Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

It would depend on the expat. Surveys I've seen indicate that a large majority of Indonesians strongly disapprove of homosexuality, and that this disapproval largely transcends religious and ethnic lines. The national parliament periodically proposes a law that would criminalize sex outside of marriage, something that gay rights advocates fear could give an official imprimatur to increased harassment of the LGBT community. None of this would likely affect anyone assigned to the consulate, but it should give you an idea of the local milieu. That being said, most of the persecution of Indonesian LGBT people that you read about in the international papers takes place in Aceh, far from Surabaya's Consular district and culturally a different universe. In Surabaya, as elsewhere in Indonesia, there are organizations working to support the rights of LGBT Indonesians. - Nov 2018


Depends on whether one needs the stereotypical gay scene, which doesn't exist except behind closed doors. You don't see a lot of PDA in general and it is a fairly conservative part of Indonesia. - Oct 2015


Homosexuality is technically illegal in Indonesia. Practically - it depends. Some areas are more welcoming and tolerant of same-sex couples. I can't attest to opportunities in Surabaya for LGBT folks, but we do know a few who seem to get by quite easily. - Apr 2015


I don't know, but this is Muslim majority country and Islam forbids homosexuality. - Oct 2012


Nope. - May 2012


There is an active 'under the radar' gay community, a local support group, internet social groups, and the occasional 'gay-friendly' event at one of the (very few) commercial night clubs. Public affection, gay or non-gay, is frowned upon and will result in uncomfortable stares from the locals. Note: an international gay group attempted to have a conference at a 4-star Surabaya hotel, which ended up being disrupted and cancelled when local conservative religious groups intervened (after the local police protection was paid off and disappeared). - Oct 2010


Probably not, but I never heard of serious problems. Not much of a scene that I'm aware of. - Aug 2009


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More