Gay YouTuber launches scathing attack on Indonesia’s underhanded attempt to outlaw homosexuality

Indonesia: Gay YouTuber scathingly attacks country's 'sexual deviant' bill

A gay YouTube star has hit back at a proposed law in Indonesia which would punish “sexual deviants” and outlaw homosexuality.

Last month, a leaked draft of the new “Family Resilience” law in Indonesia revealed plans to ban homosexuality, and to threaten “offenders” with losing custody of their children.

Under the proposed law, anyone “suffering” from “sexual deviations” would also be required to report themselves to rehab facilities for treatment.

It defines sexual deviations as “urges to achieve sexual satisfaction through unusual and unreasonable ways” and includes sadomasochism and homosexuality in this category, alongside incest.

Homosexuality is not currently illegal in most parts of Indonesia but being gay is widely considered to be a taboo. Indonesian law does not protect LGBT+ community against discrimination and hate crimes, which are common.

Acep Gates, whose real name is Acep Saepudin, is a gay Muslim and Indonesian YouTube star with almost 80,000 subscribers.

He began making videos two years ago about being gay and living with HIV to tackle stigma and misinformation about the LGBT+ community. Gates, 24, is now using his platform to fight the proposed Indonesian law.

He told Reuters: “Homosexuality is not sexual deviation. This law will cause more stigma, bullying and persecution against LGBT+ people.

“I’m worried that more LGBT+ people will be forced to undergo conversion therapy and depression will go up.”

So-called ‘conversion therapy’ can be extremely damaging to LGBT+ people, and there is no scientific evidence that sexuality or gender identity can be changed.

One study, published in 2019, found that “transgender people who are exposed to conversion efforts anytime in their lives have more than double the odds of attempting suicide compared with those who have never experienced efforts by professionals to convert their gender identity”.

However, further research has shown that when LGBT+ young people are accepted and their identities are embraced, their risk of attempting suicide significantly decreases.