Talking Indonesia: sex and sexuality

In January 2016, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Muhammad Nasir triggered a nationwide social and political furore when he said that universities should not support organisations that promote lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) activities. Since then, Indonesia has seen a surge of intolerance and attacks on LGBT individuals and organisations. While persecution of gender and sexual minorities is not new, homosexuality is not illegal and in large parts of Indonesian society gender and sexual minorities have been accorded tolerance, and at times acceptance.

 

What does the strengthening of conservative voices in Indonesia mean for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression? Why do morality issues have such social currency? What part is this debate likely to have in the forthcoming elections? What does the future look like for the rights of gender and sexual minorities in Indonesia?

 

In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey talks to Dr Sharyn Graham Davies, from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, about her work on sex and sexuality and the conservative shift that has taken place in Indonesian politics and society in recent years. Sharyn is co-editor, with Linda Bennett, of the awarded “Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Diversity, Representations and Health” (2015).

 

In 2018, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University,  Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.

 

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.