Surabaya Gay `Party` was Just HIV/AIDS Dissemination: Organizer

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  • TEMPO.CO, Surabaya - G Nite Party on Sunday evening, February 7, 2016 was canceled after the Surabaya Police threatened to disband the event. A member of the organizing committee plays down that the party was held only for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT).

    According to the organizer, it was named as a party to make it more attractive. “No, it’s for public; anyone could have came to the party. It was actually an educational event and dissemination on the danger of HIV/AIDS,” said a representative of King Entertainment as the organizer of G Nite Party, Dodik Indrianto, when contacted by Tempo, Sunday evening, February 7, 2016.

    Dodik explained that the event took a concept of party to attract more participants. According to him, similar event had been held in the form of a gathering but the participants was small in number. “This time we'll make it to be more fun,” he said.

    As a proof, Dodik added, the organizing committee also invited Surabaya Health Department, Surabaya Social Department, Surabaya HIV/AIDS Prevention Commission and three community health centers (puskesmas) in Surabaya. He confirmed that similar events was also held in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bogor.

    “The event was held to encourage people to check themselves and to be more aware with themselves,” he said citing the word “courage” (berani) as mentioned in the invitation.

    King Entertainment management has informed the prospective participants following the cancellation of the event which would have been held on Sunday, February 7, 2016, at 11:00 pm and the event is suspended until the agreed time.

    Dede Oetomo, founder of GAYa Nusantara community, regrets the cancellation of G Nite Party as he is involved in the event. “It’s a regular HIV test campaign; a program of the Health Ministry. It’s been held in Surabaya for a long time; also in Jakarta,” he said.

    Dede explained that the campaign in the form of a party was used since the model is suitable with LGBT community. In contrast, it would be deemed dull and intimidating if they are persuaded to go to a clinic. “Similar campaigns in Bangkok are also in party concept,” said Dede.

    The campaign on the importance of HIV/AIDS also targeted the general public. “People are welcome to join the test,” said Dede. In fact, the campaign was a program of the Health Ministry. Therefore, he hoped that similar events would not have received resistance and threats from the police in the future.