Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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No More National Belonging? LGBTI People within the Indonesian National Project
Dédé Oetomo

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


In the 1990s Wignjosoebroto (personal communication) pointed to the armed forces and bureaucracy as all-Indonesia institutions. Wahid, in a presentation at a dangdut seminar in Surabaya at about the same time, said the same about dangdut. Based on these declarations, at the time I perceived waria (trans women) as another Indonesian institution, which was later confirmed by Boellstorff (2005) in his idea of gay men and waria belonging to the nation. Given the wave of more recent anti-LGBT statements and actions by government officials, religious leaders, the media and even educational institutions, it is perhaps time we reconsider the aforementioned conceptions. What has changed? Is there a disconnect between actual lives and public discourse? Different regions of Indonesia show different conditions, along roughly West-East divide and Islam-Christian divides, the former component of each of these oppositions being more harsh (though with exceptions). If we stick to the all-Indonesia conceptions above, could this be signs of fissures in Indonesian society?

Keywords: LGBTI Indonesia diversity inclusion exclusion