In Indonesia, ‘LGBT’ label is linked to criminal guilt amid ‘societal homophobia’

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10/15/2022

When Indonesian actor Rizky Billar’s spouse reported him to the police last month for alleged domestic abuse, social media users buzzed with chatter about him being a “wife-beater”. But as the scandal grew, the online discussion descended into a different front: his sexuality. “They say men fall into two types: jerks and gays, but Rizky Billar is both,” wrote Senja Heuning on Twitter. Another user named Amal Ramadhan went further: “The ultimate of bad apples: a gay douchebag.” Rizky’s wife on Thursday withdrew her report of domestic violence against him. Indonesia has had a long history of linking criminality to homosexuality, and this case was no different, said anthropologist Benjamin Hegarty.

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