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Jakarta Post

Hartoyo : Coming out for his rights

  • Bruce Emond

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 27 2009   /  02:29 pm
(JP/Bruce Emond)(JP/Bruce Emond)

(JP/Bruce Emond) When he was an NGO worker involved in gender rights in farming communities, Hartoyo says he was greeted as a hero wherever he went. Today, in his more personal battle for gay rights in Indonesia, it's a much lonelier journey. "Fighting for gay rights is so different from other humanitarian causes such as education or helping the poor, even sex workers," says the 33-year-old, known as Toyo. "If we are working for gay rights, we're considered somebody who is totally amoral. I'm not out to be a hero, but we are not even given respect as a person trying to achieve something." He puts the stigma in blunt terms. "They think I am just fighting for penises and vaginas. That is the challenge for me." The founder of One Voice, a group for empowering gay and bisexual men in Indonesia, is about to take another step in his jo...