The land I call home, Indonesia, is a sunny archipelago filled with tropical jungles, scenic beaches, and vibrant spices to titillate all senses. However, Indonesia casts a shadow that contains an expansive history subordinating certain groups of the population, such as women, ethnically Chinese-Indonesians, and members of the LGBTQ+ Community. I am all three.
I am Kai Mata, a 6th Generation Chinese-Indonesian, who also happens to be a publicly out queer woman. My family lived through mass killings that targeted our ethnic group in the previous century. In this current one, I live with the lingering cloud of persecution for outspoken advocacy regarding LGBTQ+ Rights.
With death threats plentiful, a government that continues to criminalize us through bylaws, and our nation’s LGBTQ+ Acceptance Rate consistently under 10%, very few people in Indonesia come out. Even fewer do so with a career in the public eye. Some have called me brave. I call myself privileged, with financial stability and self-employment allowing me to take these risks.
Despite belonging to multiple marginalized groups, financial security gives me the platform to speak out and stand up. Many people, don’t have the economic foundations to leverage their adversity into advantage.
That’s where Lucy comes in. And that’s how the world can grow into a place where we strive to uplift ourselves and each other.
*Kai wrote Lucy’s theme song “Where Love Goes”
Artist: Olivia Lim, from Indonesia