Happy is a gay local that lives in Brunei, he was born and raised there and shared with us how the situation is since the country adopted a new penal code allowing stoning punishment for gay sex and adultery. He agreed to give us an interview if we kept his identity anonymous for his safety. We chose the name Happy because although he is living in what we would consider a suppressed society, to us he came across very Happy.
You can’t say anything negative about this country or about its government or “sovereignty”.Just to put your voice out there you have to be smart about the way you say things because it can sound like you are against the government. It’s a tabu and possibly even illegal to criticize the government.
It’s not normal what is happening and Happy is very aware of the situation. But there are a lot of gays living in Brunei. Brunei is small and according to our source, mostly all families have one LGBTQ attached somewhere down the line he says. And I know them… He said, that’s how small it is. The gays go to to East Malaysia for clubbing. They have two options but must take flight to go there. One town only a 30 minute flight away and the other is Kuala Lampur 1.5 hours by flight
He explained to us that this is the second phase of the implementation of the law. The first phase would punish people for small crimes. The second phase extends the punishment to the LGBT community for gay sex and adultery or man performing sexual act’s in woman’s clothing.
If you are a gay person they stare at you, but they are not necessarily judging you, I feel like they are scared for you
You can’t say anything negative about this country or about its government or “sovereignty”. Just to put your voice out there you have to be smart about the way you say things because it can sound like you are against the government. It’s a tabu and possibly even illegal to criticize the government.
Do you have many friends that left the country seeking asylum?
I have just one friend that left the country seeking asylum. He is the only one. You can leave Brunei seeking asylum and cause a whole commotion or you can just find a job outside the country just like many other friends did and live in a place where you can just be yourself. I have many friends that left to the US, Canada, UK. I’m planning to leave, I’m not staying here.
How did the population of Brunei react to the approval of the law?
I think this is something that is in everyones head, but no one says anything. If you are a gay person they stare at you, but they are not necessarily judging you, I feel like they are scared for you and also scared for themselves.
People here are quite accepting. There are awesome people and there are haters. In Brunei many people just get married to hide their sexuality. The whole country is sort of scared that anything might happen to us, but not only the LGBT community.
Do you have dating apps there?
Yes we do have all the dating apps.
Does the government watch the sites like Grindr?
They probably do. I haven’t used Grindr in years. I prefer to meet people in real life. I’m scared somebody could try to sabotage me.
I think Brunei is relatively a safe country despite the approval of the new law, we had the first phase of the law approved years ago and nothing happened, but I don’t underestimate the government because they are super powerful and this country is super small, everybody knows each other.
I’m always scared that I won’t be able to be myself.
Because of my job and my career it’s very different than most. I am very unique for this country.
WE AGREE! You are UNIQUE Happy! MUCH LOVE FROM THE USA AND LOVE TRAVELING BOYS!! We support your freedom and your rights to love whomever you want.