An LGBT pride festival scheduled for next month in Kuala Lumpur was cancelled by organizers this week in the face of criticism from religious groups.
“Courage in the Face of Adversity” was organized by students at Taylor’s University, a private school located in Subang Jaya, a suburb of the Malaysian capital.
The event was to last three days and include movie screenings, a public forum, open mic performances and a pride march through the campus.
However, once a group of pro-Islamist bloggers found out that the festival would be taking place during Ramadan, they became furious and insisted that students cancel it.
Organizers eventually bent to their demands and cancelled the Pride fest. As of this writing, no one has stepped forward to speak out against the cancellation.
It’s not surprising that students would remain quiet on the issue as homosexuality is still criminalized throughout the country and LGBT rights are all but nonexistent. This past February, the government released a video promoting the use of conversion therapy on suspected gay citizens.
Malaysia’s neighbor to the south Singapore has also faced some Pride-related woes this year, with its government vowing to block foreign funding from the country’s annual Pink Dot Rally. Thankfully, local businesses came together to cover the expenses and the event will go on as planned this July.
Earlier this week, LGBT activists held Lebanon’s first ever Pride celebration, which included a workshop on staying safe online, an exhibition on gender-fluid fashion and a coming-out storytelling event.