A man said moving away from Indonesia stopped him being labelled “gay”.
Zulfikar Fahd had a lucrative career working in public relations but felt oppressed due to the country’s persecution of the LGBT communication and decided to flee the Muslim-run country and found asylum in Canada.
It was here he found he was able to be himself and stopped being gay and lived like a “normal” person.
He told Gay Star News: “Indonesia is a civilization that’s going backwards. We used to be OK with transgender comedians on TV (some of them were very famous), now the government banned every LGBT-related show.
“Aceh became an Islamic province, practicing barbaric and primitive law, and no one dares speak up about it because the whole country is run by Muslim supremacists.
“By fleeing to Canada earlier this year, I decided to ‘stop’ being gay and start being a ‘normal’ person… who lives amongst those who give no second thought to sexual orientation.
“I decided to give up my family and friends whom I love dearly, and a bright promising career I’d built for years.
“I’d given up on my country too, simply because I didn’t want to give up on myself.”
Currently, it is illegal to be gay in Indonesia and is a criminal offence and recently the country announced they will no longer be undertaking public lashings but will still continue the punishment behind closed doors.
Now, Fahd has decided to share his story in a new book, which he plans to call So I Stopped Being Gay (A Story of Giving Up by a Queer Muslim Indonesian).
His book plans to share his own life story including the time he was taken to a psychiatrist by his mother and the numerous times his dad called him a “f****t”.
“The stories are very personal, yes, but they’re actually just a hook to the star of the book: the suffering of LGBTQI+ community in Indonesia,” he added.
“When talking about how my parents reacted to my queerness. I’d link the story to how most Indonesian parents culturally and religiously worship masculinity: and that affects poorly to ‘feminine’ boys like me.”
Any money made from the book will be donated to an underground LGBT+ organisation in the city.