Gay Pride and Legal Matters of the LGBT Community

Fighting for one’s rights is a perpetual battle, especially when you are a part of the minority. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders; or also known as the LGBT community, are constantly fighting and protesting for their rights and to be socially accepted in this modern world. Some of the main issues that have been brought into court and sparked a massive controversy consist of same-sex marriages, adoption for same-sex couples, and discrimination against gays in the workplace. The society deems it unacceptable to be of different sexual orientation or gender variance as it is “unnatural” and illicit in most religions, which is why the majority are strongly against this minority social group. The government and society would do anything in their power to ban any equal rights for the LGBT community because they don’t wish to see same-sex couples roaming the streets in everyday normalcy and having to answer their children when they ask “Daddy, why does that kid have two dads?”

However, the LGBT community is bigger than the society thinks. The LGBT community is being so discriminated by society to the point where there are protests and rallies almost everyday in some part of the world. And if they’re not coming together for a protest, they’ve probably come together to parade their unity in gay pride. Despite the fact that they are still a minority group that has yet to be socially acceptable in social construct, they still fight for equal rights. They would however prefer to exhibit their disdain towards the majority’s mentality by dancing through the streets with lively music and flamboyant costumes in a parade. Gay pride parades are a positive (and fabulous) way of marching through town and protesting for their cause and not only will people who fall into the LGBT category take part in the parade, heterosexuals who support their cause would usually take part in the parade as well. This is their way of showing that not only is their community growing as more and more people are starting to “come out of the closet” and be themselves, but there are others who believe that they have the rights to be deemed as equals.

Same-sex Marriages

As of today, gay marriage has been made legal in 13 countries, with Netherlands being the first to legalize the law in the year 2000, and it is also partially legal in the United States. You must be thinking, the LGBT community must be proud of their achievement. After fighting for umpteen years before the 21st century, they have finally passed laws and bills to legalize not only marriage but adoption for same-sex couples. Of course, without a doubt the LGBT community would revel in such victories. However, surprisingly enough there are some gays, despite being in committed relationships for years, who are not fond of the thought of marriage.

Due to my naivety, I thought only heterosexuals and religious people would be strongly against the idea of same-sex marriage; apparently I thought wrong. The reason being mainly because of the expenditures and legal papers a gay couple would have to deal with just to be wed, whereas straight couples can get married with little paperwork and smaller expenses. Gays would already have to spend a fortune on approving their marriage, and then the issue of adoption would also put itself into question. Also, they believe that getting married to your gay partner just isn’t the same as an ‘Adam and Eve’ wedding due to religious and social concerns. Some religions have had to make exceptions just to allow same-sex couples to marry. Sure, some couples really believe in ‘forever after’ and tying the knot with their significant other really means a lot to them; but some gay couples are content with the idea of being partners without having to be happily married.

So the question here is, should gays be granted the freewill to get married if they wish to? Same-sex marriage has already been made legal in 13 countries and yet gay couples still have to go through endless debates in court to seek approval. This is where I feel their rights to marry is still debatable.

Gay Adoption

All the countries that have legalized gay marriages often put the option for adoption as the legislation in question. Basically, if the higher court disagrees that gays should be allowed to adopt children, the bill for gay marriage wouldn’t have passed in the first place. Not many would react positively to the legalization of gay adoption mainly due to the fact that it is still socially unacceptable to be gay, thus it is socially unacceptable to have two fathers or two mothers. Not only will this be looked down upon by the society, but children in school would turn to question this as well. Children of two fathers or mothers would eventually face discrimination by other children in school because “they’re adopted!” or “they have gay parents!” And to avoid this phenomenon from happening, certain adoption agencies even believe that “only heterosexual, Christian couples can adopt.”

Just a couple of months ago France had just passed the bill to legalize gay marriage and adoption; and just a a couple of days ago France has just approved their first legal adoption by a lesbian couple. The children biologically belonged to one wife and the approval for the other wife to legally adopt the two children only recently took place although the couple had married a couple of months ago when gay marriage had been legalized. This brings into question the issue of medically assisted procreation and surrogacy for gay couples as ‘there are not enough adoptable children’. However, this brings us into an entirely different issue.

