A strange guidebook was distributed to parents during a conference for teachers and parents held last Thursday in north-western Malaysia. The guidebook’s aim: to help parents figure out whether their children are gay.
According to the guidebook, to know if one’s son is gay, here’s what to look out for:
- A muscular body and a tendency to highlight his muscles through his choice of clothing, for example with V-neck or sleeveless shirts.
- A preference for tight-fighting and bright-coloured clothing.
- A tendency to carry large handbags, the type women might own.
Still according to the guidebook, a tendency to go out, have dinner with or sleep over at the home of other girls would indicate that one’s daughter is homosexual. It says that “once these symptoms appear, the child must be closely watched.”
The guidebook immediately provoked angry comments from many Malaysian Internet users, some of whom noted that about half the male population wears V-neck T-shirts. One @dannyshuster
ironically tweeted: “Uh oh better take a second look at my closet..."
The Education Minister stated
he had nothing to do with this guidebook, explaining that the conference it was distributed at was held by nonprofit organisations. In his statement, however, he added: “Nonetheless, the ministry views cases of social ills in the community seriously and will give guidance directly and indirectly to all schoolchildren to ensure they stay away from unhealthy activities.”