The "Back to Fitrah" event — which sought to return LGBTQ students to Islam — was organized by the Muslim Students' Association and approved by the university. Ernest Mah only shares his sexual orientation with a select few people. He’s a 21-year-old English major at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), where being gay is not something he openly discusses — not even with his twin brother. At a café in his home state of Penang, Mah moves with a confident flair, but he said it’s conditional. “I have to make sure I don’t come across as too flamboyant or too gay,” he told NBC News. That’s just the way it is in Malaysia, Mah added, explaining Islam is paramount and homosexuality is hush-hush in the Southeast Asian nation.
April 3 / NBC News