The Construction of Indonesian Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (LBT) Collective Identity after Reformasi

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Yulia ANDRIYANTI, National Commission on Violence against Women, Indonesia, Qbukatabu, Indonesia
In Indonesia, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LBT) has become a common term, not only amongst LBT group and organisations, but also women organisations. The aim of this dissertation is to understand how the women movement recognises LBT as a movement and also how LBT activists mobilise their political identity within women movement. The method used semi-structured interviews and documents’ analysis. There were eighteen research subjects who were the key leaders of woman and LBT and/or LGBT organisations. They were from four regions in Indonesia, such as Aceh Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Solo. Using the collective identity construction tools of analysis with queer politics and the Black feminist perspective, this research found that Indonesia LBT face the oppression in all domain of power; structural, disciplinary, hegemonic and interpersonal. Consequently, they experience interlocking oppression in which the hetero-patriarchal dominant system constructs the controlling images, as sinner, abnormal and criminals. Furthermore, the LBT movement is located as an outsider within under the universalised global gay politics. As this research view the collective identity as cohort, the result delineated three different cohorts in which both woman and LBT activists contributed to construct the LBT meaning. They are: 1) the 1990s cohort or the emergence of political lesbian movement; 2) the 2000s cohort or the LBT movement’s development; and 3) the 2010s cohort or the transformation of the LBT movement. Regarding the LBT activists negotiation, they used the coming out and coming home narrative, realising their multiplicity of identities. It strengthened the positionality of Indonesia LBT movement, as neither falls under the ‘West’ nor ‘East’ categorisation. Indeed, the queerness is not only reiterated at the cohort’s journey, but also manifested at the LBT activist identity.