It appears that there are certain adoption agencies that refuse to approve adoptions by homosexual couples, especially when they wish to adopt a child from a different country. Seeing as the lesbian couple mentioned previously had to trudge through a mile worth of paperwork and court injustice just to have the other wife be approved as an adopted mother, I can only imagine how much more a couple would have to go through to adopt a child from another country such as South Africa. Why shouldn’t same-sex couples be allowed to adopt? Unless their background check shows a tainted record that involved drugs, homicide, or rape, I don’t see why they are deemed ‘unfit to be a parent’.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Even in this modern era, members of the LGBT community are still being discriminated in the workforce. In short, you can actually get fired for having a different sexual orientation. It appears that laws for anti-LGBT discrimination have failed to protect the entire LGBT populace in most states and countries. Just because someone is of questionable gender and sexual orientation, it doesn’t give anyone any right to put them out of a job. In fact, I find this the most ridiculous forms of discrimination. Sure, almost everywhere you go the public would sneer at you and shun you away from society just because you dress differently or act differently. Without a doubt it is expected that the LGBT community would be looked down upon by many; some even get made fun of and bullied in educational institutions. However, I find it rather ridiculous that just because somebody that happens to “roll the other way”, they cannot get a job in the city or state they live in.

It’s issues like these that really spark controversy. The LGBT community has been granted the rights of equality, but it seems to me that the authorities have not been keeping their word. However, despite still being discriminated in such a way, the LGBT group still stand their ground together to fight for equal rights, which not only revolve around issues pertaining marriage and employment, but their rights to vote are also in jeopardy as well.  When will the community be granted what they were promised?

Gay Pride


The only valid reason I have as to why I support the LGBT community so much is because they are comfortable and proud to be who they are and they don’t care about what others think of them. On June 28th, 1969, a bar called Stonewall Inn, a bar that catered to the gay community, in New York City had been raided. This was the first time that the community had fought back as they were tired of the ongoing raids. A year after the Stonewall Riots, the first Gay Pride March was held to commemorate the day of the very first stance by the gay community. Ever since then, gay pride parades started to grow and become larger in number over the years and now, it is widely celebrated all around the world. 


Gay pride parades are invitingly friendly as they welcome not only members of their own community, but other social groups to join in on the fun as well. Their parades are often flamboyant and colourful as they march through town in fabulous costumes and have wildly decorated floats as well as many singing and dancing acts to entertain marchers and onlookers. In some cities they even have concerts where they invite featured artists to perform and sell tickets to raise funds for their cause. Gay pride is a day where the LGBT community have the freedom to express their love and support for each other; it is a day where nobody can judge them and tell them that whatever they are doing is illicit and illegal. It is a day where they don’t have to fight, but instead unite in peace.

Gay pride parades look like so much fun that it makes me feel like joining them march through town although I’m not even a part of the LGBT community. In fact, I wish that the gay community here in Malaysia would be bold enough to take part in gay pride someday because I believe that the gay community here deserves to have their voices be heard. Gay pride is so universally lauded that more and more individuals are starting to bravely come out of the closet and join the LGBT community; even the rest of the society is slowly becoming more accepting of their social group.  Also, if it were not for the expanding community, the legalization of gay marriages and adoption would be less achievable and discrimination against the LGBT community would still be on the rise. One could say that this ‘minority’ would not be content until equal rights have been achieved and until the society views them as socially acceptable.


By Nabilah Muzaffar

An Interview With The Exorcist: Father Gerard Theraviam

“Evil is Someone, Someone who is multiple and whose name is legion… It is one thing to be in the realm of demons, as we all are when we have lost the state of grace, and quite another to be held and surrounded, literally possessed by him.” –Franqois Mauriac

Fr. Gerard Theraviam is the official exorcist for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. In addition to his duties as pastor of Our Lady Lourdes Church, he has spent six years helping souls overcome the demonic through his unique ministry as exorcist. With the help of my cousin’s  friend who is a parishioner (Justin Janath), I managed to track down Fr. Gerard Theraviam and had a sit down interview with him at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Klang to get his insights into the nature of demonic possession. Fr Gerard Theraviam still vividly remembers the case, which took place in 2010 and involved a young girl named Lisa.

