Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Today is our beloved country’s 48th birthday. Almost half a century is a very long time.

This was reported one week ago in the Star, under the headline Lukewarm response irks Kadir.
KUALA LUMPUR: With National Day just eight days away, the lack of patriotic spirit shown by Malaysians has made Information Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir a disappointed man.

Abdul Kadir noted that only 10% of motorists had the Jalur Gemilang on their vehicles while big companies were still hesitant to come forward to support the Merdeka celebrations.

“Many shops in the city are not flying the flag,” said Abdul Kadir, who is chairman of the Merdeka Month celebration committee.

What irks me is that many people, especially politicians, equate flag-flying with patriotism. Just as easily as society equate sissy men as gay.

In yesterday's the Star, a Concerned Citizen expressed his disappointment "to see the lack of patriotism, to the point where only 10% of motorists have the Jalur Gemilang on their vehicles" and it saddens him.

Flying the flag is symbolic. Superficial. What matters is the inside, the feeling of patriotism.

Someone can fly the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysia's flag), but still drive around like a nut endangering other Malaysians' lives. Or he could drive pass an accident site without stopping to help.

Someone can display the Malaysian flag in front of his house but still be unwilling to give up his seat when he sees a senior citizen in the bus. Or he could be spreading rumours and slander about his rival.

Isn't caring about the well-being of other Malaysians more meaningful and indeed a sign of patriotism?

Nevertheless, it is very difficult feel patriotic if the current generation has never experience the Japanese occupation, the communist threat, British rule, perils of war, etc.

This has its roots in history. Or rather, the teaching of it.

History lessons in secondary school were dry, with mere facts and dates. Very clinical, without much, if any, human dimensions. We learnt about the sequence of events which led to independence - how Tunku flew to Britain to negotiate the terms for the country’s independence and he declared independence by shouting "Merdeka!" three times.

Totally uninteresting. What more when it was, and still is, an exam subject.

But what about the man himself? Do we know anything about him? Who inspired him? What was his motivation to lead the country out of colonial rule?

From the Sunday Star, comments from the editor:
The frame was a gift from his (Tunku's) poker kaki. The first Prime Minister loved his poker and made no bones about it. He loved his horses too and would personally show up at the Penang Turf Club to place his bets.

Wouldn't it be great if we had learnt more about his life?

But I digress.

For those us who are born decades after independence, the significant event itself is difficult to fathom and appreciate. We were brought up in an era of development, with colour TVs, CDs, Playstation and computers.

We need something more meaningful to feel patriotic towards the country. Something that binds us all Malaysians together, something that can make us all proud to be Malaysians.

It is not the tallest building in the world or that the fact that we are a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.

Or even that Malaysia is "one of only 11 countries to design, produce and market cars from scratch" (Proton's current adverts in the print media).

Those may be things we can be proud of, but I believe they are not the essence of being Malaysian.

From Utusan Malaysia Online forum:
Pemuda kaum lain tidak minat konvoi kibar Jalur Gemilang
Saudara Pengarang,
MENJELANG beberapa hari lagi tanggal 31 Ogos akan menjeguk kembali. Seperti biasa aktiviti membawa bendera Jalur Gemilang dijalankan. Baru-baru saya terserempak dengan satu konvoi motosikal mengarak Jalur Gemilang. Apa yang perhatikan semua yang terlibat adalah pemuda Melayu. Seolah-olah pemuda kaum lain tidak wujud di bumi Malaysia ini. Dari sini dapat saya lihat betapa rapuhnya semangat kemerdekaan di hati mereka. Mungkin mereka sibuk mengumpul kekayaan di bumi bertuah ini. - ANAK MELAYU, Kajang, Selangor.

(Translation: Youths of other races not interested in flying the Jalur Gemilang. The subject title basically captures the gist of the letter)

What I am getting at is this – a Malaysian identity. What makes us Malaysians?

How can we call ourselves Malaysians when:
  • we still have race-based political parties?
  • every time we fill out a form, we have to put our race as either Malay, Chinese, Indian or Others?
  • words like “Malays” and “non-Malays” appeared so often in the papers? Not to mention “special privileges”, “social contract”, “bumiputra”, etc?
  • it’s OK and acceptable to have another race to live next door to you but it’s unthinkable to have them as sons or daughters-in-law?
  • some groups of breeders can have as many children as they like because they know the government would take care of them, whereas other groups have to watch their wallets all the time?
When one is made to feel like second class citizens by virtue of your skin colour, when one has to work extra hard to achieve the same things, it takes a very conscientious effort to truly feel patriotic.

Unlike our forefathers who were born elsewhere, the current generation are born right here – tanah tumpahnya darahku (land where my blood flows).

It as if the price of Malaysian citizenship costs millions and requires more than one generation to be fully paid.

I am not trying to be a sourpuss, merely to point out some important things under the veneer of how fortunate and blessed this country is with its various culinary dishes and peaceful multi-ethnic living.

With Malaysia’s golden anniversary in two years time, it seems like she has not grown up very much.

Still, Happy Merdeka to all!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A brief history of gay movements (Part V of V)

Final part of the series. I hope you have enjoyed reading all of them.

On April 25, 1993, nearly a million people attended the third March in Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. It was the largest demonstration in United States history to that time. The failures of the government to respond adequately to the AIDS crisis as well as the right of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to serve in the armed forces were especially prominent themes during the march.

On 30 April 2000, The Millennium March on Washington for Equality was called and directed by the Human Rights Campaign and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. Main events included a stadium concert, a wedding ceremony involving about 1,000 same-sex couples on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and a festival of gay-friendly vendors and entertainment.

On Dec 1, 1988, The first World AIDS Day was held by the World Health Organization in Switzerland. For one day - December 1st - each year, we are encouraged to remember those who have died from AIDS related illnesses and recommit ourselves to shared communication, education, and AIDS awareness

On December 1, 1989, loss prompted artists in New York to organize the first "Day without Art." On that day, museums and art galleries were closed; drawings and arts were covered with white cloths as a sign of mourning for the numerous artists succumbed to the ravages of AIDS.

On Oct 1, 1989, the world witness a monumental victory of gay movement when Denmark, the Land of the Midnight Sun, became the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex partnerships, essentially sanctioning gay marriages. The landmark decision were quickly adopted by the other Scandinavian countries.

On April 26, 2000, running in the forefront as a champion of human rights in spite of the conservative political climate in the country, Vermont becomes the first state in the USA to legally recognize civil unions between gay or lesbian couples. Though stopped short of referring to same-sex unions as marriage, which the state defines as heterosexual, the law states that these "couples would be entitled to the same benefits, privileges, and responsibilities as spouses".

Not contented with merely extending partnership rights to LGBT couples, on April 1, 2001, The Netherlands jumped to the forefront of human rights history when its lower house of parliament enacts the world's most comprehensive legal recognition of gay rights, making the Netherlands the first country in the whole world, to recognize full fledged gay marriage. The Dutch law allows same-sex couples to marry and gives them the same rights as heterosexuals when it comes to adopting children of Dutch origin.

Belgium legalised gay marriage 31 Jan 2003, becoming the second country in the world to recognize gay marriage. In the same year, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage.

In November 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that barring gays and lesbians from marrying violates the state constitution. The Massachusetts Chief Justice concluded that to "deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage" to gay couples was unconstitutional because it denied "the dignity and equality of all individuals" and made them "second-class citizens." Following that ruling, same-sex marriages become legal in Massachusetts on May 17 2004.

On Feb. 12, 2004 in San Francisco and on Feb. 21, 2004 in New Paltz, city official began to issue marriage certificates to same sex couples. With remarkable disregard towards human rights and mocking the spirit of liberty the country stood for, the officials in both cities were soon ordered by the court to stop the issuance of marriage certificates to same sex couple. Following that, the same-sex marriages in San Francisco were declared null and void by the California Supreme Court.

In comparison with the other countries which is moving forward and progressively towards enshrining LGBT rights in their constitutions, these decisions had reduced the USA as a hypocritical nation that practices not what it preaches. The USA had, with a court ruling, lost its role as a champion of liberty and human rights.

In a sharp contrast, Spain legalised gay marriage on 30 June 2005, becoming the third country in the world to offer full fledged gay marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. Moving one step further, on 8 August 2005, Spain's Justice Ministry ruled that the country's gay marriage law allows marriage to a foreigner regardless of whether that person's homeland recognizes the partnership.

In speaking to the parliament on the day same-sex marriage became law, Spanish Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said, "Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years have, been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied, and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty.

