Mr Kade Newell1
1UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Since the onset of the 2016 ‘LGBT crisis’, Indonesians of diverse sexualities have faced unprecedented levels of discrimination and violence. In 2019, grassroots and national political actors continued to disseminate anti-LGBTQ stigmatisation as a strategy to bolster election campaigns. This study puts forward that protecting the moral values of families, religions, and the Indonesian nation underpins the politically motivated stigmatisation of LGBTQ behaviours and identities during and following the 2019 general election. These values intersect to form the societal boundaries of moral cohesiveness in Indonesian society, the strength and permeability of which are controlled by powerful actors in evolving political climates. By exploring media reports, political statements, and first-hand accounts of anti-LGBTQ stigmatisation, this study finds that Indonesians of diverse sexualities are constantly negotiating their lived experiences according to the subject positions developed by moral discourse, i.e. their subjectivities in relation to social moral boundaries. An understanding of the lived experiences of LGBTQ Indonesians as inherently moral provides a new conceptual framework to explore the emerging question of how LGBTQ subjectivities are shaped by Indonesian cultural, moral structures. This framework contributes to future research that applies both moral and queer anthropological understandings of lived experience to evolving political climates.
Kade Newell is a recently graduated honours student from UNSW Sydney. Kade’s research focusses on anthropology in Indonesia, and his thesis studied how cultural moralities shaped LGBTQ lived experiences during the 2019 election. Kade hopes to pursue a career in queer anthropological research.