They went in to see the girl. She was maybe 13 or 14 years old from a small town. Her family sought the help of a local parish priest Fr. Gerard Theraviam because she was acting out of the ordinary, the way her family couldn’t quite comprehend. He brought along a parishioner and trusted friend, Justin Janath to accompany him. “The windows and doors were shuddering just a little from the gust outside, not like what you see in horror movies, but enough to make you get goose bumps. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I went in anyways, with my faith.” said Justin. Then they walked in and exchanged good wishes with the family and were directed to her room. Fr. Gerard conducted an absolution of sins (a short prayer said to forgive one’s sins) for Justin, warned him never to look ‘it’ in the eyes, keep praying and they went in. She was seated with her head hung low and grunting almost like an animal. Fr. Gerard then proceeded to pray over her and Justin said his own prayers, both of them with their eyes closed. For some baffling reason, Justin decided to look at the girl in the midst of prayer and to his immense fear found her not on the chair but pinned to the corner of the ceiling. She defied gravity and her body concaved to fit the corner of that ceiling. He was rooted in fear and tapped Fr. Gerard who still had his eyes closed in prayer and muttered, “Father, she’s not on the chair.” Though in shock, Fr. Gerard yelled at her for her to get down from there and she fell with a sickening thud. She was a victim of ‘Demonic Possession.’



Demonic Possession in layman’s terms is the domination by one or more demons over man’s bodily organs and his lower spiritual faculties. In some instances of possession recounted in the New Testament, possession by the devil is manifested in various disturbances of the human body itself, where he has gained control over a man’s sight, hearing, speech, or the physical organism in general. To be possessed can mean that Satan has gained mastery over free will so devastatingly that sinfulness passes beyond ordinary depravity in the world, and its cause must be sought in a power above the order of nature. To be possessed can mean that Satan has clouded the intellect, so that the light of faith cannot illuminate it. To be possessed can mean that Satan has befuddled a person’s reason. Now simple and naive folk have wrongly made lunacy synonymous with diabolical infestation. I don’t blame them. How does one really tell between the two?

According to the Vatican, there are a few hard and fast rules that are fool proof and comprehensible. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying. Other descriptions include access to hidden knowledge or knowledge of the unknowable (gnosis) and foreign languages (glossolalia), drastic changes in vocal intonation and facial structure, the sudden appearance of injuries (scratches, bite marks) or lesions, and superhuman strength and extreme aversion to holy objects like the crucifix, rosary, Eucharist (holy bread) and holy water. Unlike in channeling or other forms of possession, the subject has no control over the possessing entity and so it will persist until forced to leave the victim, usually through a form of exorcism. None of these paranormal symptoms appear in someone who has a psychological disorder. Even dissociative disorders mimic these symptoms but not to the heighten extremes that there’s no explanation. As stated before, how does one explain speaking in a foreign language instantaneously, or knowing things that are impossible to know and physical changes in their bodies with no apparent cause? Like how voice intonations change so drastically, or being able to quote scripture or convulsing when coming into contact with sacred objects? Roman Catholics believe this is the work of Satan’s foot soldiers, in other words malevolent spirits or demons. There is a hierarchy of angels in heaven and this applies to Satan’s minions. And there is one answer to drive out a demon of demons out of a victim: Exorcism. A successful exorcism happens when the demon or demons within the victim gives out their name or names and how many of them are residing within the victim. This is something the demons hold on to and will never divulge easily.

Once a possession is confirmed by a parish priest, he sends a formal letter to the Bishop (high ranking priest) who will assign an exorcist priest to the victim’s home. Every diocese has two exorcist priests. The diocese of Selangor has Fr. V.A. Michael and Fr. Philip Muthu. An ordinary priest will go as far as a spiritual cleansing but exorcist will perform the complete Roman Rites of Exorcism. Exorcists go through constant prayer and mostly free of sin. Demons, like thieves, don’t want you to know they are there so these priests have a daunting task ahead of them.

Can it happen to just about anyone? Unfortunately it can. I was one of those people that lived in oblivion thinking that it only happened to those who were filled to the brim with faith or those who had next to none. Reality check; those in between are on the line too. All it takes is for you to stop believing. The funny thing is it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in the devil, what matters is HE BELIEVES IN YOU.


