JP/Cynthia Webb“I got the missionary-type zeal from my aunt,” says Dede, laughing, “but I don’t use it for religion.”
His aunt was a member of the Pentecostal church and an evangelist. However, Dede’s evangelism is his belief that life should be easier in Indonesia for people who are of differing sexualities than the so-called “norm”. He particularly wants to help young people facing social, religious and family disapproval.
As a 58-year-old gay man, he remembers vividly when he finally broke the news to his parents at the age of 20. He was lucky, and after the initial shock his father adjusted and his mother was more accepting. They soon said, “It doesn’t matter. You are our family and you must be with us.”
Of course, he was aware much earlier that he was not like other boys. “My friends were all calling girls. At first, I didn’t know what...