On June 28, 2005, The Canadian parliament passed a bill legalizing gay marriage throughout the country. On July 21, 2005, Marriage equality for same-sex couples became the law of the land. In his speech, Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin said, "The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences."

"We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality." ~ Zapatero.

And the spirit lives on ...

A brief history of gay movements (Part IV of V)

Here is Part Four for your reading pleasure. It is educational too, ya know? ;P


In 1969, The Stonewall riots transformed the gay right movement from one limited to a small number of activists into a widespread protest for equal rights and acceptance. Patrons of a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn, instead of submitting to the countless and relentless harassment from the police, fought back during a police raid on June 27, sparking three days of riots. The riot was subsequently known as the `Riot that sparked the Gay Revolution'.

Following Illinois in 1960 and Connecticut in 1969, there came a rush to decriminalize homosexual acts in all the other states in USA. The decriminalization of homosexual acts in England and Wales in 1967 also triggered similar responses in other countries in Europe.

The fight for gay rights continued in the form of peaceful rallies and intellectual debates for many years. In 1973, after intense lobbying by gay right activists, The American Psychiatric Association finally removes homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. And for the first time in history, homosexuality is no longer regarded as a disease to be treated, but a normal variant of human sexuality to be celebrated as well as to take pride in.

In the span of two decades, the USA had witnessed 4 gay marches that pressed for social change. The first, known as the 1979 March, marked the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall riots and came in the wake of the lenient jail sentence given to Dan White for the assassination of openly gay San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk. The First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 14, 1979 was an historic event that drew more than 100,000 people from across the United States and ten other countries. The first march succeeded in drawing attention to the civil rights of homosexuals and in 1982, Wisconsin becomes the first state in the U.S. to pass a gay civil rights law protecting the rights of her homosexual citizens.

The 1987 March, the second national March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was held on October 11, 1987. It attracted more than a half million people from all over the USA. Triggered by the AIDS epidemic in USA, many of the marchers were angry over the government's slow and inadequate response to the AIDS crisis.

The 1987 march succeeded in bringing national attention to the impact of AIDS on gay communities. In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, a tapestry of nearly two thousand fabric panels offered a powerful tribute to the lives of some of those who had been lost in the pandemic. It was the first display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each quilt represented a person died of AIDS. Each of them a memorial to a unique life filled with love and joy. Since then, the AIDS Memorial Quilts had been unfurled for public display in most major cities and many local chapters of the NAMES project had been formed all over the world.

The '87 march also spurred the dynamism of the AIDS movement, leading to the passage of Ryan White AIDS Care and the ADA (American Disability Act). The U.S. Congress passes the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act to provide help for people with AIDS who do not have health insurance or other resources. The ADA included AIDS as a disability and thus allowed people suffering from AIDS to claim for social support and compensation when they were no longer fit enough to work.

The date of the march, October 11, has been celebrated internationally ever since as National Coming Out Day to inspire members of the LGBTQ community to continue to show, as one of the common march slogans proclaimed, "We are everywhere."

Monday, August 29, 2005

A brief history of gay movements (Part III of V)

Another tiring weekend for me. I had a really tiring cardio and butt workout. Even injured myself a little. Details later.

As such, I need time to recover. In the meantime, this is Part III of the series.

In the US, The Society for Human Rights founded in 1924 in Chicago becomes America's earliest known gay rights organization.

After World War II, many homosexual army personnel who were decommissioned, stayed at the big cities and did not go back to their respective home towns. This created a sudden surge of gay populations in big cities such as San Francisco and New York. This brought about an increase in repression from the state. Homosexuals were purged from state bureaucracies, crackdowns occurred frequently on gay meeting places, and homosexuals were depicted as threats to the nation's security.

However, the increased repression triggered increased opposition.

Founded in 1951, The Mattachine Society became the first national gay rights organization in US. It was formed by Harry Hay and Chuck Rowland, and is considered by many to be the founder of the gay rights movement. 4 years later in 1956, The Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneering national lesbian organization, was founded by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.

In Europe, gay organizations were established first in Amsterdam, followed by Copenhagen, and subsequently in other major European countries.

Thus, homosexual activism was born...

In 1948, a prominent scientist and researcher, Alfred Kinsey, published his famous and controversial book, "Sexual Behavior of the Human Male". The Kinsey Scale of human sexuality tells us that a person may not be completely homosexual or heterosexual based on a 7-continuum scale. Kinsey's seven-point scale charted the gradations of orientation. This challenged the idea that any one point on the scale was `normal' and that homosexuality is pathological. Sexual variation was in fact, a fact of life.

In the 1950's, a new legal argument known as the privacy/morality argument emerged. In 1955, the American Law Institute, Moral Penal Code 1955, stated that consensual homosexual acts as matters of private morality should only concern spiritual authorities. This led to the first decriminalization of homosexual acts in Illinois in 1960.

A similar argument also began to hold footing in UK. Wolfenden Committee of UK 1957 stated that private morality should be outside legal control. This led to decriminalization of homosexual acts in England in 1967.

Though both important and landmark decisions, `Privacy' did not offer homosexuals equality, only limited space. Nonetheless, they cracked open the door in for subsequent breakthroughs in gay movements in the West.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A brief history of gay movements (Part II of V)

Boys and girls, more history lesson for the day. Enjoy!

It was only towards the end of the 19th century when the idea developed that there were `homosexuals', not simply homosexual acts. As Michael Foucault puts it" "Homosexuals was now a species" (The History of Sexuality).

Economic changes in the form of industrial revolution, had freed large numbers of individuals from dependence on family and village, and thus also from the dependence on traditional values and ideas. Homosexuals for once, were able to congregate in the big cities and see for themselves that there were people sharing the same sexual identity as them.

Karl Heinrich Ulrich (1825 – 1895), a pioneer gay rights activist, from Germany, came out in 1862 and wrote a statement of legal and moral support for a man arrested for homosexual offences. This was the first public "coming out" and the first recorded example of gay rights activism.

In 1869, Karl Maria Kertbeny, an Austrian-born Hungarian journalist, memoirist and human rights campaigner first coined the new term `Homosexuality" to mean the group of people who are attracted to members of their own sex and was made known after being adopted by both the medical and non-medical fields.

With the emergence of the identity of homosexuality, institutionalized homophobia quickly followed. There are three main factors that led to the prevalence of homophobia at that time. Firstly, new medical literature emerged with new authoritativeness – science at that time, had taken the liberty to describe omosexual orientation as pathological. Secondly, Individuals publicly identifying themselves as homosexuals in a proactive manner began to claim legitimacy for their identity and desires. Thirdly, new laws were formed in response to the change of social landscape in order to exert new measures of social control.

It first began in England. Influenced by the new Judo-Christian beliefs which is convinced that the only legitimate aim for sex is procreation, heterosexual and homosexual anal intercourse, or "Buggery" was made a crime by the English Parliament in 1534. Acts of "gross indecency", which also included any form of sexual contacts other than the penile-vaginal contact, were banned in England in 1885. In the late 20th century, attempts were made to standardize the English Common Law and the Continental Civil Law, and amendments were made. Sodomy, which was not considered a crime in the other countries in Europe before that, was finally made a crime after the amendments.

The feverish colonialism that swept the world during the 19th and 20th century also exerted a profound effect on the laws of the colonies all over the world. The export of the British Common Law to the British colonies worldwide had changed the face of local legislation completely, without being reflective of the local culture. In countries which were never colonized, e.g. Thailand, law remained free from the homophobic legislation from the United Kingdom.

The first Homosexual Rights Organization, called "The Scientific and Humanitarian Committee", was founded by Dr Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin in 1897. It promoted public education with pamphlets like `What the people should know about the Third Sex" in 1902, conducted polls, organized petitions, tried to secure visiting rights for jailed homosexuals and offered lesbians legal protection from violent husbands. It also delivered medical certificates for cross-dressing members to obtain transvestism permit from police and worked with the `Pedestrian Division' of the Berlin Police to combat blackmailers for homosexuals.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A brief history of gay movements (Part I of V)

The recent passing of the law in Spain and Canada, giving full legal rights and protection to gay marriage, both happening within the space of 3 days, had flooded the LGBT community in a wave of euphoria. With a stroke of a pen, LGBT communities in these two countries are now given the choice of whether or not, to tie the knot with their loved one, and if they do, to enjoy the full marital rights enjoyed previously only by heterosexual couples.

