Bisexual man in Brunei: ‘It’s both worse and better than what people expect’

Brunei (Photo: Wikimedia)

A bisexual man who lives in Brunei opened up about the recent anti-LGBTI law taking effecting and what it’s like to live in the Southeastern Asian country.

While speaking to the Washington Blade from Bandar Seri Bagawan, the Bruneian capital, he lamented the government’s use of Sharia law and Islam to justify the penal code.

‘Our religion is one of peace and one of tolerance,’ he commented. ‘I don’t see it as righteous or pious… it’s weaponizing religion.’

On 3 April, the Sharia law punishing homosexual sex with death by stoning went into effect. It also includes whipping for those condemned for adultery or rape, and the amputation of hands and feet for convicted thieves.

The full penal code began to take effect in 2014, with this portion only being initiated now.

‘My reaction to the news is really just now of confusion,’ the man said. ‘Why now? After a 5-year gap? And all at once?’

He identifies as a liberal Muslim and has been with his partner since last year.

The rest of the country is more split on the law.

The man described in an email to the Blade: ‘The reaction in general has been polarizing. There are those strongly opposed to it, and others in reverent support. But from what I see, those in support don’t seem to really know what they are supporting, at least not in a critical analytical sense.’

He claims people in support of the law don’t realize the ‘impacts’ of it or ‘don’t care’.

How life goes on

‘I try to live my life the most socially acceptable way that I can,’ the man continued his statements to the Blade. ‘It’s both worse and better than what people expect here, but again it’s still early to say.’

He is currently banned from leaving the country because he criticized Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, on YouTube in 2015.

He said his ‘behavior hasn’t changed since the whole thing started’ but his family wants him to keep a low profile.

In the interview, he warned of larger consequences because of the law, both for LGBTI people and the country at large.

‘Right now, it has been a serious challenge to expand the local job market and attract outside investors into the country,’ he explained. ‘With these laws in place, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine such laws as discouraging to would-be investors.’

There are already boycotts of the country’s hotels around the world, and consequences for the country’s economy could worsen.

The man told the Blade government pressure ‘helps’. Numerous government bodies around the world have condemned Brunei’s new law, but in the US, Donald Trump and his administration have yet to do so, other than the State Department saying they are ‘concerned’.

See also

Oxford University to review Brunei Sultan’s degree over LGBTI death penalty

Labour urges UK government to take action over Brunei’s new extreme laws

Hotels owned by Brunei dismiss plan to kill gay people as ‘political issue’

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Bisexual man in Brunei: ‘It’s both worse and better than what people expect’ appeared first on Gay Star News.

People are discovering Mr. Rogers was bisexual and it’s amazing

Mr. Rogers on the set of his children's show

Thanks to a viral tweet, people across the world are learning that Mr. Rogers was bisexual. The reactions have been a sight to behold and incredibly heartwarming.

It all started on Sunday (3 March) when Cece Ewing posted about her grandmother dropping the bombshell information on her.

Since then, users have been replying with reactions of shock, glee, and excitement.

‘Wildest thing that’s happened to me lately is when I went to talk to my grandmother and she was like “did you know Mr. Rogers was bisexual?”‘ she first tweeted. ‘And my gay ass, gay of the family, Miss Family Homosexual had to be like “he was WHAT?”‘

Viral tweets about Mr. Rogers being bisexual

The original viral tweets | Photo: Twitter @CeceEwing_

Ewing goes on to explain her grandmother came across this knowledge when she read Maxwell King’s 2018 biography of Rogers, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers.

While Rogers never used the label ‘bisexual’, he did express his sexual attraction as fluid.

This being the internet, other users came to the rescue with screenshots of the biography and exact quote. One user, @GabrielLunesce, posted a screencap of the passage from Google Books.

Screenshot of the Mr. Rogers biography

Screenshot of the Mr. Rogers biography | Photo: Twitter @GabrielLunesce

Reportedly, Mr. Rogers discussed his attraction to people with his friend and openly gay doctor, William Hirsch.

Rogers allegedly said if sexuality was on a one to ten scale, he would be ‘right smack in the middle’. He also said he has found both men and women attractive.

Translated to the six-point Kinsey scale, this makes Mr. Rogers — in a more modern interpretation — bisexual.

All the glorious reactions

People couldn’t believe this revelation and responded accordingly.

Some lamented they were only finding out about this knowledge now. Others chimed in saying it was bi erasure and also that some view sexuality as ‘inappropriate’ for children.

Others praised this as important representation for the bi community.

20BiTeen is real.

See also

This is why you need to come out as bisexual to your doctor

Gay and lesbian singers need to stop validating biphobic attitudes

Sara Ramirez pushes the positivity at start of BiHealthMonth

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post People are discovering Mr. Rogers was bisexual and it’s amazing appeared first on Gay Star News.

People are not happy Rami Malek called Freddie Mercury a gay man

Rami Malek

Some viewers of the Oscars are not happy actor Rami Malek described Freddie Mercury as a ‘gay man’ in his Oscars acceptance speech.

On Sunday night (24 February), Malek won Best Actor for his role as Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

The film has been dogged by controversy since being in production. Fox fired original director Bryan Singer from the film, and then an explosive Atlantic article detailed rape accusations against him.

Responses to this, from Malek to Queen band member Brian May, followed the film throughout the awards season.

Still, all of this did not stop Academy voters from awarding Malek with Best Actor last night.

In his speech, he addressed the audience: ‘We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically as himself.’

His words continued the controversy and debate around the film and its portrayal of Mercury — a bisexual man with HIV. Many people took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the apparent bisexual erasure.

A film aimed at straight people?

Some, however, defended Malek’s speech given Mercury never labeled or specified his sexuality. It was known he had relationships with both men and women, but he never explicitly described himself as bisexual.

This was not where the debate around Malek’s speech — and representation in Bohemian Rhapsody at large — ended, though.

Many critics described the movie as lacking any meaningful or nuanced depiction of Mercury’s identity as a queer man and an immigrant.

Others also pointed out that Malek failed to mention Mercury’s HIV status, and that this movie was ‘aimed at’ Queen’s straight fans.

With his win, Malek became the first Egyptian-American actor to take home the Best Actor prize.

See also

Relive the most LGBTI moments of the Oscars

Rami Malek says working with Brian Singer was not ‘pleasant’ for him

Bohemian Rhapsody becomes the highest grossing music biopic of all time

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post People are not happy Rami Malek called Freddie Mercury a gay man appeared first on Gay Star News.