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Lesbian Resources: INDONESIA

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Advisory: Various kinds of sexualities are an integral part of Indonesia's cultural mosaic. Many married women also maintain same-sex relationships. There have been recent positive developments in Indonesia regarding lesbian issues. Many women are coming out in the media and on TV. In Purwokerto, there was a seminar on marriage law for same sex couples. Many workshops are being conducted including discussions of sexual and lesbian rights in light of Moslem law.


General Information


Organizations

  • Indonesia AIDS/HIV organizations and information
  • Institut Pelangi Perempuan
      Email. Center for information and community for lesbian Indonesia.
  • Lembayung Dewata, P.O. Box 269, Singaraja, Bali 8110
  • MitraS
      P.O. Box 3308/JKP, Jakarta Pusat 10033.
  • Swara Srikandi
      Email. Established in Aug, 2000, to build positive relationships among Indonesian lesbians.
  • Arus Pelangi
      The Indonesian Federation of LGBT Communities. An advocacy group involved in campaigning and educational activities.
  • Jaringan Waria/LSL Lampung (JAWALA)
      cp. Edwin Saleh, 0815-4099-9642, email: kpakbandarlampung@yahoo.co.id



BALI -- area code (62-361)

General Information

    The Balinese are Hindu/animist, unlike the rest of predominantly Muslim Indonesia. They are self-assured, genuinely friendly, curious, and always make time to chat. Some of your most memorable experiences will come from warm interaction with local folk. Everyone here seems to be an artist of some kind and daily offerings and rituals are a way of life. While men and women no longer wander about in innocent nakedness, you will certainly encounter unselfconsciousness at the morning and evening bathing hours at rivers, pools, and public baths (Balinese become invisible when they slip out of their sarong).

    While Bali may be one of the most tolerant and gay-friendly destinations on the planet, you will not find much in the way of open gay lifestyle except in the touristic Kuta/Legian area. Open gays you encounter will usually come from neighboring islands. Many Balinese mythical figures celebrated in music and dance have androgynous characteristics. That, together with the high visibility of many gay visitors to the island and a quiet acceptance among the indigenous communities, mean that most Balinese are aware of homosexuality. However, for Balinese, marriage and the union of opposite genders is a requirement for their full participation in village life. That said, homosexuality is certainly not a serious matter or one requiring a moral judgement. Interestingly, murals in The Hall of Justice in the Taman Gili, which luridly depict the punishments of hell, represent a wide range of sins from incest and bestiality to gossiping and farting -- but no proscriptions against homosexuality are recorded.

    Not surprisingly, Bali has been a famous haven for homosexuals, and a number of its renowned foreign residents lead comfortable, open lives here. Respected artists like Rudolf Bonnet, Donald Friend and, most famously, Walter Spies, all contributed to the thriving cultural synthesis that is Bali today. The spectacular kecak monkey chant, perceived by millions of tourists as a glimpse back in time to the "real" Bali, was actually re-choreographed by Spies, who combined several languishing performance traditions, increased the number of male performers, stripped them to loincloths, and set them in a circle around a central fire light.

    On the topic of sex, it needs to be said that the Balinese are not especially given to going out and having a few drinks at a bar and getting picked up. These are people who believe you can go into full-fledged demonic possession at the sound of a gong, and being drunk is not a happy feeling for them. On the other hand, they are not shy about physical contact between people of the same gender. Friendly encounters may lead to a chance to get better acquainted, but you are likely to be disappointed if you arrive with the expectation of finding a holiday girlfriend. Knowing a little Indonesian, and the gentle art of teasing and flirting, will go a long way towards making friends.

    The population of Bali is about 2.5 million (that's 100,000 Utopians).


Businesses

  • Balispirit.com
      44 Jln Hanoman, Ubud, (62-361) 970-992, email. A centralized registry of Bali's holistic venues including accommodations, healthy foods, yoga and meditation retreats, health and spas. Lesbian-friendly, Earth-friendly, socially responsible and health-mind-body conscious. Utopia Member Discount
  • PADI IDC Bali
      Sanur, 288-610 , 271-316 , email. Gay and lesbian-friendly scuba diving instruction courses and career development divemaster internships training. Utopia Member Discount


Organizations


Travel Services

  • AquaMarine Diving - Bali
      Jln Raya Seminyak 2A, Kuta-Seminyak, 730-107, FAX 735-368, email. Gay-friendly dive specialists and Bali's only British owned and managed dive company, PADI R-6344. They offer day trips and custom-made diving and accommodation packages to Bali's best dive sites. They also offer PADI courses and introductory diving programs. See their website for full information on Bali's dive sites. Utopia Member Discount
  • Dive the Rainbow
      081-7974-7268, email. Introducing the beautiful underwater world of Bali to gays and lesbians in a relaxed and easy community atmosphere. They offer the whole range of PADI dive courses as well as dive trips and dive safaris to any spot in Bali.