These landmark decisions in the two Western countries contrasted sharply with another recent heart-wrenching legal judgment in Iran, where two teenage homosexuals were condemned to death by hanging for an alleged crime of rape against another teenager. Not only that the nature of the crime is questionable and dubious, but the execution of two human lives still in their innocent teenage screams a gross transgression of human rights, and disregard for life.

Gay rights are essentially human rights as the LGBT community wanted nothing more than the same, basic human rights accorded to the heterosexual community. But law, as a product of human beings, can only evolve as the community and culture which the
law governs, evolve and progress.

It is a known fact that homosexuality was regarded as a pathology and that gay sex was a crime in the West till as late as the 1960's. And as we read about the evolution and changes that had occurred in the West, it also struck us that the community had indeed come a long way to reach where they are right now.

Homosexuality is really nothing new. In the 17th century, during the Tokugawa period (1600 – 1867), Japan has the best recorded tradition of male same-sex love in world history. There was widespread prevalence of homosexual relations among men of the samurai class as well as urbanites generally.

In China, the first recorded male love dates back to Zhou Dynasty, 500 BC involving the Duke Ling of Wei and his lover Mizi Xia. Since then, China has seen countless bisexual and homosexual rulers. For two centuries at the height of the Han, China was ruled by openly bisexual emperors. The names of their male favorites were recorded in the official histories by Sima Qian and Ban Gu.

In other cultures as well, notably that of the ancient Greek and Roman empires, homosexuality was not only widely practiced, but was regarded as a more esteemed and elevated form of human love. Besides that, there had also been records that homosexual practices were in fact part and parcel of cultures of various communities in Africa and Oceania.

Nonetheless, the IDENTIFICATION of homosexuality is something new in terms of human history. While there were obviously homosexual relations between men and women in the past, the homosexual identity was not an issue. People just functioned as they would as a member of the society and did what they felt they had to do.

To be continued in Part Two.


To all my fabulous bloggers and readers,

Thank you so much for all the wonderful words and concern shown to me for the past couple of days. I am now feeling much better already. You guys and gals are the greatest!

Even if I were not feeling better, I would have been after I came back from Frangipani yesterday night. Admittedly, it was my first time there and definitely won't be my last.

Though for personal reasons, my second visit won't be anytime soon.

I will probably write something about it soon.

Meanwhile, my previous post where I posted a letter from a Vermont mother seem to have elicited favourable response from you guys. You are welcome to post it in your blog if you want to.

I tried looking for the source or which site it was first published. A little Googling has shown that it actually appeared more than a year ago, in June 2004, in a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) of San Diego County's weekly alert.

Moving on. In one of the mailing groups I subscribed to, PLUPenang, someone posted on "A brief take on the history and evolution of gay movements: Its lessons and impact".

The author, CH, was one of my hiking mates to Mount Kinabalu, has spent quite a lot of time compiling the information. The result - a wonderful write-up on the subject which shows how much we, the gay community, have progressed and also how much still needs to be done.

There will be five parts in all and I shall post them under "A brief history of gay movements". Acknowledgement and credit goes to CH.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


It’s that time of the month again - I have been feeling kind of down the whole day.

Well, it doesn’t come monthly actually. It just comes and goes. When I least expect it.

That feeling of loneliness and sadness, with a tinge of envy towards my friends who seem to be better off.

Depressed as I wondered what I have I done in my life and where will it lead it to.

Feeling stuck in a rut without any way of getting out.

Not that I have a major obstacle or that I am in a quarter-of-a-century-life crisis.

In fact, I should feel relieved that an episode in my life has come to an end.

Basically, feeling unloved and unwanted.

Yup, I should really get a grip.

In the interest and spirit of feeling good, I shall not dwell on my dumpy mood.

Anyway, Jay posted something heartwarming a couple of days back. Goes to show that the there is still hope for the next generation.

On a similar note, I shall post something positive, which I found from Dua Sen, which he came across here.

*Vermont, in year 2000, was the first state in the U.S. to legally recognise civil unions of same-sex couples, with the same rights and benefits of straight marriages.
**Emphasis are my own

A Mother's Reflections

"Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from you good people. I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda" could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage. You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What ever happened to the idea of striving ... to be better human beings than we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?"


More interesting search words to my blog. These two are very recent, less than twenty four hours ago.

  1. kevin mcdaid gayporn star (Google)
  2. "mark feehily" leather (Yahoo)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This is a family-oriented site, not

I have wanted to post about this earlier, but Jay beat me to it.

Now, I present to you the top search keywords that lead to my blog.

gay hardons (Yahoo)
My blog is first out of 125,000 results.

When I used Google, there are 89,800 results, but mine was nowhere in the top 30.

Of course that would be the post about my friend’s experience in Fitness First.

Whoever it was, he came to my blog on the 15th, just a week ago.

I don’t mind actually about the first search word, but the second, I am a little concerned.

Oh well, who am I kidding? Of course I am honoured to be number one. It is considerably better than say, bestiliaty.

Though I hope that whoever it was, wasn’t looking for porn.

Maybe he was a teenager looking for answers to his emerging sexuality.

And is it any wonder that Google is the top search engine in the world? Yahoo doesn't seem to be doing a good job - leading enquiring young minds to my blog.

Not that I mind. It might even turn out to be a good thing for him.

Hmmm ... wonder whether he is cute or not.

Another interesting one is "bukit gasing sex picture".

Yahoo returns my site as eighth out of forty five.

On MSN, it is sixth out of forty three results.

I have nothing to say about this. It boggles my mind.

Other search words were "walk a hunt maju junction" (Yahoo) and "chilling waterfall" (Google). These are OK, as I did post about those things.

Why, even someone looking up for LPG-Adventurer came to my blog.

Which I am glad; at least all those links on my side bar are doing what they are supposed to. Not just pai leng (looking pretty and nothing else).

One search result which I found intriguing was for "confetti in the wind wingedman" (Google).

Obviously, Will's own site came out first, followed by asmadi's, then kitjar's and finally mine.

The first thing that came to my mind was "Someone must be stalking Will." Either that or he told someone to search for his blog.

I mean, the words are really specific, not random like "island of men" or "Tiffany pendant" or even "porn king".

In addition, someone searched for "wingedman" in Yahoo too.

Though I am not any safer myself, if there really is a stalker. There were two searches for "cynikeel" using Google.

Think I better start being careful about the things I post here.

Naked women and lesbian porn, anyone?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Everything under the sun and now, the sea

On Sunday, I woke up at 8 a.m. to catch the MPO Open Day performance at noon.

It’s not that it takes me two hours to choose want to wear and make sure that my shirt matches the colour of my eyes, but the ticket booths open at 10 a.m. and it is gonna be free.

Free – the word that makes normal Malaysians go wild and kiasu (Hokkien meaning "scared to lose out").

Or is it the word "sale" instead? LOL.

Anyway, what was supposed to be an MPO outing with AC turned out to be a group one. This was because they (the same people from the day before) decided that they wanted to go as well – they like to do something they haven’t done before.

AC and I reached KLCC a little after 10 and the queue was unbelievably long. My friends coming along turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they managed to get tickets for themselves and us.

However, they got circle seats (the expensive ones) leaving me with AC sitting at row K. Which I didn’t mind really. At least I have someone who can explain what instruments the people on stage were playing and other information about the MPO.

I know I shouldn’t be complaining, but I wanted the circle seats too! Hmmph.

A few movements, concertos and overtures from Mozart, Strauss, Beethoven, etc were performed, conducted by Datuk Ooi Chean See, who (if I am not mistaken) is the only female Malaysian conductor.

By the way, the new MPO season starts this Saturday.

It was my first time at the MPO and I admit that I was truly impressed with the hall and the performance. An absolutely wonderful introduction for me to the world of live classical music.

An hour later, I emerged from the hall feeling a bit light-headed. Most probably from the knock on the head yesterday. Or it could be hunger.

But the girl who is leaving next week wanted to check out the Aquaria (Singapore Sentosa Island’s Underwater World equivalent right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur).

The school holidays have just started and needless to say, the queue to the Aquaria was as long as ... er, I don’t know actually. We were coming from the car park and we could only see the end of the queue.

Yup, we couldn’t even see the head of the queue. The Aquaria guy told us that it’s a two-hour wait to get in.

Two hours? Forget it.

So we left the Aquaria.

Walking back to Suria KLCC, one of my friends, SZ was being friendly and chatted with AC. I am not sure what they talked about, but it was then that it struck me.

OMG. I forgot to tell AC that they know about my sexual orientation. Therefore it would be perfectly logical of them to think that I was on a date with AC.

Which means that they know he is gay too.

