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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gay in Malaysia & "108 Queer Questions"

In majority Muslim Malaysia, the conservative government is bent on maintaining what they call a "sacred and pure" society, and the closet holds a lot of power. But as Kuala Lumpur internet video journalist Zan Azlee found, the longing for liberation is becoming almost as powerful.

Abby Dees is a civil rights attorney and editor for St. Lynn’s Press who has been closely involved with the Los Angeles chapters of the Human Rights Campaign and the Trevor Project (gay teen suicide prevention), the National Center for Lesbian Rights and other activist work for 25 years. She is also the author of Queer Questions Straight Talk: 108 Frank, Provocative Questions It's Ok to Ask Your Lesbian, Gay or Bi Loved One. This Way Out’s Steve Pride had a few more questions for her to answer.

And in NewsWrap: Delaware governor expected to ring civil unions bells, GOP AWOL for pro-DOMA hearing, bi-national couples bill back in US Congress, partnerships dawn for couples in Liechtenstein and Ireland, and more news reported by Christopher Gaal and John Torres.

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Anonymous Zan Azlee said...


My name is Zan Azlee and I'm the videojournalist whose story, 'Being Gay and Muslim in Malaysia', you have highlighted in your radio programme.

Firstly, let me express my appreciation that you have decided to pick up on my story. There is nothing a journalist wants more than to have his story heard by a wider audience. I'm also happy that my piece can play a role in contributing towards creating a better awareness and understanding of the homosexual community.

However, I did notice that you edited out the soundbites of an important religious authority I interviewed. He is the Director-General of Malaysia's highest Islamic government organization (aka JAKIM). His views may be more conservative than the other interviewees, but I included it in the story because it is the government's official standpoint and I felt it was important to give both sides of the coin. I know that he wasn't speaking English, but I had included subtitles in the story and that could easily have been dubbed into English.

For those interested in viewing my story on 'Being Gay and Muslim in Malaysia' in its entirety, click here:

Thank you.

Zan Azlee

9:44 AM

Blogger This Way Out: Intl LGBT Radio said...

Thanks to Zan for posting his own URL for the complete feature. The government official's comments (and some other material from the original piece) were cut primarily because of time constraints ... and also because dubbing the subtitles turned out to be not as easy as it sounded!

2:41 PM


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