Parents in Malaysia! Beware! If your son likes to wear V-neck shirts, it's because he's gay and wants to show off his body to other boys!
And your daughters, if they prefer the company of only some girls, but not all girls, look out - they're lesbian!
Yes, the Malaysian government is at it again. It's all over the news in Asia, but also getting attention with some Western press and bloggers.
I wrote about efforts in Malaysia to revive reparative therapy techniques to turn ladyboys into real men, so I won't recover all of that. But it seems the Malaysian government is really paranoid about having gays within the populace and is soliciting the help of parents and teachers in spotting this scourge so something can be done about it.
As I've said before, it would all be laughable if it weren't so freaking real. The seminars being hosted in Penang, which has been known to have a lively gay scene, are the fourth conducted in the country. Despite that lively scene in Penang, a friend of mine who lives there is absolutely scared to death to have anyone find out he is gay.
Buddhism is about refuge and I have found the Buddha's teachings to be excellent support for gay practitioners. Yes, there are Buddhist commentators and teachers who adopt homophobia as part of their doctrine, but that's their doctrine, not the Buddha's. When I launched this blog a little more than three years ago, I wrote about how our coming out process was a liberating experience very much like the liberating feeling we experience when we encounter the Dhamma.
I hope our family in Malaysia remains strong throughout this, regardless of their religious point of view. Some meditative sessions on loving kindness are probably in order. And the more musclely straight men who wear colorful V-necks and carry big satchels, the better.