Jakarta – The TNI's (Indonesian military) information centre has verified that @Puspen_TNI uploaded a comic strip on its Twitter account explaining the risks of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) practices.
The comic strip portrays three figures – two teenagers name Abeng and Meilan and a third person named Binsa. @Puspen_TNI uploaded the comic on Friday August 2 at 12.28pm.
In the comic strip Abeng explains his appearance which he refers to as a Dashing Man with a Handsome Face (Lelaki Gagah Berwajah Tam[v]an) or LGBT. Then, Meilan warns Abeng about the choice of the acronym LGBT.
The dialogue between Abeng and Meilan is then interrupted by the arrival of a figure wearing military fatigues called Binsa. Binsa then explains the meaning of the acronym LGBT to Abeng and Meilan.
"Hey LGBT... it means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. So don't use that word carelessly, [A]beng... Lesbians are women who love women, gays are men who love men, bisexuals are interested in men and women, and transgender is when their gender identity is different from the sex that they were born with, like a waria [wanita-pria meaning trans-woman]", says Binsa.
Binsa adds that LGBT can be caused by hereditary and environmental factors or trauma when someone is still a child. Binsa then explains the risks of becoming LGBT.
"It can bring with it several risks for the health and it is one of the factors causing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (PMS) like HIV AIDS", he says.
When sought for confirmation, TNI information centre head Brigadier General Sisriadi stated that the comic was simply an effort to explain LGBT to the public.
"It's only giving an explanation to the public. It's not part of a TNI program", he told CNN Indonesia by phone today. (wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Akun Twitter TNI Unggah Komik soal Bahaya LGBT".]