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Different from Western, Asia has its own
value toward the context of homosexuality. To understand, author suggests not
merely stressing on Universality of Human Right, but also socio-cultural
background within Asian circumstance. Culture in Asian society consists of
obligation and family responsibilities element. Human Right Universal is written
under American influence and western concept, yet applied globally, including
Asia. Universal Declaration of Human Right emerges on many basic rights for
individual, for instance: freedom of marriage without limitation to race,
nationality, religion, etc. Despite the influence of American, US Supreme Court
has just legalized gay marriage as marriage in 2015, while the Declaration was
adopted since 1948.

 

Form 1980s, the impact of western model
bring positive and negative in Asian homosexual communities. Noticeably, the
influence patterns of White model not merely directly from Western, but via
education abroad of Asian students. Looking back at Asian tradition before the
arrival of western, embracing culture of tolerance toward same-sex practice, as
such transgender seems to appear in media freely.

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Due to shortage of accessible documents
about sexual minorities evoke to difficulty of research and to archive database
for analysis, most of the researchers in such context are found in Australia,
US and Japan (Laurent, 2005, p. 170). In the
article research mentioned heavily on Asian value over homosexuality behavior. Asian
value tied Asian LGBTQ in social norm, where they are encouraged to marry and
have children. The family obligation and culture took over homosexuality behavior;
they may hide their identity for whole life to keep family’s satisfaction. For
instance: Asian gays, who get married with women and have children as normal
straights, would not embrace themselves as gays. This act may be considered as
“play”, not sexual identity. Surprisingly, the word gay will be defined
differently in Asian perspective among Kathoey (Thai)/Katoi(Khmer)/Gatoey(Laos).

  

The idea of gay-ism and lesbianism
perceived as the western model and Pride Parade is the example of western idea
influence (Brewer, 1999). Some
counties in Asia like Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and The
Philippines seems to be tolerance and no legal discrimination (Laurent,
2005, p. 171).  In Thailand, the word gay meant differently
from Kathoey. Thailand appears to be silent on sexual minorities, but
Chinese-Thai and Islamic-Thai have been pressure by cultural burden (Laurent, 2005, p. 188). Not
different from other Asian countries, there is no clear cut between gender and
sex in Thai society although there were some protest and 6 bars were crackdown
during the election of “Thai Rak Thai” in 2001 (Laurent,
2005, p. 188).  Traditionally, women remain virgin until
marriage; transgender would be need for bachelor sexual partners.

 

Under repressive government, Laos accept “gatoey”
or third gender, yet sex between 2 men was perceived as “peasant manners”
pointed by French colonialists. As such it impacts Lao upper and middle
classes’ thinking. In 1992, gay arrested had been recorded and the real situation
of homosexuality in Laos remains silent.

 

Interestingly, homosexuality in Cambodia
society viewed as Karma. To some extend Karma refers to what individual did in
the past experience. In Theravada Buddhist, women are not allowed to touch the
monk (except Monks’ mother), the opposite act of this would result in bad sin
as that women will born to be “Katoi” in next life as Cambodians belief. As
Cambodian girl, she has taught to view idea of Katoi is bad indeed since she is
young, such this gays and lesbians may feel guilty to come out as who they are,
as social-culture background they would hide their homosexuality and live the
life that community and family prefer to.

 

The transgender in Vietnam, mainly in Ho
Chi Minh, during French colonialist was found in prostitutes factory, singers
and entertainers. Remarkably, female prostitute strongly prohibited while neglect
male prostitution. Marriage and have children are admired in Vietnam in
society. A report of gay marriage in 1997 in Ho Chi Minh City although
authority oppose about legal matter and homosexuality has been illegal. The
discover of lesbians and gays bars and clubs make eye-opening to the outsiders.

 

The concept of invisible and visible toward
homosexuality within Asian countries remains open for discusses. Based on most
case in Asia, people keep discreet, yet does not mean they agree with
homosexuality. Tran-sexual is preferable and human reproduction and family
obligation are heavily burden to sexual minority groups. 

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