Discussing LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) is still a controversial issue for Indonesian society by this time. The assumptions are constructed on the community tend to discriminate because they are often considered as the scum. All of that is due to the mindset of our society who still assume that LGBT is a deviant behavior their existence is often undesirable by society (Oetomo, 2013). However, no one would think that it turns out LGBT as one of the attractions for local and foreign tourists in Indonesia. LGBT Tourism Destination or called Pink Tourism is a term for LGBT travel (Huges, 2006) where not a new phenomenon, but its existence is not so highlighted by the wider community, particularly in Indonesia. It called Pink Tourism because pink color has been adopted by the homosexual community when the inverted pink triangle must be worn by gay men at Nazi Germany concentration camps at the time. So that, nowaday, phrase of pink tourism have been the term for tourist attractions which used LGBT as the main attraction (Ni Putu Diah Prabawati et al., 2019). Pink Tourism has become a natural thing for countries in Europe such as Spain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, but not for Indonesia (UNWTO, 2012). Indonesia for this far has only been mostly recognized by its tourism sector in term of natural and ethnicity. However, it turns out that we keep taboo tourism in the society called LGBT tourism. Many tourists want to visit Indonesia because they want to feel this Indonesia LGBT tourism. Two regions as the most popular tourism in Indonesia also store lucrative LGBT tourism, which is Yogyakarta and Bali. Indonesia is truly rich with its tourist attractions where all over parts of Indonesia has its attractiveness. However, as we know from all of that Special Region of Yogyakarta and Bali are the most want to visit places in Indonesia. This two well-known regions not only provide a beautiful landscape and ethnicity but also amazing and interesting Pink Tourism for their tourists.
Special Region of Yogyakarta is very known by their Javanese culture with Yogyakarta Palace so that make Yogyakarta is amazed by the local and foreign tourists, because in this digital era, Yogyakarta is still the most genuine city with its culture. Others than that typical destination, Yogyakarta also has a no less interesting LGBT tourism destination, Raminten Cabaret Show. “Raminten” Cabaret Show is one of the Pink Tourism in Yogyakarta located at the edge of Malioboro Street. Generally, this club employs the talented transsexual and transgender in Yogyakarta where those LGBT will entertain the audiences by dancing and singing. This Raminten Cabaret Show has been the most attractive and interesting tourist spot nearby Malioboro street for local and foreign tourists to watch Yogyakarta drag queen performance after shopping around Malioboro street or deliberately coming for them. This situation is being controversial when in a one Indonesia society is completely rejecting the LGBT community among them in another hand giving faith to those kinds of LGBT club in Yogyakarta. In addition to Yogyakarta with its Raminten Cabaret Show, Bali also has its no less interesting pink tourism icon. Before that, we all know that Bali or commonly called The land of Gods is the most favorite destination in the world. Bali has a lot of nature destinations but who knows regardless of their nature, Bali is being one of the most want to visit place for gay people, proved by several search source in (Google, 2017) that found 15.000.000 result by “gay Bali” keyword (Ni Putu Diah Prabawati et al., 2019). By the data, we do not surprisingly know that Bali also has its own Pink Tourism to accommodate their tourists’ needs, especially for them with different sexual orientation. Bali Joe is a Bali’s gay club located in Seminyak region which is one of the Lands of Gods’ pink tourism. Bali Joe does not only attract local tourist but more even to foreign tourists and who knows that Bali Joe also gives profits to the around society. The level of their income from parking fee in Seminyak is more contributed by tourists visiting gay club compared to other tourists attractions, besides the mobility of tourists who wants to visit this pink tourism also give more profit to society around Seminyak and stimulate their tourism, particularly in management services and accommodation hospitality (Ni Putu Diah Prabawati et al., 2019). Bali Joe has been the most popular pink tourism in Bali even to the international. Their existence giving a positive impact on the society around them and increase Bali tourism destination either directly or indirectly.
A controversial phenomenon for Indonesia society is when being LGBT is considered as social deviation and the crum we also welcome the LGBT entertaining even being LGBT giving a blessing for anyone or this country. When many of LGBT experienced so many denials, evidently there are also many LGBTians being the public spotlight and the icon. Yogyakarta and Bali, this two the most famous regions in Indonesia has proved us that LGBT in tourism sector also can be one of the proponents of stability in society, particularly in economy pilar. The places which employ LGBT not only to accommodate the LGBT but also giving a positive implication for the society around them. Seeing LGBT from a tourism perspective is interesting. It brings us to see the different perspectives of LGBT from the positive sides that LGBT is still having a faith to work and earning money and their existence giving benefits to everyone around them.
Oetomo, Dede. 2013. Hidup Sebagai LGBT di Asia: Laporan Nasional Indonesia, Bali: Dialog Komunitas LGBT Nasional.
Huges, H. L., 2006. Pink Tourism Holiday of Gay Men and Lesbian. London: CAB International.
UNWTO, 2012. Global Report on LGBT Tourism AM Reports: Volume Three, Madrid, Spain: World Tourism Organization
Ni Putu Diah Prabawati, A.A. Ngurah Anom Kumbara, I. B. Gde Pujaastawa., 2019. Implikasi Kunjungan Wisatawan Gay di Seminyak, Bali. JUMPA Volume 05, Nomor 02., Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/46335-1153-98323-1-10-20190129.pdf
This article was written by Ferdinan R. Pilipus Sitanggang, an undergraduate student of Department of English at the Universitas Teknologi Yogyakarta, while working as an intern at Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS).
Photo by Nemanja .O. on Unsplash