Monday, December 10, 2012

This & That in The News - Trans Issues From Around The World

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to share or comment about. These are the articles that caught my attention last week.

This week is all about trans-issues in other countries and start in Asia…
Transgender groups fear violent protests
Indonesia's transgender community fears rising intimidation from the Islam Defenders Front after the religious group closed down a transgender festival in Jakarta.
Published: Dec. 10, 2012

JAKARTA, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Indonesia's transgender community said its members fear rising intimidation from the Islam Defenders Front after the religious group closed a transgender festival in Jakarta.

Their fear is heightened by the belief that police are reluctant to protect them in general should verbal intimidation turn into violence, a report by The Jakarta Post said.

Merlyn Sofyan, a transgender activist, told the Post that transgender groups throughout Indonesia have reluctantly curtailed social events and educational classes in the past two years over such fears.
Also this article about Indonesia was in the Jakarta Globe…
FPI Shuts Down Transgender Festival in Jakarta
Jakarta Globe
By Abdul Qowi Bastian
December 04,

A transgender festival in Jakarta was cancelled on Monday night, after the Islamic Defenders Front turned up to the event and demanded the organizers shut it down.

Salim Alatas, chief patron of the Jakarta chapter of the organization, known as the FPI, told the Jakarta Globe that the festival organizer for the Miss Waria contest in Pasar Festival, South Jakarta, did not have a permit from the police.

“The local community did not want the contest to be held in their area. They asked the police if there is a permit for the contest, but there is not,” said Salim, who discovered the event from a newspaper. “We will deny if there is such thing as a transgender contest in our country. It’s morally destructive and not educating.”
Here is a blog about the unrest in Asia caused by religious extremists but this time in Malaysia…
Mak Nyahs: Transgendered Muslims in Malaysia
Patheos: Muslin Media Watch
December 10, 2012
By nurulsyahirah

Mak nyah is the term that transgendered women in Malaysia use to identify themselves. Mak means ‘mother’, and nyah is derived from the literal meaning of ‘running away’ to refer to ‘transition’…
The justification for this violence towards mak nyahs mainly comes from their race and class. All the four women interviewed explained how it was difficult for them to rent a house, continue their education (the stress of having to room with a male student) or find jobs other than low-paying and precarious ones in the field of administration, food and beverages, or as a last resort, sex work. Even if they looked female (which even the ERT report also tried to emphasise with one of their accompanying images), their identity card revealed their masculine gender and names, as given at birth, resulting in discrimination and ridicule.

As they identify as Malay and (automatically) Muslim, they are subject to a section in the Seremban syariah code that makes it an offence for a “man to act like a woman”. Specifically, “wearing women’s attire” or “posing as a woman” is reason for being arrested, having their breasts groped (on the pretext of checking for bras), and being asked to undress in front of other men. The women also state that they do not wear bras because this could be used as evidence of their “cross-dressing”, but sometimes even when they are wearing masculine clothing like football jerseys, they are still arrested for having a “physical appearance [...] of a woman.”
Heading over to Africa, there is an article about trans-women working the streets being attacked by the military…
Transgender sex workers face abuse by military in Ivory Coast
Fox News
Associated Press
Published December 10, 2012

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast –  Transgender sex workers in Ivory Coast have been subjected to horrific abuses by the country's armed forces, including being sodomized with rifles, according to interviews with victims.

In interviews with The Associated Press, victims and local activists say transgender sex workers were regularly stripped and beaten. In the most extreme case, those dressed as women who were discovered to be men during the strip search, were held overnight at military camps and raped with Kalashnikov rifles. Others' heads were shaved with broken beer bottles.
Moving down to south of our boarder to Dominican Republic…
Transsexuals demand equal treatment, respect
Dominican Today
By Jhonatan Liriano
December 10, 2012

Santo Domingo.-  Dominican Republic’s Transsexual Community (Cotrave) on Monday demanded treatment without discrimination and equal access to basic services.

In a press conference, the heads of Cotrave noted that today marks the day of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for which the group’s coordinator, Nairovi Castillo, revealed that despite that 18 transsexuals and sexual workers have been killed in just one year, no indictments have been made.

He said fully into the 21st century, the country lags further and further behind in discrimination in education, health and freedom of movement for that sector.
We here in the U.S. sometimes forget or are not aware of the treatment of our brothers and sisters around the world. They face religious persecution and transphobia every day, for them just going out the door is an act courage. We also face violence every day when we go out in public, but it is nowhere on the scale that they face.

Today is Human Rights Day and let us take a moment to think about what it means to us and to other trans-people around the world.
Human Rights Day, 10 December

Human Rights Day presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.

This year, the spotlight is on the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.

These human rights — the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) have been at the centre of the historic changes in the Arab world over the past two years, in which millions have taken to the streets to demand change. In other parts of the world, the “99%” made their voices heard through the global Occupy movement protesting economic, political and social inequality.

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