           Father Gerard Theraviam from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur


                                   Justin Janath from Prodigal Apostles                                                 

Desensitized By Miley


Miss Destiny Hope Cyrus.

She has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue ever since her shocking and disastrously jarring performance at MTV Video Music Awards stole the show a few months back. She has been nit-picked and critiqued beyond compare by every entertainment/culture commentary website for just about everything: for being a racist slut to being a regular rebellious teen who just wants to be liberated from her Disney days. However with everything that has happened, I find myself feeling quite honestly, blasé and apathetic towards everything she does now.


Of course like anyone who saw the VMA performance, I was floored by her and it was not in any sense good. My expression can be likened with the reactions of Will Smith’s family (though it is allegedly a reaction towards Lady Gaga’s performance, but I digress).


Miley ticked every box in order to make sure it was a “strategic hot mess“. She followed the ranks of previous pop queens who were on the verge of epic stardom and had also seized the opportunity to shock and awe audiences, in order to cement their positions in pop music history. For instance, a young Madonna circa 1984 performing “Like a Virgin” while sauntering and rolling around on the VMA stage in a wedding dress. And, who could forget when Britney Spears appeared on stage in a scantily clad outfit performing “I’m a Slave 4 U” with a giant yellow python on her shoulders? The examples I’ve given of past VMA performances were all in chronological order, with Madonna being the daring pioneering woman to Miley continuing the “tradition”. Not only is it arranged according to the time frame, but the level of absurdity and hyper sexualized content also became incrementally over the top as we the audience become more and more desensitized with each year. We become immune to the nastiness and vulgarity of how pop stars these days behave or present themselves, because it is all just a routine of out-shining and outdoing each other. But I think we can all agree that Miley’s performance was the most shocking and excited the most controversy out of any female or male pop star in recent memory.


Next, I’m sure everyone has heard about Sinead O’ Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus. I did read the nearly 1000 word essay, that was brimming with motherly advice and concern for her, but instead of respectfully accepting the letter as it was, Miley took to Twitter to compare the veteran singer to Hollywood’s latest casualty- Amanda Bynes. Understandably, O’ Connor was angered and criticized her for making light of mental illness.  This debacle makes for a very charming nugget of “a day in the life of Miley Cyrus” but it really is insignificant if you saw the pictures that she posed for Terry Richardson as it surfaced right after the altercation with the “Nothing Compares 2 U” crooner. The pictures, as expected from the notorious photographer, left nothing to the imagination and the question of taste and decency was nowhere in sight.

The reoccurring message of the open letter was to “stop prostituting yourself”. Harsh but honest words. Sinead basically wrote the letter in response to when Miley told a Rolling Stone that the inspiration behind the video of “Wrecking Ball” was her iconic video for “Nothing Compares 2 U“, “but, like, the most modern version”. By modern, I think she meant more nudity and sexual connotation. Again, controversy was swirling around the twerking pop wild child and she defended her video, explaining that it was a portrayal of her vulnerability and devastation that she suffered from her separation with her ex-fiancée, Liam Hemsworth. I think whatever hurt or pain she felt can be portrayed in a more subdued manner if she ( or executives) wanted to, but she chose the other route because it generates more buzz and Youtube views and in turn more revenue.

I am a child of MTV therefore I can vouch for myself and say that I am not a prude, but I don’t think whatever she did in “Wrecking Ball” can be artistically justified.

Some might argue that whatever Miley does is on her own volition and no one else, and I believe that, but it is foolish to think that she does not have  a handler to  persuade and nudge her. You can even label what she is doing as empowerment, rebellion, successful, different, bold, disgusting, unsavory, but some might disagree with you. If you were to ask me however, I would simply shrug and say “What’s new?”

How I lost 10 kg in 3 Weeks!

Before getting to the title on how I lost 10 kg in 3 weeks. I believe it is essential for me to include the following:  ‘Top 5 Exercising Myths busted’, ‘Types of exercising routines for beginners’ and definitely ‘How I lost 10 kg in 3 weeks’.


Left : When I was 52 KG. Right: When I lost 10 KG in 3 weeks.

Let’s begin!

