Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From:
By Debnath Guharoy, Consultant
Very few people talk about them. To most, it's a subject best left alone. To some they are an embarrassment, to others an oddity and to many of the faithful, they are there to be condemned. They are Indonesia's homosexuals.

At 5.7 million people from around this very large archipelago, they are a community bigger than some of Indonesia's neighboring countries. In Singapore and New Zealand, for example, legions of marketing professionals are busy building local brands, segmenting the marketplace to grow global businesses.

How much time and effort has been spent to market products and services to Indonesia's gay population? They should not and cannot be ignored.

Of the people who agree with the statement, "I consider myself a homosexual", 2 million are single and another 3.7 million people are either married or in de facto relationships.

The total adds up to 4.1 percent of Indonesia's population above the age of 14. That's double the 2 percent that is usually assumed to be the homosexual population of any country.

In Indonesia, as in every country around the world, sections of the community say that an entire section of our society is immoral, failing to accept the simple reality that they are wired differently from the rest of us heterosexuals.

Which god, creator, prophet or messiah would condemn his own children, different or even deformed though they may be? Whatever happened to live and let live?

These observations are based on Roy Morgan Single Source, the country's largest syndicated survey with over 27,000 Indonesian respondents annually, projected to reflect 90 percent of the population over the age of 14. The results are updated every 90 days.

What will come as a surprise to many is the fact that 69 percent of the gay community resides in rural, not urban, Indonesia. And most of that rural-based population is from the island of Java, with East Java and Central Java attracting a much larger than average share of the community.

Any attempt to understand the phenomenon requires an appreciation of Indonesia's ancient cultures, in particular, the fertility rituals practiced even to this day in the surroundings of Gunung Gangsir and Gunung Kemukus.

Perhaps among the oldest institutional forms of swapping and free sex, the minds of most people boggle at the thought of sexual freedom being expressed with ritualistic abandon, including gay abandon, in paddy fields by moonlight.

Though difficult for many to accept, sexual liberation is and has been a part of Indonesia's ancient cultures for as long as history can remember.

Yet, self-proclaimed men of God preaching middle-class morality continue to interpret holy scriptures to suit their ideologies, preaching against what humanity needs most of all: tolerance and acceptance of the most fundamental of rights, the freedom of choice.

Do marketers have a role in influencing society or do they just bend with the winds of change? Leaders and followers among us will, of course, respond to the question differently.

Similar in demographics to the rest of society, gays in Indonesia are much more individualistic in comparison to the rest of the population. They are twice as likely to agree with the statement, "My rights are more important than society's rights."

They are also twice as likely to believe that "computers and technology give me more control over my life."

Busy, hardworking people, there are "Not enough hours in a day," and "I seldom have time for breakfast." A sign of the times, homosexuals feel "less safe" today then they used to.

They are financially better off in relative terms, making them more likely to travel or go away for weekends. When they do, they prefer "the bright lights and the big cities."

In category after category, their choice of brands can be markedly different from the national norm. Their media habits and attitudes are also noticeably different.

They are twice as likely to listen to the radio in the car, buy magazines, read the business section of their newspaper or be annoyed by almost all television advertisements.

They are also more likely to agree with the statement "I was born to shop" or choose "a car mainly on its looks." Three out of four of them believe that "it is important to look fashionable."

Yet, the influence of religious teachings prey heavily on the minds of the less educated, the less confident. Seventy-two percent of the population believes that "homosexuality is immoral."

Not surprising, in a country where three out of four people visit their place of worship regularly. Painful is the reality that 57 percent of homosexuals themselves also agree with that statement.

Tortured souls, in or out of the closet, apparently the children of a lesser god.

More than anything else, they deserve your understanding, not your sympathy. From a business perspective, "pink Indonesia" could represent an opportunity bigger than all of Singapore.

Could that be a good enough reason to actively engage with them?

The writer can be contacted at Debnath.Guharoy@roymorgan.com


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
I'm definately on the "Blue" side of the bus!


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Dilli
I'm definately on the "Blue" side of the bus!

so you keep telling us. constantly. dilli, is there something you want to share with us??


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Nope!


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Dilli
Nope!

well, when you're ready to come out, we're here for you.


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
It's touching to know that you are concerned


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
There is a message here somewhere!


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by emmajkt
In the states value of the property will go up if there is a gay in the neighbourhood


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Fucking Hell! Is that why California is so expensive?


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by emmajkt
Probably dill, to accept the existence of gay people means there is tolerance, people want to live in tolerant area, not where is 'fanatic god knowing people' crap area


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Gets Worse

LESBIANS BOTH HAVE BABIES.. AND DAD IS A GAY DRAG QUEEN

TWO lesbians have achieved their dreams of becoming mums - thanks to a gay drag queen they met in a nightclub.

Trainee lorry driver Stephanie Burns, 23, became pregnant first after asking pal Joanne Bartle, 40, to help her find a sperm donor.

They were introduced to female impersonator Ryan Egeley, 21, who was desperate to become a dad.

Stephanie said she was overjoyed when she found she was going to have baby Elijah Jo, now 13 months old. She said: "It was the best feeling in the world.

"We both jumped for joy."

After helping with the artificial insemination process, Joanne, who already had a three-year-old son, Jonah, decided she wanted another baby.

Doctors had warned her she had only a remote chance because of her age and history of anorexia

But after two attempts, she conceived daughter Martha Rae, now 10 months old. Joanne said: "It's an absolute dream come true.

"I wanted Jonah to have a younger brother or sister to play with.

"Now, thanks to Stephanie and Ryan, he's got two.

"We don't care what people think - it's great, we're one big happy family.

"No one could love our kids more than we do."

When Joanne and Stephanie, of Doncaster, Yorkshire, decided to try to get pregnant, they were "just good friends". Stephanie fell for Joanne after renting a room in her house but kept her feelings hidden until after the births. Now they're partners.

Ryan, who worked in Gran Canaria, flew home to visit his children for the first time at Christmas.

He has now returned to the UK for good, performing his act in a Cambridge bar.

Ryan said: "I held my little darlings for the first time last Christmas. They're perfect.

"The main reason I came back was so I can watch my babies grow."


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by emmajkt
Cool, there's no reason gay people can't have babies


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
 Originally Posted By: KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Dilli
Nope!

well, when you're ready to come out, we're here for you.

That's right, the constant shag commentary and references to your own mighty member are a dead giveaway. Might be time for an intervention, eh Kuku?


Wed, 18 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Twunt!


Thu, 19 Jul 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Polisi Cepek
 Originally Posted By: KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Dilli
Nope!

well, when you're ready to come out, we're here for you.

That's right, the constant shag commentary and references to your own mighty member are a dead giveaway. Might be time for an intervention, eh Kuku?

he's a fucking worry all right. at the rate he's going, he'll be batting full-time for the other team by year's end.



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