Gay YouTuber takes aim at Indonesia’s ‘sexual deviant’ bill

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03/21/2020

An Indonesian YouTube star, whose videos about being gay and living with HIV have generated millions of views, is hoping his popular channel will help fight moves by lawmakers to clamp down on the country’s beleaguered LGBT+ community. In recent years, there has been a rise in anti-LGBT+ sentiment in the Southeast Asian nation, where homosexuality is not a crime but remains taboo. Under a new law proposed by Indonesian legislators last month, homosexuality would be defined as “sexual deviation” and LGBT+ people would be required to be treated at rehabilitation centers. This prejudice towards LGBT+ people spurred Acep Saepudin, a gay Muslim, to take to YouTube two years ago and openly fight misinformation – including on the latest proposed law. “Homosexuality is not sexual deviation,” the 24-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from his hometown in Indonesia’s West Java province on Thursday.

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