Indonesia has a long and rich tradition of homosexual and transgender cultures, and the past 40 years in particular has seen an increased visibility of sexual minorities in the country, which has been reflected through film and popular culture. This book examines how representations of gay, lesbian and transgender individuals and communities have developed in Indonesian cinema during this period. The book first explores Indonesian engagement with waria (male-to-female transgender) identities and the emerging representation of gay and lesbi Indonesians during Suharto’s New Order regime (1966-98), before going on to the reimagining of these positions following the fall of the New Order, a period which saw the rebirth of the film industry with a new generation of directors, producers and actors. Using original interview research and focus groups with gay, lesbi and waria identified Indonesians, alongside the films themselves and a wealth of archival sources, the book contrasts the ways in which transgendered lives are actually lived with their representations on screen.

chapter |22 pages


chapter |27 pages

Wadam, waria and the story of a man who became a woman

Non-normative genders in the 1970s

chapter |27 pages

The first Indonesian gay movie

Gay men in the cinema of the 1980s

chapter |25 pages

Lesbi in the metropolis

Stories of sex and salvation in Indonesian cinema of the 1990s

chapter |25 pages

Modern gay men and fear of the queer unwanted

Positive images from the Reform Era

chapter |25 pages

Old concerns in a new era?

Images of lesbi in the new millennium

chapter |25 pages

A proliferation of storylines

Alternative masculinities in mainstream cinema