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Jakarta Post

Friends hug on social media to tackle homophobia

  • Kharishar Kahfi  

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 18, 2018   /   09:35 am
Friends hug on social media to tackle homophobia Activists stage a peaceful rally to call for wider state protection for the rights of Indonesia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Yogyakarta. (Kompas/-)

Netizens showed their support for Indonesia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community in a “hugging” campaign to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which falls on Thursday, by sharing pictures with encouraging messages through social media.

Through  the #HugsNotHate campaign, cross-border organization for LGBT rights ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC) encourages participants to upload pictures of themselves hugging LGBT friends and a caption with supportive comments to their social media accounts to spread positivity.

The organization urged, however, for participants to take the picture at an angle that would still respect their friends’ privacy and safety should they wish to remain anonymous.

Increasingly frequent verbal attacks against Indonesia’s LGBT people by both public figures and government officials have forced the community into hiding. But some have been brave enough to step out into the open and share their messages of love and acceptance.

Twitter user Neyna Rahmadani, through her personal account @neynarahma, asked her friend permission before posting a picture of them together as part of the #HugsNotHate movement.

She was surprised and motivated to receive his enthusiastic reply.



Instagram user @yurimuktia was moved by the campaign to hug an LGBT activist at an event in Jakarta, as shown in a picture uploaded by the ASC’s Twitter account.

One Instagram user arranged a group hug to celebrate the day.

A post shared by nyr (@caca_marica_oyoy) on May 17, 2018 at 7:17am PDT


The campaign was also used by some to ask for hugs from his or her followers or friends, as user Prabagas did through his Twitter account @Agastha4, to which some responded by giving him a virtual hug.

Some users from Malaysia, including @zhukl, said he was unhappy to see none of the campaign participants came from Malaysia.