Which is not something he is comfortable with – being out to five other people at one go. And definitely not something he wants.

So I made him feel anxious again. Hmm ... I do have a tendency to do that to him, huh?

Another one of them asked me whether we are going out. And whether we are on the same channel (same wavelength).

Sigh. I was so not in the mood to explain. For crying out loud, it was just our second meet!

We split into two groups as they wanted to buy something, and suggested we go our own way as it would be boring.

So AC and I went to have lunch at the recently renovated Signatures foodcourt. And I was reminded why I loathe coming to KLCC on weekends.

It’s the people. Or more accurately, the number of people. The Chinese calls it yan san yan hoi (literally means mountain of people, sea of people. Figuratively, it means very crowded and people as far as the eye can see.)

I apologised over lunch about not telling him earlier about my friends knowing about my sexual orientation.

We talked about other stuff – the guys he liked before, the cute guys he likes to watch on screen, the guys he likes who are almost always straight, the guys who asked him awkward questions and er ... I don’t really remember what I talked about.

I usually put people to sleep at ease. And I could tell he was getting more comfortable with me, not taking into account his "accidentally being outed" incident.

After that, we caught up with the rest who were having drinks at Chocz. Everyone was tired from yesterday’s excursion (and maybe the classical music too?) and decided to call it a day.

Initially I wanted to go to PT Foundation’s Sunday Session and AC was interested to go too. It is from 3.30 till 6. But I had to leave at 5 for dinner and it wouldn’t be nice to just abandon him there, would it?

We then decided to go another time. He went to Sungai Wang and I walked around a bit more before leaving for home.

I was so tired that I went to bed at 10. Before my eyes closed, I wondered, "It’s back to work again tomorrow. Damn, where the heck did the weekend go?"

["Everything under the sun" is Suria KLCC's tagline.]

Monday, August 22, 2005

Up and down, round and round we go

I had a very busy weekend. Weekends are supposed to be rest days when I bum around at home and do what I like. But I was out for most of the day and I got even less sleep than usual.

I have a university friend who is going to the U.K next Monday. So on Saturday, she wanted to go to places which she has never been to before her departure, like a farewell tour of Malaysia.

And it is not like she isn’t coming back ever; it’s only for a year! A year passes by very quickly.

The original plan was to go to Red Box at the Curve. Half an hour before the designated time to meet there, the plan was shelved and instead Bukit Tinggi became our new destination.

Off we go to Bukit Tinggi then. There were seven of us and we travelled in two cars. I got minor car-sickness from all those winding roads and moving to a higher altitude.

So there we were in Bukit Tinggi. We left KL after lunch and arrived there at about two. Nothing has changed since the last time I was there two years ago. It’s still the same Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Garden, French Village, Rabbit Park, etc.

This is one of those places, where it is more than enough to visit only once in your lifetime.

I did enjoy myself, though it was boring. I brought my camera along so I was snap happy most of the time. The rest of them moved along without me as I was busy taking photos of flowers and bees and birds (it was only one actually, and a dead one at that). So they had to stop numerous times to wait for me to catch up.

This is embarassing really. I had a little "trip" over there. There were a pair of black swans and I was looking at the camera's LCD, ready to press the shutter when oops! I missed a step and fell. And I knocked my head on the wall.

I felt faint and I was seeing white spots. My friend commented that I looked really pale.

I needed to sit down. Ten minutes later, I was feeling better. Though I was still feeling dazed, I could still walk without making a bigger fool of myself, if it was possible.

It was unfortunate that our favourite doctor, Paul wasn't there. He could have given me a mouth-to-mouth, in case I really blacked out.

[Since I have mentioned it, let me apologise if there are more mistakes than usual in this post.]

After that we drove to Subang New Village for seafood. The fish and crab were fresh and we found the dishes to be more than satisfactory. And the price was reasonable too. The bill came to a little over two hundred ringgit.

We were exchanging stories and jokes waiting for the food to be served.

Three of my friends visited Perhentian Island (off the coast of Terengganu) for their vacation last month. Apparently the corals are not as beautiful as the last time he was there a couple of years ago. He wanted to do some diving but with nothing worthy and colourful to look at, he didn’t.

Nevertheless, the highlight of his trip (to me, not him, though I wasn't there) was the fact that there was a group of Singaporeans with them. Five guys and a girl. Disappointment for them but heaven for me (if I were there) as all of them are lifeguards. *drool*

*Must remember to ask him for pictures*

It might be the oldest trick in the book but I believe I can feign leg cramps and appear helpless in the water, convincingly.

One out of five of them is gay isn’t improbable either, not unlike the one-in-a-boyband-is-gay-and-usually-the-cutest phenomenon. Refer to the post below.

After dinner, we visited the Thien Hou Temple, near Midvalley. Yes, it was becoming more like a Cuti-Cuti Malaysia experience for me.

There was some sort of a gathering at the Chinese community hall. We proceeded to the temple and lit some joss sticks and asked for blessings.

We were there for over an hour witnessing the night skyline of Kuala Lumpur. And discussing where to go next.

Someone suggested the night safari in Zoo Negara. It sounded appealing, but we were doubtful of its fun factor.

After much pondering, we decided to go this place called Nanlie’s Place (or something like that) in Jalan Sentul. None of us has been there before, thus we spend more than hour looking for it and passing by the same buildings again and again.

That part was not very enjoyable, of course.

Nanlie's place is basically a mamak dressed up in colourful lights, huts with straw roofs, small palm trees, miniature waterfall ala an island. It was beachy, really. A little pretentious, but still, quite a cool setting.

They even played songs that makes you wanna get up and dance the Hula.

We left at one and I reached home half an hour later. We had to, as it would be another long day tomorrow.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Boyband member dates another

Too tired to post anything, so I'll just post this interesting bit of interesting news.

Westlife singer Mark Feehily has admitted that he is gay.

In an interview with The Sun today, the 25-year-old said: "I want people to know the truth about my sexuality. I am gay and I'm very proud of who I am. I'm not asking for any sympathy, or to be a role model to anyone else.

"I simply felt it was the right time for me to let people know the truth. I've never tried to hide who I am from anyone, but I'm a very private person and in the past I haven't felt the need to say anything about my sexuality. But I want people to know I'm very comfortable with who I am."

The star added that the rest of the chart-topping group were aware of his sexuality and had "been there for me when I needed to talk things through."

Feehily is currently dating 21-year-old Kevin McDaid, former singer with the boyband V.

Taken from and BBC.

Friday, August 19, 2005


There is absolutely no place in KLCC which is not crowded during lunch time. The plus side is that there are many cuties to look at.

Anyway, I was there to have lunch with AC, in Manhattan Fish Market.

And I bumped into someone unexpectedly, sitting at the next table. He is a friend who just came back from the UK and I met him for the first time during a BRATs (the Star’s young journalist program) camp more than five years ago.

He’s straight. Sigh.

And he used to be cuter. Double sigh.

I made some small talk with him while waiting for the food to be served. I tried to not talk too long, as I was meeting someone for the first time.

So I have to be on my best behaviour. Ahem.

A little background. I have been corresponding with AC for about three weeks now.

He is still a bit uncomfortable with meeting people and having conversation which revolves homosexuality. I can understand and respect that.

Unfortunately, his unease was further exacerbated by the fact that the next table was very near – about 8 inches away.

They can practically hear anything and everything we said if they wanted to, but as I have mentioned earlier, no one gives a damn. Everybody has their own lives and problems and issues to deal with.

Nevertheless, I could sense he was uncomfortable; I tried to be gender-neutral when referring to my ex-bf and other of my gay friends. Which made me feel a bit unnatural.

I tried to accommodate, but couldn’t. I have been comfortable about saying things as it is that it becomes weird for me to revert to speaking in cryptic messages.

As such, I hope I wasn’t being insensitive when I started spewing words like gay, porn, Ryan Carnes, cute guys, boyfriend, etc.

Come to think of it, without context, they are pretty innoucuous words.

Though I did glance at them to make sure they weren’t listening. And they weren’t. They have their own little conversation going on.

Besides, why would two elderly gentlemen be interested to know what two cute guys, sitting at a table meant for two, are talking about?

I suppose it’s time to answer the most important question: what is AC like?

Well, he has this clean-cut and somewhat boyish look. He is a little taller than I am and he doesn’t put on weight no matter how much he eats!

I know it’s apparent that I am envious of that last bit. Hmmph.

With an engineering background yet loves the non-sciences like philosophy, photography, arts, classical music, anthropology and plays the violin, he is so the artsy-fartsy type.

