He identifies himself as a liberal Muslim, someone who practices his religion sparingly. So most people at my workplace know about my sexual orientation.Generally, outside the office I do not portray myself as gay, or at least try to not do so.

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Sodomy is still against the law in Malaysia, so that is quite clear cut.

But the religious state laws, which apply only to Muslims, varies from state to state and usually concern dressing up like a member of the opposite sex, or holding events that have “immoral” things such as drag-like performances.

Islam is not known for its tolerance of the LGBT community and its lifestyle, even though in many Muslim countries sex between men is not uncommon due to the prohibitions of interaction between the sexes. I reached out to some friends, and in turn a couple of brave Malays stepped forward to be interviewed. Members of the Malay ethnic group basically have no choice in their religion. Relatives are usually the most persistent ones who never fail to ask: “So when is your time? (Eid), weddings, and other communal Malay gatherings.

They are raised Muslim and are expected to follow its principles. Do you feel that you are able to be “out” in your daily life, or are you only able to be open with close friends? At the office, being gay is an accepted norm as I am in the creative/media line.

It created an uproar among people as the deputy minister, who also launched the event, agreed to the topics at the talk, one of which was that gay men could be identified by a penchant for wearing V-neck T-shirts, carrying large handbags, wearing light-coloured outfits, and sleeveless shirts.

Gay women were identifiable by their habit of hanging out with women all times of the day and night, the conference was noted.

I thought the conference and what the deputy minister said was ridiculous as there are many many “closeted” men and women in Malaysia, who look and act like the normal everyday guy/girl.

You can find these men cruising in the dark rooms of bathhouses on weekends, or the dark corners of cruising spots in KL.

Just as long as they don’t cause trouble and do not disturb the system.