Indonesia’s Crackdown on Gay Men: ‘It Doesn’t Get Better, Does It’

The “Moderate” Muslim nation of Indonesia.

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Steven Handoko admits it wasn’t his most dignified moment. Naked as the day he was born, the bookish 25-year-old had been invited on stage by one of the strippers hired for a party at the Atlantis Gym.

That hardly qualified as outrageous behavior in the red-light district of Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, where the Atlantis was located. Nearby were plenty of venues with suggestive names like the Playboy Sensation, massage parlors for straight men. The Atlantis was a gay sauna in a conservative country, but given the generally live-and-let-live milieu of the Indonesian capital’s night life, Mr. Handoko felt safe, if a little embarrassed.

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