I don’t mean that in a bad way, of course.

I have a very technical background too, but the non-sciences fields which I like are economics, psychology, self-help ... That’s about it actually.

But then, I do share (or at least I think so) the philosophy and photography part. Classical music, erm, I am trying that out this Sunday.

Needless to say there is porn as the common factor too. *wink*

It was a good first meet. He seems really nice.

And I am not sure whether it was me making him uncomfortable or something else, but hopefully, it will go away the next time.

While we at the table, I accidentally stepped on his foot. And no, we weren’t playing footsie.

Time always seem to pass faster when you are enjoying yourself. I had to make a move to avoid being late back in the office.

Hmm ... I wonder what shall I wear on Sunday?

[I tried to be clever with the post title, but my initial is DL. AC/DL doesn't make any sense, does it?]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mini meme

Thanks to Will, I am tagged to do this meme, which I sooooo do not dig, OK?

This meme (rhymes with cream) took me more than hour. Anyway, here goes:

A lifetime:
is never enough. Yes, I am greedy. ;P

Seriously though, I do hope that when I am on my deathbed, I would be able to look back and say that it has been one hell of a ride and I can now get off contented and happy. Thankful for the people in my life and the memories.

By the way, I am usually not this morbid.

And I love how weeshiong put it. Actually, almost all of what he says apply to me too.

5 years ago:
I was in Upper Six. Stepped down from the prefectorial board and was preparing for the STPM (Malaysian equivalent of A-Levels, but more difficult). I don’t remember being stressed out; more likely that I was savouring the final three months of being in school. Beginning to frequent the library in Old Town.

Oh damn, it was that long ago already? I can still remember the sights and sounds, sitting in the classroom and sometimes staring out. And the boys ….. yum!

1 year ago:

Graduated last March and started work in my current organization in June last year. As I was new in the department, I went for training courses and was learning the ropes.

Wasn’t seeing anyone then.

When I came into the office, I was feeling chatty and thus tried to start some small talk. The only thing I could think about was Desperate Housewives. I watched both the Star World (Astro) and terrestrial channel (8TV) episodes.

8TV is ahead by an episode. Since my colleagues watch Star World, I couldn’t discuss what happened at the end of the episode shown on 8TV.

Desperately wanted to, but managed to control myself.

Oh, and it rained heavily when it was time to leave the office. Planned to post this tomorrow (Thursday) and get it over with.

I was supposed to go watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with a group of colleagues, but didn’t manage to reserve the tickets.

The 9.30 p.m. show in 1 Utama is fully booked by 8 a.m. yesterday. Who on Earth stayed up late to book tickets at the stroke of midnight?

Oh, and I will be meeting AC for lunch. *grins*

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. I don’t really like to snack.
2. Fine, snack bars like Uncle Toby’s.
3. Unhealthy ones – keropok (deep fried fish crackers), potato crisps (Pringles, Roller Coaster)
4. Cheese cake (a slice, not the whole thing)
5. Nuts (any kind - cashew, almond, peanuts, macadamia)

5 songs I know the words to:
I don’t really listen to radio or CDs. I am more of a movies person. So can I change this to 5 movies I love?

Can or not? Oh well.
1. Negaraku (Malaysian national anthem)
2. Happy Birthday
3. My school song and school rally (the same one that all La Sallians know)
4. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic theme song) – I am ashamed to admit knowing the lyrics of this sappy song. I was 18 when the movie came out.
5. That’s it. Unless you want to include those kiddie songs like Old McDonald, Twinkle Twinkle, etc

I know this list looks suspiciously like Jay’s, but I can’t help it. I listen to songs, but I don’t remember the lyrics.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
Even if it is RM 100,000,000, it is more than I could spend in my lifetime.
1. Be the proud owner of a Troika, or two
2. Get a BMW 3-series for my brother, dad and myself
3. Put 20 million aside, in case of emergency
4. Got this from weeshiong – charity. I believe kids should have enough food to eat and never have to worry where their next meal will come from
5. Finally, quit my job

5 locations I'd like to run away to:

1. Toronto or any other city in Canada. It is near the U.S. but not in the U.S.
2. Singapore, where the grass is greener and the guys cuter
3. London (Jay honey, can I bunk at your place?)
4. The biggest library on Earth, with all the latest titles available
5. Will's wonderful island of MeNmEnMeNmEn

5 bad habits I have:

1. I am vague (it takes some time for people to get my point. Someone once told me that it’s a Piscean trait.)
2. I am lazy (my bedroom is beginning to look like a mess – time for another round of spring cleaning.)
3. I am a procrastinator (working on it, damnit!)
4. I am particular about food (not same as choosy. I just can’t have the same food two days in a row or going to a same restaurant more than once a month.)
5. I am indecisive, sometimes (I am improving on this.)

5 things I like doing:
1. Reading a good book on my bed
2. Meeting people over tea or coffee
3. Going to the movies
4. Blogging, or rather, writing
5. Taking pictures (it may not be that evident, but I do)

5 things I would never wear:

1. Really tight T-shirts and pants, unless I have a body like Ryan Carnes
2. Anything too shiny
3. Sarung – it’s just too airy, and perhaps because I have a niggling fear that it will fall off anytime, easily (though it does facilitate undressing time ;P)
4. Real fur
5. A bra (unless I drag, which I really don’t think so.)

5 TV shows that I like:
1. CSI (the Las Vegas one, not the other two spin-offs)
2. The X-Files
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Plus the other Star Trek franchise after that (Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise)
4. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
5. Desperate Housewives

5 famous people I'd like to meet:
1. God
2. Nelson Mandela
3. Spot & snowdrop
4. Bush – to verify that he is really just a cowboy wearing a suit
5. My future hunky, intelligent and funny boyfriend

5 biggest joys at the moment:
1. To have passed my May exam
2. Wonderful people at work
3. Came out to mom in June; hence lesser need to tell her stories of imaginary friends
4. The circle of gay friends that I have – from those whom I have known for the past three years to my newfound hiking group members
5. Loving myself and just being me

5 favourite toys:
1. This lovely blog of mine
2. My digital camera – a black Panasonic FZ-5
3. My mobile phone
4. My CD burner – hopefully it will be a DVD burner soon
5. Mr Right Hand's partner-in-crime (and I don't mean the left hand)

Finally, I am done. I think everyone has been tagged, so this meme tag ends here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Island

With my exam over last Wednesday, it’s time to have a life again.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any good movies lately.

Bewitched didn’t sound promising according to early reviews. My colleague who watched it confirmed that. Not to mention that Will Ferrell ain’t that cute either.

Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt is a Spanish production. Didn’t look too exciting from the trailer. Not to mention that werewolves are so passé.

The best of the lot was The Island, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.
Before I watched the movie, I thought it would be another mindless action flick. It was directed by Michael Bay, after all, of Armageddon and Pearl Harbor fame.

Well, it is an action flick, but not completely mindless.

In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey’s titular character lives in a world fully controlled by Christof. Truman was adopted by a corporation and raised in front of video cameras and shown live to the world. Everything was scripted – his job, wife, childhood, fear of water, etc. He was a real person living in a fake world.

In The Matrix, Neo lives in a virtual world. Everything in the matrix is not real and people will only realize that if they took the red pill. Real people in a virtual world.

In The Island, McGregor’s and Johansson’s characters live in a make-believe world too. The twist is they are not real people.

Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) have lived in this facility where they have to maintain a very strict daily schedule of exercising (kickboxing, swimming, running) and diet. They were told that the outside world has been contaminated and they are the remaining survivors.

They are humankind’s last hope.

Living in a boring and sterile environment, where everybody dresses in white (including the shoes) and they have tofu every Tuesday , the only motivation for living is this - a weekly lottery to pick one person to go to this almost-mythical island, called well, the Island. The Island is like heaven, as it is touted as the only place left on Earth, which is untainted and contamination-free.

In short, they lead very rigid and disciplined lives. The opposite sexes can't even be close to each other, under their close proximity law.

Hmmm ... doesn't that sound surprisingly familiar?

Warning, spoilers ahead.

What they do not know is that everyone in the facility are clones of the super-rich clients of the Merrick Corporation. The clones are insurance policies for the wealthy who wants to live longer, who have chronic liver disease or other organ-ravaged disease, who want to maintain youthful skin at 60, who are in a coma, etc.

As clones are exact copies of the original, all these (cure, longer lives, youthful looks) are possible.

Nevertheless, Merrick is breaking a lot of laws and lying to their customers, as the corporation promised them that the clones are always in a vegetative state and never gains consciousness, thus they are just "products", not human beings.

