A leading Malaysian newspaper has published a list of pointers for identifying potential gay and lesbian people, drawing anger from activists who said lives were being put at risk.
The article in Sinar Harian featured bullet points of supposedly distinctive qualities that revealed LGBT people. They stated that gay men were easy to identify because of their love of beards, going to the gym – not for exercise but to check out other men – and branded clothing. Their eyes light up when they see handsome men, the article said.
The stand-out attributes for lesbians were that they tend to hug each other, hold hands and belittle men, according to the newspaper.
Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law that carries a 20-year prison sentence.
Campaigners have called for a softening of rhetoric in Malaysian media after a series of recent deaths of men and women suspected of being gay or transgender.
An 18-year old student, T Nhaveen, was beaten and burned to death last year by classmates who said he was pondan, a colloquial term for a gay man. A 27-year-old transgender woman, Sameera Krishnan, was attacked with a knife and and shot three times in a targeted attack in her florist shop a few months later. Read more via Guardian