Popular Spots

Accommodations


Massage & Spas for Women

      SOUTH BALI: DENPASAR, KUTA BEACH, LEGIAN, JIMABARAN, NUSA DUA, SANUR, SEMINYAK

    • Young Generation Massage
        2B Jln Tangkuban Perahu, Utopia Map, 841-3657, +62-819-3304-1849, email. In Kerobokan, only minutes away from the trendy and fashionable shops and restaurants. It is the ideal place to enjoy a massage treatment before or after shopping or wine-and-dining in Seminyak. Gay and lesbian-friendly. Exquisitely decorated with touches from Bali, Indonesia and Thailand. Five single massage rooms, all equipped with a massage bed, a locker for your clothes and valuables, and a private shower. Serene spa music and a moderate aircon add comfort to the relaxing atmosphere. Utopia Member Discount



Bandung (Jawa Barat Province)

General Information

    The population of Bandung is about 2 million people (that's 80,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Discos

    • L. A. Discotheque
        15 Jln Asia Afrika, 423-0760. Wed night "jeans night" attracts gay clientele and some lesbians.



JAKARTA

General Information

    The population of Jakarta is about 9 million people (that's 360,000 Utopians).


Organizations

  • Ardhanary Institut (women LBT)
      Email: ardhanaryinstitute@yahoo.com
  • Institut Pelangi Perempuan (lesbian youth)
      Email: pelangiperempuan@gmail.com Indonesia lesbian youth center. A place to hang out, make friends and gather information about lesbian Indonesia. They have Kongkow Lez, a monthly edu-fun-tainment event, and a tri-monthly CD magazine, KLIK.
  • LPA Karya Bhakti (gay and lesbian)
      Jln Griya Wartawan, No. 53 RT14/05 Cipinang Besar Selatan Jakarta Timur, 9852-0440, email: lpa_karyabhakti@yahoo.co.id
  • Yayasan Intermedika (gay and lesbian)
      Rusun Benhil II, blok B2, No. 1 Jln Penjernihan Raya, Bendungan Hilir, Jakarta Pusat, 9827-2195, 081-811-0651 email: intermedika_yim@yahoo.com


Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

    • Comedy Café Indonesia (mixed)
        G/F 06 Pasar Festival, Jln HR Rasuna Said, Kuningan. Popular hangout for gays and lesbians, where they may socialize freely. Many gay staff (chubs mostly). Lots of local celebs.
    • Heaven (mixed)
        Jln Darmawangsa IX (above Centro), South Jakarta. Fri and Sat gay night. Sun lesbian night.
    • Matra (mixed)
        Grand Menteng Hotel, Matraman Raya St.. Day and night. Mostly lesbian.
    • The New Moonlight (mixed)
        Intersection of Hayam Wuruk and Mangga Besar Streets. Particularly gay and lesbian on Sat nights. Mixed ages.



LOMBOK (area code -- 62-370)

Popular Spots

Accommodations

Discos


MEDAN (Sumatera Utara Province) -- area code(62-61)

General Information

    The population of Medan is nearing 3 million (that's about 120,000 Utopians).

Popular Spots

Meeting Places

    • Kesawan Square (nights)
    • Merdeka Walk (nights)
    • Perisai Plaza
    • Sun Plaza
    • Thamrin Plaza (gays mostly)



Surabaya (Jawa Timur Province)

General Information

    The population of Surabaya is over 3 million (that's 120,000 Utopians).


Organizations

  • GAYa NUSANTARA
      Jln Mojo Kidul I/11A, Surabaya 60285, 591-4668, email. Providing personal contacts, HIV/AIDS counselling, community outreach and gay awareness workshops. Publishes a monthly magazine under the same name. GAYa NUSANTARA coordinates the Indonesian lesbian and gay network, consisting of lesbian and gay organizations and individual activists throughout the nation. Many of the organizations in the network comprise transgendered people (waria) and lesbians. Other coordinating bodies are IPOOS/Gaya Betawi for the Jakarta metropolitan area and Sumatra, Gaya Dewata for Bali, Nusa Tenggara and East Timor, and Gaya Celebes for Celebes, the Moluccas and Irian Jaya (West Papua).


Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

    • Taman Remaja
        Near the stage. Thurs night drag show. Transgenders, gay men, lesbians.



YOGYAKARTA -- area code (62-274)

General Information

    The population of Yogya is about a half million people (that's about 20,000 Utopians).


Articles and Publications

  • Pelangi
      Email. A bulletin and organization whose mission is the advocacy of LGBT in Yogja and Indonesia.

Organizations

  • L-United
      0859-2743-2502.
  • Lesbian Independent
      0819-0425-8515.


Travel Services


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Yogyakarta hotels and accommodations.


Restaurants and Cafes

    • ViaVia Travelers Cafe and Restaurant
        Jln Prawirotaman 30, 386-557, email. Gay and lesbian-friendly travelers café and restaurant within the spirit of community-based and sustainable tourism. World kitchen, alternative tours and courses, loads of information, art exhibitions.



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