However, after repeated failure and trials, Merrick found out that if they are left in an unconscious state, the clones die. Apparently, the clones need experience and interaction; basically to be "alive" to continue to live.

Also, the clones do not begin life as babies. They come out from their liquid pods as adults. Their memory of their childhood are all the same - they had a bike which they rode to their grandmother's house - and twelve other variations of it.

Steve Buscemi played the loud and cynical character of McCord, who told them the truth. "Jeez, why do I always have to be the one to tell the kids there is no Santa Claus?" He definitely had the best lines in the movie, but unfortunately he was killed half way into the movie.

This two and a quarter hour movie raised a lot of questions about cloning and its consequences, but ultimately, it is the age-old question of what makes us human?

Merrick said, "They are not humans; they don’t have souls!"

I will leave that for another post.

End of spoilers.

Action movies usually have big budgets and in this movie, we know where the USD 120 million have gone into. Helmed by Michael Bay, he did not disappoint at all in the action department.

The car chase scene was fast-paced and exciting, with steel rollers being pushed off a truck and then crushing the cars and MPVs which were chasing the protagonists. There were ski-jet like vehicles which could fly, similar to hovercrafts.

The film was set a few decades in the future and the future sure looks good here. Technological-wise. In Los Angeles, the city has cable cars as part of public transportation. The train that brought Lincoln and Jordan to LA too were magnetically levitated (maglev) ones, though super bikes and fast petrol-powered sports cars still exist.

There were a few violent and gory scenes, which provoked a sense of cannot-stand-the-sight-of-blood kinda nausea. One was when hooks were latched onto the back of someone’s legs (that got a squirm from me). Another was when the bad guys’s hand was pinned into the door using a nail-gun (shudder!).

I like movies which raise questions and get the audience to think. Although in this case, the important questions are asked but never got answered, as it is after all an action movie.

When I left the cinema, I was impressed with the writer of the story, whom I later found out is one Caspian Tredwell-Owen. And the movie’s release was timely too, as the U.S. Senate is going to vote on stem cell research this fall.

However, Google results show that "The Island" is a clone of an earlier 1979 cult classic called "The Clonus Horror".

Oh, the irony. A movie about clones, is itself a clone of another movie.

My ratings (out of 5):
Plot: 3.50
Action: 4.00
Satisfaction: 3.75
Overall: 3.75

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

QAF pilot at PT Foundation's Sunday session

The title post is a mouthful.

Anyway, as I promoted PT Foundation's Sunday Session a couple of weeks back, it would be hypocritical if I didn't attend it myself.

So there I was, on a hazy Sunday afternoon, sitting amongst fifteen other people. Most of them are regulars; there a few not-so-regular who attend once a month, to coincide with the full moon. Or that other thing.

After a brief round of introductions, they screened the very first episode of Queer As Folk, the U.S. version. There were three Caucasians; two of them were an Australian couple visiting Kuala Lumpur. The rest were Malaysians.

More than half of us have watched the pilot episode; some have even watched till Season Four. Needless to say, we were all there for something other than just enjoying the introduction to QAF, which was to have a discussion through experiential learning.

All of us were assigned a character from the series; Brian, Michael, Emmett, Ted or Justin. Before the pilot was shown, we were asked whether we identified with the character assigned. If yes, how. Likewise if that person does not relate to the character.

I was tagged as Michael. I said, "Michael is sweet and so am I. He also has a supportive mother and so do I, somewhat."

After the show was over, the session began with a reenactment of the Justin’s first time. Philip was a sport as he agreed to act out Brian’s role. Another good sport was Russell who played Justin.

Philip really got into character when he took off his shirt and unbuckled his pants. He started with, "So what do you like to do?"

Russell/Justin: Oh, I like to play computer games, hang out with ...

Philip/Brian : In bed.

Well, I shall not bore with you with the details. I believe many of my knowlegable readers are familiar with the series.

Though I did notice a lot of groping on Russell’s you-know-where to get him excited. He was so excited that he couldn’t even read his lines properly, even though he was holding the script.

Anyway, we started a discussion going after that. We asked about our first time and was it like we just saw. Most of us did not pick up a stranger at a bar. There was one person who experienced something similar, but I think he said it was in the U.K and he was even younger than Justin then.

Following that, we talked about being bottom or top or versatile. In the series, Justin’s first time was being the one penetrated and Brian didn’t give him much of a choice. How was he to know that he is a bottom (later in the series, he turns out to be versatile) as he has virtually no experience about it? Heck, he didn’t even know about a lot of things – rimming, leather, etc.

The conversation then steered into chat rooms and how the position one prefers is asked or told very early in a chat. After age, stats and location, very often the next question or statement is top, bottom or versatile. Of course, it is always good to clear this up soon as to avoid sexual incompatibility.

From my experience, I know of a couple of people who have never had sex but they knew somehow that they were bottoms. For them, they choose to only date non-bottoms.

However, there were a few who felt differently though. Some believed that one should try it both ways before deciding on what one prefers. Robert mentioned that he knew someone who was always a top and after he tried bottoming, he was converted.

“One is never truly gay if he has not been penetrated at least once.” Someone said this or something to that effect during the course of the discussion.

In the sex scene, Justin mentioned about safe sex being taught in school and then Brian opened a condom with his teeth. Clearly, we realised that this was to get the message of safe sex across. In addition to the importance of reminding the other party to put one on (he may be on drugs like Brian was or inebriated).

It was back to first-time sexual experience again. Whether we knew what to do and what goes in where and where all the appendages are supposed to be.

For many of us in the room, and some others (you know who you are) who have a happy relationship with the Internet, broadband and CD/DVD burner, those questions have been forever answered.

Not soon after, I had to leave. I think they were there for another half an hour.

I did not attend last Sunday’s session as I was caught in the rain and thus stuck in Times Square.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Time to hold hands

In the Star on Saturday, there was a headline which read “No hugging, we’re Muslims”.

"This is not a question of young or old people hugging. This is about religion. It is forbidden in the religion," Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stressed.

With such reality shows (e.g. Akademi Fantasia) attracting large audiences, he said the programmes should instead be helping spread moral values.

"Hugging scenes are not suitable. They must sing decent songs, and must act decently," he said.

Wow, when the Deputy Prime Minister says this at the Annual General Meeting at the Langkawi Exhibition and Exposition Centre, it must be something serious.

Let me digress a little. As of today, the haze has cleared up in the Klang Valley. In fact, the haze has moved northwards since Friday.

So it couldn't have been the haze, could it?

His statement got me wondering. Don’t men in the Middle East hug and kiss a lot? Are they not Muslims?

Yeah, yeah. I know he meant hugging between opposite sexes.

But with the disappointment and heartbreak of having to leave a reality show because of a horrible dress sense or being too much of a drama queen or having talent slightly better than a seal, I am certain a hug is a sign of farewell and thank you for the camaraderie that they shared.

Hugs to the winner are more for reasons, like, oh I don’t know, from getting the satisfaction of having hugged an unknown-kampung-boy-but-now-a-
famous-person and telling someone ten years down the road (See this picture? That was me! What do you mean I had a fake smile on?) to sharing the joy of victory.

It is indeed a mystery to me that our beloved deputy PM can read such a simple gesture into something sexual.

Oh well.

Coincidentally, something similar was being discussed in the PLUPenang mailing list and it was about holding hands. Specifically, a man holding another man’s hands in public.

It started when someone mentioned that the male foreign workers in Malaysia like those from Indonesia and Bangladesh hold hands.

Unless the two governments had a secret database of their gay population and intentionally send them to work in Malaysia to get rid of them.

This is because they are not gay. They are just friends.

Personally, I have not noticed this before. Until yesterday when I was in the bus and I was near to Central Market.

Of course, I know there are cultural differences from my friends who have been abroad. Things like a nod may mean no in a certain country and a thumbs-up may be a vulgar sign.

I didn’t expect that holding hands differ across cultures too.

Probably it’s all the Western influence that I am exposed to, whereby it means a romantic relationship between the two people.

Even though ladies hold hands all the time but they are never labeled lesbians (at least in Malaysia), other countries hold different views.

As a third Boston High School student was arraigned in the assault of a Moroccan girl by classmates who thought she was gay, a relative of the alleged victim yesterday said the child was terrified about returning to school alone... The girl told police last week that she had been attacked while riding an MBTA train by six teenagers who believed she was a lesbian because she followed a custom common in her homeland: holding hands with another girl.

