Malaysian authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys whom they consider effeminate to a four-day camp where they will receive counseling on masculine behavior.Yup, nothing like religion to help you oppress your true feelings in a vain attempt to fit in and please your elders. Much better to end up in a loveless marriage, have children you don't want and resent everyone around you for forcing you into this corner.
The education director of a northeastern state in this Muslim-majority country says the measure is meant to help prevent the teens from potentially becoming gay or transvestites.
The boys, between 13 and 17-years-old, reported on Monday for what is officially being called a “self-development course” after their schoolteachers in Terengganu state identified them as students who displayed effeminate mannerisms, said Razali Daud, the state’s education director.
They will undergo religious and motivational classes and physical guidance, Razali said.
The camp is meant “to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return,” Razali said. “Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their studies and their future.”
Malaysia, as you will recall, is one of those countries where homophobia is enshrined in law. It's all good, though, as the kids in question will now learn how to conform and not question people in positions of power.
A campaigner for sexual rights, Pang Khee Teik, described the camp as outrageous and an example of homophobia.
"All the students will learn from these camps is that they are expected to behave a certain way," said Mr Pang, co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka. "And in order to avoid further ridicule, perhaps they will learn to pretend better. In the end, we are only teaching them how to be a hypocrite."