Sexuality, religion and faith often have complex and conflicting interactions, on both personal and societal levels. Numerous studies have been conducted on queer subjects, but they have predominantly focused on ‘Western’ expressions of faith and queer identities. This book contributes to the wider scholarship on queer subjects by drawing on actual lived experiences of self-identifying gay and bisexual men in Malaysia. It discusses what we can learn from the realities of their lives that intersect with their religious, spiritual, theological or humanistic values in an Asian context.
Analysed within the critical frameworks of queer theory and queer sexual theology, this study divulges the meanings ascribed to sexual identities and practices, as well as conceptualisations of masculinity, sexual desire, love and intimate physical connections. It also lays bare the complex negotiations between gender, desire and spirit, and how they can affect one another.
Tying fascinating case studies and underexplored Asian theologies with wider conversations around sexuality and faith, this book will be of significant interest to scholars working in religious studies, theology, queer studies, sexuality studies and Asian studies.
'A pioneering book on gender and sexuality studies in Southeast Asia. Dr. Goh weaves academic theories and personal narratives of gay and bisexual Malaysian men to provide a rich and fascinating study of gender, desire, and religion. The book makes a critical contribution to non-Western queer theory and gender studies.'
Kwok Pui-lan, William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
'An original and seminal work which critically explores the integration of critical theory, theology, and lived experiences of gay and bisexual Malaysian men, as well as essential reading for anyone who is interested in new insights and approaches on the intersections of gay studies and theology beyond Europe and North America.'
Jonathan Y. Tan, Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor of Catholic Studies, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Foreword by Sharon A. Bong
Introduction: Buka Tirai
1 Un/Becoming Man
2 Constructing Desire
4 Uninvisibilising Love
Conclusion: Tutup Tirai, Tentatively
Appendix 1: Description of Research Participants
Appendix 2: A Snapshot of Contemporary Attitudes towards Non-Heteronormative Sexualities in Malaysia
Appendix 3: Research Design