— Francie Latour, Boston Globe, February 2, 2000

From my research, there are some African cultures who practise hand holding as a sign of friendship, irregardless of sex. I found an article titled "Time to hold hands", where the author recounted his experience in Africa, when he was held on the hand by a local. He wrote:

As we walked along the untarred road towards the house under the blazing African sun with various people, mainly young, watching us, Zola took hold of my hand. So here I am walking around Soweto hand in hand with a handsome African man of roughly my own age. Imagine it!

I was confused. Growing up in blue collar South London in England my experience of twenty-somethings holding hands was about ‘boyfriends and girlfriends.’ People of the same sex did not hold hands (although rumor had it that some did in private). So was Zola making a pass at me?

Reason was right. The answer was ‘no’. Holding my hand did not mean ‘I fancy you, what about it?’ As I learned to be around African people I saw that traditional African culture is ‘homo-social’.

People tend to make friends and socialize with their own gender. Women and men traditionally eat separately, not together. Expressions of affection in public would not usually occur between women and men of the same age although this is breaking down under the pervasive influence of American popular TV. But hand-holding and embracing by women with women, men with men, is usual.

Zola holding my hand was both saying to me ‘I want to be your friend’ and also (and this was very important in the context) a statement to all the other people who saw us, who were Africans, that I was an OK person to have a round. ‘Pity he’s white but he’s on our side.’

In addition, this practise is pretty common in India too.

One of the PLUPenang members posted this:
Go to Korea. Sometimes you will see two well-dressed Korean men holding hands walking on the street after having a drink but these men will be too shy to hold their wives' hand in the public! It’s just the way how intimacy is expressed in the society.

If only this was allowed here, which is absolutely impossible. Unless it starts raining hail in tropical Malaysia. Oh wait, it actually did rained hail last week.

Still, the list of things that the moral authorities frown on keeps getting longer.

It would be great if I could hold my boyfriend’s hands and still be able to go home safely and wake up the next day on my bed, not in a 4 by 4 feet cell.

I can dream, can't I?

[I chose Time to hold hands as the title post because it is the opinion of a very logical priest. Please do read the full article. It's not that long.]

Thursday, August 11, 2005

If I do come out straight Part II

This was what I posted almost two months back, on 13th June.

Basically it was about a 16 year-old boy, Zach, being sent to a Christian fundamentalist camp after he came out to his parents. The camp was called Refuge, which is associated with Love in Action, which in turn is supported by Exodus International.

Exodus is an organization that describes itself as "a worldwide interdenominational, Christian organization called to encourage, strengthen, unify and equip Christians to minister the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ to those affected by homosexuality."

Among the Refuge program’s rules, which was posted on the May 30 entry on Zach's blog under a heading called Hygiene, it says,
All clients must maintain appropriate hygiene, including daily showering, use of deodorant, and brushing teeth twice daily.

Men: Men must remove all facial hair seven days weekly, and sideburns must not fall below the top of the ear (the top of the ear is defined as where the ear meets the face below the temple). Clean business-like haircuts must be worn at all times. Hair must be long enough to be pinched between two fingers.

Women: Women must shave legs and underarms at least twice weekly.

All: Only natural hair color is allowed. Hair that is colored, highlighted or streaked, must be dyed back to its original color, or the color must be cut out before entrance into the Refuge program."

Now, back to Zach. His plea for help in early June, before going for the program:
If I do come out straight I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it wont matter.. I'll be back in therapy again. This is not good--"

"They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they 'raised me wrong.' I'm a big screw up to them, who isn't on the path God wants me to be on. So I'm sitting here in tears, [joining] the rest of those kids who complain about their parents on blogs — and I can't help it.

Immediately before entering the program, Zach wrote, "I've been through #### I've been emotionally torn apart for three days" and "Honestly how could you support a program like this? If I do come out straight I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it won't matter." [Taken from here]

You can’t find these posts at his blog anymore. They have all been deleted.

According to the same report:
Zach's fears were well-founded. According to the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Psychiatric Association (APA), "reparative therapy" does not work. But the dangers of these programs are real. At a minimum, those in "reparative therapy" must cope with the emotional damage of being relentlessly badgered with fear tactics and being told to change who they are. At worse they are at risk for self-destructive behavior including suicide.

Due to his postings, he has received a lot of support from the media and gay activist groups. Even the Tennessee Department of Children's Services began an investigation into Love In Action "which advertises homosexual conversion therapy for adolescents".

What was supposed to be a 2-week program turned out to be almost two months. He just completed his time at the camp and his most recent post dated 1st August reads:
Currently I feel annoyed towards a lot of things. Love In Action has been misrepresented and what I have posted in my blogs has been taken out of perspective and context.

I don't take back the things I've said, nor am I going to pretend like it never happened. It did. I refuse to deal with people who are only focused on their one-sided (biased) agendas. It isn't fair to anyone. I'm very frustrated with the things going on in my life now, but everyone has their issues. Homosexuality is still a factor in my life--- it's not who I am, it never has been. Those of you who really know me, know that homosexuality was always there but it didn't run my life, and it will not now.

Clearly, some believed that Zach has been brainwashed.

From this report:
Wayne Besen, a gay author who studies the ex-gay movement and has followed Stark’s plight, said he is certain that some type of coercion was exerted on the teen, given the wording of his latest blog.

"It’s disconcerting because the boy who blogged before entering the program has a different voice," said Besen, author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth."

"The boy who blogged after the program is no longer a free-spirited young man,” he said.

Besen points to several words in the latest blog as proof of intimidation.
"[Zach] now uses right-wing buzz words like ‘agendas’ and how homosexuality is a 'factor' in his life," he said.

There is a picture of Zach at the site. He is cute.

But I digress.

I put the last two sentences in bold. It kind of reminded me of another person’s woes.

Personally, though sexuality is not the most important of a person, it is still an essential part of one’s life. Especially when one is searching for answers about it.

Furthermore, when one is not comfortable with one’s sexuality, I doubt he can say that “it doesn’t run my life”. If he is not at peace with his own feelings and desires, how can he lead his everyday life?

It would definitely spill over into other areas of life. There would be a constant tug of confusion and uncertainty. Inner turmoil and stress.

Like a drop of ink in a jar of milk; a small drop would cause the whole thing of it to be affected. To return to its original state of pure white, that one drop has to be removed.

To Zach, I know he has gone through so much in the past two months and I can only imagine what that was like. He needs time to think things through. To decide what his next course of action will be.

Though being sixteen and still a minor, a lot of things will still be within his parents’ control and influence.

No matter what, he still has a say in his life. No one can live his life but him. I hope that he stays strong when things are going tough and he will stay true to himself.

Life is not a bed of roses, but it can be if you remove the thorns. You just have to work at it.

Hazy dayz update

Taken from here, news report as at noon today.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia declared a state of emergency Thursday as the air pollution index soared to extremely hazardous levels on the west coast, which has been worst-hit by smoke from fires in Sumatra, an official said.

"We are now in a state of emergency," a National Security Council official told AFP after the environment department said the air pollution index had reached 529 in Port Klang and 531 in Kuala Selangor.

The government said Wednesday that levels above 500 would trigger a state of emergency.

"As the source of haze is in Sumatra, Malaysians are powerless to do anything to fight this threat to their and our children's health and safety unless Indonesia is serious about taking action," said DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.

Lim said that recent apologies from Indonesian leaders were meaningless unless they were followed up by concrete action to douse the fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and prevent them from recurring.

"Malaysians want an explanation why the Indonesian government cannot stop the haze from becoming a tragic annual event," he said.

But Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar indicated Malaysia would take a softly-softly approach, in order not to damage the fragile relationship with its neighbour.

"We cannot. In the interests of neighbourly relations, we must sit down and discuss and consult. This is the common interest," he said, adding that crisis talks between ministers from both sides would begin in Jakarta Friday.

"We have no other alternative, we cannot go into an open conflict, that will not be good for the region. That will not be good in terms of our relationship. So that is not the way that Malaysia will adopt," he said at a press conference.

Meteorology Department senior forecaster Kamil Ibrahim said the conditions were expected to persist for the next few days, but that there could be a brief respite next week as the winds coming from Sumatra shifted.

However, Indonesian officials warned that the blazes, caused by illegally using fire to clear land on Sumatra island and Kalimantan, would worsen in coming weeks.

"We're just wondering what's happening in terms of government to government arrangements," said 37-year-old businessman David Shan as he arrived in the city centre for a meeting.

"What our government is doing in terms of addressing the problems coming our of Sumatra - that's a big concern," he said. - AFP /ch

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hazy dayz

It seems like a very popular topic of conversation or rather the only topic is about the haze.

