As Indonesia Continues To Tyrannize LGBT Community, Villages Undergo Rainbow Makeover

The rainbow redesign has turned an Indonesian slum into a tourist hotspot.

Persecution of LGBT people in Indonesia is increasing at an alarming rate, but some of the country’s poorest villages have made a surprising show of Pride by repainting large sections of town in rainbow colors.
It started in the impoverished communities of Kampung Warna-warni and Kampung Tridi in Malang, and then spread to Kampung Kali Code in Yogyakarta, before we hit peak rainbow with the completion of a $22,000 redesign of 232 buildings in Kampung Pelangi (or “Rainbow Village”) in Semarang.

Repainting dilapidated structures in bright hues, it’s hoped, will attract tourists and pump desperately needed money into village coffers. So far, it seems to be paying off: Droves of visitors have been pouring into Kampung Pelangi to snap selfies.

#Repost @lutfianaa18 with @repostapp ・・・ Angel #desawisatabejalen #kaliwernobejalen #bejalen #kampungpelangi

A post shared by Desa Wisata Bejalen (@desa_wisata_bejalen) on

With the success of Kampung Pelangi, other Indonesian villages may be inspired to rainbowify their town squares. Whether residents know the rainbow’s connection to the LGBT community isn’t clear, but the symbolism is poignant given the country’s rising wave of homophobia.

Though homosexuality isn’t illegal, government ministers and Islamic organizations began a sustained assault against the LGBT community last year.

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Anti-LGBT activists protest on February 23, 2016 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Indonesia ministers and religious leaders have taken additional steps to denounced homosexuality, LGBT websites had been blocked and hardliners launched anti-gay raids over recent weeks. Indonesia saw its former communications minister calling for the public to kill any gay people they find and the leading psychiatric body describe transgenderism as a mental disorder. Homosexuality and gay sex are not illegal in Indonesia but the world's largest Muslim country has been increasing meeting intolerance from the Indonesian public.  (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Since then, two men in Aceh, a province that has adopted strict Shariah law, were publicly caned for being homosexuals. And more than 140 men were arrested on a raid on a gay spa last month.

Most recently, police in West Java announced the formation of a “task force” specifically to identify and persecute LGBT citizens, who suffer from a “disease of the body and soul,” according to police chief Anton Charliyan.

“I hope there [is]… no gay or LGBT lifestyle or tradition. If there’s anyone following it, they will face the law and heavy social sanctions. They will not be accepted in society.”

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.