©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by Michelle Chun
PETALING JAYA (Nov 1, 2011): Annual sexuality rights festival, Seksualiti Merdeka, is a platform for Malaysians of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to tell their stories and not an effort to promote transsexuality, co–founder Pang Khee Teik said today.
“We are not trying to promote homosexuality. This festival is the chance for Malaysians to hear our side of the story, why after all these years of trying to be somebody else, some of us have found peace with ourselves and come to accept who we are,” he told theSun.
“We are aware that a lot of people in this country are unable to accept the fact of homosexuality or transsexuality due to misconception and ignorance, and this time we want to address it and talk about it.”
Pang was responding to Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s statement on Oct 31 that the organisers had gone overboard in insisting to go ahead with the festival, even though Islam is the official religion and the majority of Malaysians are Muslim.
“All we want is a chance to speak up, give us that much rein and accept that we have tried, we are not trying to make people unhappy, we just want to be happy,” he said.
Seksualiti Merdeka 2011, themed ‘Queer Without Fear,’ is scheduled to be held from Nov 1–13 at The Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan will be officiating the festival launch on Nov 9 at 8pm.