I left my house at 1.30 p.m. to go for my exam. It is just my luck that of all days, today is the haziest. Visibilty is so low and to be cynical, it is so bad, it is almost like it is the end of the world.

On a lighter note, someone said that it looked like Mordor was burning.

It does seem as if the whole of Klang Valley has been transplanted to Genting. Only that it's not water vapour, but particulate pollutants. Not wispy and whitish but off-white and cough-inducing. Heck, if you look closer, it is almost brown.

Before I left home, I applied an extra thick layer of moisturizer with SPF 15. Not that it did me any good. The dry and humid weather had me sweating in less than five minutes!

Anyway, when I was in New Town, I managed to snap this while I was waiting for the LRT at the Taman Jaya station.

Notice how bleak it looks. And it was only 2 in the afternoon!

On my way home, I found out that the government has agreed to release the API (Air Pollutant Index). I surfed to the Star website and found this.

Apparently, at noon today, the API was 204 in Petaling Jaya. Which is Very Unhealthy. An index of above 300 means it is hazardous.

The worst affected area is Port Klang, with an API of 410 at noon.

The six o'clock news on the radio reported that the government would only declare an emergency if the API reaches 500.

I wonder what do they call it when it breaches 500?

Previously, the API was kept hush-hush as apparently, the high index numbers could keep tourists away and alarm the public.

Why, it must be keeping only the blind tourists away, because clearly, you don't need the damned index to know that the air quality is terrible.

On a more serious note, it is worthwhile to think why the haze has become an annual event. We all know what the cause is - hotspots (not to be confused with the WiFi connectivity areas) in Sumatera, Indonesia. Massive forests fires to clear land.

What steps have been taken so far to overcome to reduce this problem?

A bit of googling yielded this interesting titbit of info. In this exclusive report by MCA, it was stated that:
The countries had signed the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution aimed at preventing and monitoring transboundary haze. It came into effect on November 25, 2003 when six countries ratified the agreement. The countries were Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.

Noticed that one very important member country is missing? What good is the agreement if the very country which causes the haze has not ratified it?

It all goes back to this so-called ASEAN "non-intervention" policy. Basically, it means "the right of every state to make national policy free from external subversion or coercion" [taken from Harvard International Review, Vol. 23].

In other words, everybody goes about minding their own business.

It was indeed embarassing that it took a no-show from Condoleezza Rice last month to the ASEAN Regional Summit to "coerce" Myanmar to give the ASEAN presidency a miss, which is theirs next year under a rotational system.

Myanmar's track record in human rights is dismal. Silence from its neighbours does not mean they condone its actions but surely, it can't be construed as condemnation either.

Clearly, after almost forty years since its inception, ASEAN has mature and individual countries should be able accept constructive intervention and criticism. A review of this non-intervention policy is timely.

In the meantime, I can only gripe about the unhealthy effects of the haze. Having stressed over my exams and now the haze; all these are definitely not doing any good to my soft beautiful skin.

Not forgetting, the haze is also bad for the lungs and respiratory system.

Later. *goes off to put more moisturizer*

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Odd Couple

Marriage is no longer a sacred institution. As it is, the straights are not doing a good job of preserving it. Divorce rates are high; one can get married today and have it annulled the next day like Britney did and now, the mother of all insult - two men plan to get married in Toronto.

And they are both straight.

This definitely takes the wedding cake. (Geddit?)

Apparently, they are doing it because of the tax benefits of marriage. They want to "shed light on the widespread financial implications of the new legislation and are willing to take it all the way." Or maybe this their way to their 15 minutes of fame.

Not to say that gays and lesbians have not done the same thing i.e. marrying for reasons other than love and commitment.

But for financial gains?

I am certain that in the older and even the current generation, there are homosexuals who get married for the sake of pleasing the parents' and conforming to society's expectations.

Or maybe they just couldn't stand anymore of "When are you getting married?" questions, which always come accompanied by the arched eyebrows, busybody yet hopeful look which says it-had-better-be-some-time-this-century.

However, we are in the age of information technology, the 21st century, not the middle ages.

As you may have known, marriage based on romantic love is fairly new in human history; it is less than 300 years old. People in the past got married because of practicality, stemming from considerations of property, religion, and complementary abilities.

Just look at the practise of arranged marriages in most cultures. A good example of a non-romantic marriage but for political gains: Cleoptra and Mark Antony.

On one hand, I find this unbelievable because it makes a mockery of marriage. On the other, one has to respect someone else's right to what they want to do, as long as it is legal (which it is, because the same-sex marriage laws in Canada do not mention anything about sexual preference).

Even though they insisted that "they don't want their nuptials to insult gays and lesbians", I personally feel it is.

Gay and lesbian rights advocates have been fighting for marriage rights, so that homosexuals can have the same recognition and endorsement from society of their union. To show that the love and commitment between two persons of the same sex is not inferior to the heteros'.

This reminds me of what Spot posted a while back. Spot said that:
I see two aspects to a marriage. Firstly, the emotional commitment between two people. Secondly, the legal recognition of that commitment, and hence its legitimisation, which society bestows by way of a ceremony/ritual or piece of paper. You can have the former without the latter (i.e. a de-facto marriage). I’ve learnt that sadly, you can also have the latter without the former (i.e. a shell of a marriage).

I suppose these two old gits couldn't find any woman to get hitched with. I mean, who would want to get into a sham marriage? They are indeed The Odd Couple (like the movie), but with a twist - Old Desperate Duds.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A short one

I will be busy hitting the books for this coming three days, as I have an exam on Wednesday.

As such, there will be a break from blogging. It will resume on Thursday.

Oh, I have carelessly left out another person under the Two Degrees of Separation post. I mentioned there are two colleagues of mine whom we share mutual friends from outside the organisation.

There is another person who knows the colleague sitting next to me. This person needs no introduction to my loyal readers; he is wingedman.


I have added a few links under Malaysian bloggers. They are androjane, keatix, Zeem!, As Suanie sees it and Akuma.

Androjane: I have been lurking at his blog for some time now. Love his daily experiences and he updates almost daily.

Keatix: Linked from kitjar. Very prim and proper. Straight to the point.

Zemien: New to the blogsphere.

Suanie: I think she can give Jay a run for his money. She's that funny!

Akuma: Err ... coz he's cute? ;P


I have bought a book last week, called Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips. I have just read the first chapter and I am glad that I bought it.

Here I would just like to share some of contents and ideas of the book. If what I have written here pique your interest, I hope that you will do more research on this great philosophical figure and his thoughts on moral philosophy.

Don't be put off just because it is philosophy. It is not some deep stuff which is beyond most of us. In fact, philosophy is very much accessible because the great philosphers have been asking the same questions that you have always asked.

In fact, whatever questions that you can come up with, have been asked in the past by someone or another.

Socrates said that "The unexamined life is not worth living." He didn't say that it would make us happier or more fulfilled; it could also leave us more uncertain, more troubled and unhappier.

The Socratic method forces people "to confront their own dogmatism," according to Leonard Nelson, a German philosopher.

When I typed "unexamined life" in Google, this page came up.

There are two quotes which I like from that page and I have posted them here.

The whole person is always greater than the cultural roles because the living organism always has more potential behaviors than the particular cultural game that society sets up in order unthinkingly to further the business of everyday living. The total individual, in other words, is always greater than the cultural role self. But man does not realize this, except in rare cases, because he must live as society has set up the plot.

The result is that mostly people approach each other from the point of view of their roles, rather than as whole beings. The role player stages life; the whole being acts spontaneously. But spontaneous action is a momentous problem for most, precisely because they have learned to keep action going smoothly and satisfyingly by simply and uncritically following out the roles that the culture designed for them. They have, in effect, subverted the possibilities of their total being to the narrow interest of action and uncritical survival. Now this is not a criticism so much as it is a simple observation; man is hardly to be blamed for accepting the ongoing version of the life drama, and drawing the ready satisfactions that this entails.

Besides, this gives what man needs most--it gives conviction. When everyone upholds unflinchingly his roles, within the cultural fiction, the joint staging seems right for all time.

[Ernest Becker, Escape from Evil 272-273 (New York: Free Press, 1975)]

If individuals act automatically or conventionally, if they do only what is expected of them (or because they feel they have no right to speak for themselves), if they do only what they are told to do, they are not living moral lives."

[Maxine Greene, Landscapes of Learning 49 (New York: Teachers College Press, 1979)]

Have an excellent week ahead. Till later.