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Friends hug on social media to tackle homophobia

Jakarta Post - May 18, 2018

Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta 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.

Last night when I asked @hr_nrw to post our photos... he replied, 'Sikat!!' and to all of you guys out there he said, 'Don't be ashamed to celebrate who you truly are.' ??#HugNotHate #IDAHOTB2018 #IDAHOT2018ID #IDAHOBIT2018id pic.twitter.com/IhvFhMwhDn Neyna Rahmadani (@neynarahma) May 17, 2018

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.

Much loves on #HugNotHate #IDAHOTB2018 #IDAHOT2018 pic.twitter.com/P9xvIdIdQu ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (@ASEANSOGIE) May 17, 2018

One Instagram user arranged a group hug to celebrate the day. You are what you define! Cintai yang kita cintai, ekspresikan yang kita ingin perlihatkan. Tak ada sekat, jadilah apapun yang kita mau.. #hugnothate #idahot2018 #idahot2018id ?????????????????? ?? @akupheo

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.

Hug me please ?? || #HugnotHate #HijrahMenujuCinta #IDAHOT2018ID
-- Nur Arnos Dwi Prabagas (Prabagas) (@Agastha4) May 17, 2018

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

Looking at #HugNotHate & #IDAHOBIT2018 none of them come from MY. Thank God for IN else we won't have a rep from this region. Remind me again why I am annoyed at people empathising w Najib but God forbid they ever spare a thought for queer ppl living in homophobic environments.
-- soren (artwork by riharu harun). (@zhukl) May 17, 2018

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/05/18/friends-hug-on-social-media-to-tackle-homophobia.html.

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