Man Camp

The Malaysian government initiated a counselling course of de-programming ‘gay’ or camp behaviour in teenage boys (13 – 17yrs) as identified by their teachers.  This is in order to set on them on the right path early in life by taking religious and motivational classes and physical guidance.

Pretty outrageous really, especially as I think it’s lovely that I am from a culture where masculinity is not black and white or indeed gay or straight.  

I like that my brothers and male cousins don’t care about sharing a bed if they end up sleeping over after a night out.  I like that male grooming is not judged and men from South Asian backgrounds (and indeed Mediterranean men) often stand in rather camp poses regardless of their sexual preferences.

After their counselling the boys will continue to be monitored by their parents and teachers.  Being a teenager and dealing with hormones is tough enough and kids should not be judged at such a young age, leave them kids alone!


6 Comments to “Man Camp”

  1. Oh dear God. Who came up with this crazy idea? A concerns for me is that other countries who have the same fears around homosexuality will adopt these kind of practices.

    I have to say although our culture is fine with “camp” behaviour, if they knew this was considered “camp” would they still be ok with it?

  2. Well I hope all these gay teens meet each other in the waiting rooms and swap numbers!

    Seriously this policy is SO wrong I can’t even begin to comment. But let me try with what qualifies a teacher to decide? How will they monitor teachers that are homophobic or just hate a particular kid? What happens to a straight kid that goes through de-programming? Young men are the most likely to commit suicide – how will this be dealt with? Will parents be told their son is suspected to be gay? I suppose so, as a child could not consent to treatment. How does the human right to privacy apply? Will these children receive medication? Will it be recorded that a boy underwent this treatment? What is considered camp behaviour?


  3. Hi Bunty

    My cousin brothers are British and know it’s not normal or generally accepted amongst their white British friends but they don’t care, it’s good they have the confidence to not bother.

    My Greek/Spanish/Italian friends probably never noticed British men don’t stand in certain ways, I don’t know how they would feel if they knew some of their mannerisms were considered camp.

  4. I only really know Asian men that I am related to so this might be a one-sided comment but I find the men in my family very enlightened.

    One of my cousin’s best friends came out as gay and it was such a non-event that my cousin didn’t even really discuss it. When I found out that this boy had come out, my cousin said “oh yeah we always knew he was gay, it’s surprising he took this long to tell us”.

    And yes, they are camp – which is hilarious considering they are all 6 foot hairy punjabis – they think nothing of keeping hand cream in their glove compartments, openly discuss skipping lunch in order to have a flatter stomachs and oh my god, you should see them DANCE!

  5. Great comment VB. Loved hearing about your 6 foot hairy punjabis.
    Bunty and VB, this is really reassuring. Does anyone think that where you grow has influence over camp behaviour. I wish I could say the same about my community. Mostly from London, the boys are quite homophobic, without even recognising they are…
    I would love witness the same openness.

  6. You make a valid point Bunty – I grew up in Scotland and my cousins do not have any asian friends or influences.

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