No doubt when you think of exercising, you will cringe and think of how tiring it will be. Exercising is actually very good for you mentally and physically. According to Rita Redberg, MSC, chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Advisory Board, she said “Any increment of physical activity is going to be a great boost to weight loss and feeling better.” However, some exercises are better than others.

The point of me writing this article is to motivate my fellow readers and friends that healthy living is the way forward. If I can achieve it so can you!

Top 5 exercising myths busted!

Before going ahead with my experience and which exercises should a beginner attempt to do, we will need to debug exercising myths that has spread over the internet and hearsay with its get quick gimmicks. I read online that there are several myths that many people believe in and it is time to set the records straight once and for all. I have been exercising for about a year, I know from experience that these myths are not true. I chose 5 myths because I heard a lot of my friends doing the wrong workout which led to insignificant results. This section will show you things that you should not follow in order to have an effective workout.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo 1: I need to go to the Gym to get results.

Truth: You do not actually need to go to the gym to get the results you want. You can do it in the comfort of your home. All you need is probably a chair, motivational music or even a yoga mat to start exercising. Yes, the gym provides you a huge variety of equipment and ability to increase the weight whenever you need. However, if you find yourself uncomfortable to go to a gym for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to start exercising in the comfort of your own home. Don’t know how to exercise efficiently? Don’t worry, I will guide you on the ways to kick start your exercising routine. Click here to find out if the gym is really a place for you: The If Life

mDzV_v3QiApiZrVQEk8UlhQNo 2: I need to exercise for two – three hours to get results.

Truth: People often think the period of time they spend working out is equivalent to the fat burned. Typical example of this would be people spending hours slow walking on a treadmill, only to have minimal results and complain that it doesn’t work for them. In fact, heavy weight lifting or any intensive workout tends to burn a few times more fats than the mentioned. Few training methods that are known for burning fat effectively includes: compound weight lifting, interval training, high intensity training or just any other exercise that is genuinely difficult for you to complete. Definitely not a walk in the park. More details can be found at; Nerd Fitness

BodybuildingWomanNo 3: Weight lifting gives you bulky muscles. 

Truth: This is an age old excuse for women who do not want to do difficult exercise in fear of gaining muscle and looking too “bulky”. Muscle needs testosterones to grow, women have 50 times less testosterones than men, and men take years to build muscle. The previous sentences tells us that women have no chance in reaching the same muscle composite as men, excluding the muscular females that we see in magazines that went through years of the steroid cycle. One interesting fact to encourage women out there to lift weights is that all Victoria Secret’s models are required to do intensive weight lifting routine, and we can all see what those exercises do to their bodies. Fit Sugar

No 4: I only want to lose some belly fats and not work out my whole body (Spot Reduction).

Truth: Sadly, you cannot concentrate on only one part of your body; no matter what exercise you do, your body chooses where to burn the fats. Imagine a basin full of water with 3 separated levels, you cannot choose to “empty” the lowest level regardless of whether you are scooping the water out as hard as you can. Typical examples of this would be women wanting to “slim” down their arm only, and opted to only do minor arm exercises leading to a failure due to the limited area covered. To put it in perspective, no you cannot slim down and get a six pack by doing 1000 sit ups a day. Trust me, I have tried it and it doesn’t work. Instead, it would be better to concentrate on the major areas of your body and in time your desired location would also reduced. I would recommend compound exercises that work several parts of your body at once such as burpees, deadlift, pull-up or etc. These work outs will surely make you lose not only the desired area but other areas of the body as well. There are many online fitness blog that says spot reduction does not work, understand the reason why here: Weight Zone Factor

calendarNo 5: I don’t want to work out everyday it’s too tiresome!

Truth: You do not need to work out every day if you do not want to. For me, I only work out 3-4 days a week. Intense exercising every single day will actually tire a beginner out and make you less likely to want to continue exercising ever again. It happened to me! In all honesty, muscles need time to recover from the strain that you have put it through the night before so resting is also essential. It is recommended to focus on a few days of quality exercising instead of going at it for 7 days a week while your body is still in pain. It will make you lose the correct forms in exercising and in turn will cause injuries. So for starters, focusing a few days of exercising might give you a much better result. Understand why it is so here: Why four workouts a week may be better than six

By breaking these myths I hope you will begin to exercise effectively. If you think you are ready, read below to know about basic beginner exercising routines you can do at home. In this section, I will list down the type of exercises you can do and which area it covers, it will also include exercising videos from Youtube to guide you.

