Sunday, August 12, 2012

Understanding LGBTs

Did you know that the DAP has publicly pledged to defend LGBT-rights issues, making it the first political party in Malaysia to do so? (The Sun, Februarty 02, 2012). I didn’t know until today but it’s good to know that DAP is concerned about everybody, and I mean, everybody!

I am supportive of this issue and so, I found myself in Sunway University's Room NE3-16 for the Workshop on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation – I missed about two hours of the morning session since I was at another event – I tried but I couldn’t split myself into two!

I found it to be very useful. I am now aware of the Yogyakarta Principles – these refer to the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. This is something that is important because we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights – so in this sense, we should treat all fellow human beings with respect and cease to discriminate one another on the basis of race, color, language, religion, gender, political ideology, social or national origin and other excuses that we intentionally create to treat people differently.

In addition, I became acquainted with the LGBTQIA Glossary and this was also very educational.

At the closing, there were plenty of suggestions but two of these impressed me and which I thought were really helpful. 

Firstly, we should refrain from using the acronym LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) – since it has become a discredited term, thanks to idiotic Malaysians who demean, debase and deride this vulnerable group of Malaysians – and instead refer them as SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity). It’s a neutral nomenclature, that's why. 

Secondly, we should consider starting an advocacy group at Sunway University. Thanks to Derek and Thilaga for arranging this.

The event that I was referring to was the Roundtable on Human Resource Management at the Graduate Center where employers, senior practitioners and academics met for a morning dialogue session. I certainly enjoyed the discussions but methinks, the session was too short. Dr Nagiah Ramasamy did a great job of organizing this. Let's have more.

So last Friday was one of those days where I was not even in my office for the whole day.

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