“Son, we’ve got to talk about your V-neck and chiseled physique. Frankly, your mom and I are scared and think you need rehabilitation.” Such words aren’t said from the heart of concern for good fashion sense, but are something likely to be said by Malaysian parents who have attended one of the ten recent seminars Malaysia’s Education Ministry has given to expose the warning signs of a child who might be gay. If these warning signs are caught early, the student could still be given some therapy to purge the tendency.
The dreaded signs of gaydom that Malaysia’s crack team of experts has determined include:
Having a muscular body and exposing it with V-necks or Sleeveless shirts
Wearing tight light-colored clothes
Using Big Purse-like Handbags
Being Attracted to Men
The last one, apparently, is a symptom most parents would overlook. For women, the warning signs have less to do with wardrobe:
Being attracted to women
Distancing themselves from all but a few female friends
Preferring to hang out, dine with, and sleep near women
Having no affection for men.
A seminar this week officiated by the Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi spearheaded the effort to preemptively out such “unnatural” tendencies.
“Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups,” said Puad to 1,500 teachers and parents. “This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during school time.”
Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia on the grounds that it opposes “The order of nature.” And as strange as that may seem to the rest of the America-influenced world, we ourselves felt that way not too long ago. Malaysia has a high Muslim population, and traditional Islam, like fundamentalism Christianity, regards homosexuality as a sin and a threat.
“The ministry views cases of social ills in the community very seriously and will always give guidance directly and indirectly to all schoolchildren to ensure they stay away from unhealthy activities,” said Malaysia’s ministry. They criticize the American Psychological Association’s declassification of homosexuality, which happened relatively recently, claiming that such a change lacked scientific grounding and was the result of caving in to interest groups.
Malaysia had previously garbled the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s hit “Born This Way,” on their airwaves, blotting the line “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby.”
Perhaps expecting the entire world to conform to the values that we ourselves just recently invented might be asking too much.