included assumptions that lesbian women “tend to hug each other, hold hands, and belittle…Full Article MALAYSIA: ‘HOW TO SPOT A GAY’ CHECKLIST SPARKS UNDERSTANDABLE OUTRAGE
YANISA LELAPINYOKUL WRITES – Shawatida “First” Kuptawatin – internet star, noodle restaurant owner, and a transgender woman – is taking a stand against Thailand’s strict social class system. In a September 6 Facebook live video (2 million views and counting), First talks about dealing with rude customers at the restaurant…Full Article THAILAND: FIRST TO DISCUSS THE TABOO?
RYAN URBAN WRITES – Singapore has gained a great deal of success in the last 50 years as the world’s only fully functioning city-state. The only worry now is Lee Kuan Yew’s People’s Action Party has been a little too successful and is being damaged by its own success. Writers…Full Article SINGAPORE: The Pink and White Dot Clash
MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – A defaced billboard featuring a same-sex couple in the Philippines has the LGBTQ community in an uproar. Meanwhile, online supporters rush to save the ad with a hashtag and a bit of creativity. Filipino retail giant Bench released a new ad campaign entitled “Love All…Full Article PHILIPPINES: Isn’t It All the Same Love?