LGBTQ website asia.gay aims to get queer health news past language barriers

Teng Yong Ping
·Lifestyle Editor
·3 min read
Asian LGBTQ communities now have a new resource in newly launched website asia.gay, which aims to provide the latest news in local native languages on topics including gay men’s health, gay culture, lifestyle news, human rights, and politics.  Launched on World Aids Day (1 Dec), asia.gay aims to be the first community-led platform in the immensely diverse Asian region to provide LGBTQ-related news in a variety of local languages, apart from English.
Asia.gay aims to be the first community-led platform in the region to provide LGBTQ news in a variety of local languages apart from English.

Asian LGBTQ communities now have a new resource in newly launched website asia.gay, which aims to provide the latest news in local native languages on topics including gay men’s health, gay culture, lifestyle news, human rights, and politics.

Launched on World Aids Day (1 Dec), asia.gay aims to be the first community-led platform in the immensely diverse Asian region to provide LGBTQ-related news in a variety of local languages apart from English.

Yen Feng, editor of asia.gay, said of the need for such a multilingual resource, “A great deal of LGBTQI-related information is online – but only if you speak English. The less widely spoken your language is, the smaller number of reliable sources of information there are for LGBTQ+ people. This is nowhere more keenly felt than in Asia, where there are hundreds of living languages. Asia’s massive linguistic diversity is a major reason why access to information can be challenging for sexual minorities.”

Gerard Clancy, director of M+B, which operates asia.gay, told Yahoo Lifestyle SEA that the website’s primary mission is to provide critical news about gay men's health to communities in Asia.

Clancy said, “In many Asian environments, the stigma and discrimination faced by gay men (and other LGBTQ+ people, such as transgender people) make it hard for them to access not only services but even basic information about their health. This includes HIV and HIV treatments like PrEP and antiretrovirals, and also other sexually transmitted diseases. In places where such information is available – such as online, for example – much of it is in English. This is challenging for many Asian communities where English is not spoken or understood widely. That is why we are focused on providing translated content with regard to our articles about health and sexual health.”

Currently, asia.gay can be viewed in English, Thai and Bahasa Indonesia. The website hopes to add additional translations soon for languages such as Burmese, Bahasa Melayu, Lao, Khmer and Arabic.

Highlights from the website include articles about the current COVID-19 pandemic, updates on HIV treatments in Asia, and gay travel guides for Asian cities including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bali.

Asia.gay is also among the first sites to adopt the .gay domain. Released by domain registry Top Level Design in September, .gay features strong anti-hate measures to guarantee that websites registered with this domain will always be LGBTQ-friendly spaces. Anyone can now register for a .gay website and 20% of all registration revenue will be donated to LGBTQ non-profit groups.

Clancy said asia.gay will make its translated content locally and culturally relevant for readers in different locations by working with local writers and contributors. “We believe the LGBTQ+ community deserves and needs a space for credible, well-researched, and up-to-date LGBTQ+ resources in Asia, and we hope to contribute to that space.”