Brunei is a country in Asia with an absolute monarchy ruled by the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. In this country there is complete intolerance of members of the LGBTQ(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and queer) community. Not only are these people not allowed to express their sexuality by making it be illegal, but in many cases the punishment for it is death.
This country is islamic and practises the muslim religion. Islam is against LGBT, but in islamic countries people are still able to belong to this community without it being illegal. Unlike this, in Brunei this is extreme. The government itself does not allow these people to be who they are, and if they do not respect these they are killed.
There are many actions the government takes against lgbt people. They can be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years, they can be whipped, and the most dreadful measure; they can be stoned to death. It doesn’t matter if they have consensual and private relationships, the law applies to every case. These laws are regarded as a “special guidance” from Allah. Transexual people are not allowed to change their name neither their sex, not even to dress as the opposite sex.
The objective of the government of Brunei is to impose the Sharia or Islamic law and be pure under the eyes of their religion, under the eyes of their god Allah. Lgbt people are seen as an offense, as people with a psychological issue that must be corrected. Sadly, for Brunei this “correction” implies prison, lashing or death. On the other hand, many international organisms have explicitly expressed their disapproval of this, i.e The United Nations. The Sharia law is a violation of human rights. Several organisms have appealed to Brunei to change this horrific law, but nothing has happened. Moreover, upon finding out about this, many celebrities have also intervened to help on the matter and made donations to lgbt people to be able to leave the country in which they are not accepted.
Life for Lgbt people in Brunei is awful. They cannot live their life as who they are. They are unable to show their true selves due to the governments extremist law. They live their whole lives hiding out in fear of being found and suffering the consequences. They live unhappy lives. All this happens due to the old-fashioned views of the high-rank people who govern the country. It’s unfair how people aren’t allowed to be themselves in the country which is supposed to be their home. They are oppressed and live a life of suffocation. They are unable to live their lives. They cannot even fight for their rights as besides being illegal, it can be punished with death. People are forced to believe that belonging to the lgbt community is an atrocity and that their god will condemn them. At schools children are taught the same. They live miserable lives and never even get a glimpse of what happiness is like. Being unable to express they sexual orientation, which partly makes them who they are, many attempt suicide as they are forced to live as people they aren’t.
I believe a solution to this should be found as soon as possible, as people are suffering greatly for this, being exposed to physical and psychological pain as well as prison, or even death. In my opinion the solution to this is for some international organism or a nation to take action and force Brunei to banish this unreasonable law. Countries should stop having economic relationships with Brunei in order to make them see the consequences and put an end to people’s suffering.
As a source I choose a testimony from some of Brunei’s lgbt residents who talk about how life is for them in their country. One of them is a transexual man who talk about being unable to show herself as a woman because she will be persecuted by a government for doing so. Instead, she has to act as a man as shown in her id in order to hide and avoid being sentenced to prison or killed. She was even afraid of being killed by her parents. This shows how she felt unsafe even in her own home and how she lived her life not being able to show herself as who she truly felt she was. Then, a gay man talks about while living in Brunei he was in a constant state of fear, never knowing what would happen next and being completely unavailable to trust most people as you could not know who would snitch on you to the government. The fact that he wishes for lgbt people in Brunei to do whatever they can to get out of there shows the severity of the issue and the imminent need for a solution.
“being unable to express my orientation feels like I am suffocating myself. Honestly, if I continue to stay here in Brunei, I will definitely live and die alone. That’s just how it is going to be.”- Brunei gay resident.