This Tuesday, the 21st of June, UvA students had the opportunity to meet Malaysian LGBTQ+ activist Numan Afifi. UvA Pride invited Mr. Afifi to share his experience with attendees of the event and promote his work on LGBTQ+ activism in Malaysia. Mr. Afifi informed students about the foundation and run of the organization JEJAKA (young man), advocating gay, bisexual and queer rights in Malaysia and generally the struggle of the LGBTQ+ community in Malaysia.
This initiative aims at providing a safe space for self-acceptance and peer support within the LGBTQ+ community in Malaysia given that discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community still dominates in Malaysia. State laws still ban and criminalise same-sex relations and non-normative gender expression. ‘Because of your sexual orientation, you may even lose a school scholaship’, Mr. Afifi admits. Not long ago, the state proposed a couple of amendments to be implemented that would have a toll on the community if passed. Communications and Multimedia Act and Sedition Act established the prosecution of people defending human rights.
LGBTQ+’s empowerment continues through digital security training, workshops, career mentoring and life skills development. In addition to the above, JEJAKA advocates for human rights through case reporting and documentation, fundraising, media monitoring and bail sureties.
At the end of the presentation, students took the chance to raise any relevant questions, or concerns or to share any experiences within the LGBTQ+ community.