Beginner exercise: Tiny circuit training

The beginner exercises are laid down for you. What are you waiting for? The below exercise routine made me lose 10 kg in 3 weeks. Let me share my story with you.

When I first stepped foot in Kuala Lumpur, being homesick I began to continuously eat and try different types of food. I gained 10 kg in 3 months time. It wasn’t looking good for me. Only at 153cm short, I began to look overweight. I began to buy new clothes just to fit into my now M size body.

With the weight gain, I began to feel tired and lazy. When going out I will always be the first one to tire out. I didn’t like how I was treating my body and what my body was telling me to do; which is to exercise. With the help of the internet I managed to motivate myself and start exercising at home.

This is how I exercise, for 5 minutes only.

Circuit training – quick, fast and intense.

1. 10 rep x 3 set Squats

(Click on the video below, on how to do squats)

2. 10 rep x 3 set Leg raise

(Click on the video below, on how to do leg raise)

3. 10 rep x 3 set Shadow Boxing

(Click on the video below, on how to do shadow boxing)

(You don’t really need a boxing box or glove, you can use the same intensity by shadow boxing)

The exercises above have to be performed one after the other with no rest until steps 1 to 3 is completed 3 times in total. Remember to keep your form prefect, maintain your tempo and breathing. You should move on from these exercises when you can complete it perfectly within 5 min. Due to the light but fast exercises, it is recommended to do this twice a day.

Ok I can do those easily, now what do I do next?

I recommend doing 3 to 5 body part exercises per day. With each exercise, do 20 repetitions with 3 sets. For example, if you choose to do push ups, do 20 of it, rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute then repeat it 2 times more, bringing the total to “3 sets”.  Typically your entire workout will only take less than 20 minutes for this beginner stage. It is always a good idea to choose an upper body exercise, a lower body exercise and a “core” or stomach exercise.

The information below is only for beginners to get started. There are different exercising styles that focus on the same body part. Once your body is very familiar with it, move on to other styles so your muscles would not reach a stagnant stage. The ideal time to move on is 3 weeks.

Once you feel that this routine is too easy, it is time to move on to harder exercises or use weights. It should only take you around 2 weeks to reach this stage.

Body Part                                                           Exercise

1- Chest/Triceps                                                    – 20 rep x 3 sets of Knee push up.

2- Back/Biceps                                                       – 20 rep x 3 sets of dumbbell bent over row

3- Legs                                                                      – 20 rep x 3 sets of squats

(I would recommend going as low as you physically can)
4- Abs                                                                        – 20 rep x 3 sets of leg raise

After getting the hang of it, I began to add more numbers to my sets and change the type of exercising but still focusing on the core areas of my body which are the abs, legs and triceps. I would only work out three to four times a week. I still eat what I want but just in moderate amounts. On the 2nd week of exercising I notice changes in my lifestyle. I no longer feel tired or lazy. I can walk for a distance without the need to catch my breath. Many of my classmates also noticed the changes in me. They said I became more radiant and happy compared to the first time that they met me.

*Maintain prefect form, tempo, breathing and increase weight whenever you feel that you can.*

Till today I still continue exercising at moderate pace to keep fit so I would not go back to the dark side. The point of me writing this whole article is to try and motivate my fellow readers and friends that healthy living is the way forward. By debugging the myths, giving you some tips of beginner exercise and my experience, I hope you will be able to change to a healthy lifestyle.

Below is my current exercising routine  for reference;

Body Part                                                       Exercise
1. Chest/Triceps                                               – 10 rep x 10 sets of Knee pushed up.

2. Back/Biceps                                                  – 10 rep x 10 sets of Assisted pull-up

3. Legs                                                                – 10 rep x 10 sets of weighted squats

(I would recommend going as low as you physically can)
4. Abs                                                                 – 10 rep x 10 sets of leg raise

That’s all for me. Good Luck and Keep healthy 😀

Should there be any doubts or inquiries feel free to leave a comment below and I will revert back to you ASAP.

By : Ong Michelle