Sunday, March 2, 2008

Transgenders/Transsexuals And Malaysia (We Love Our Country, But Our Country Do Not Love Us).

The elections in Malaysia are coming again, and once again there is not even one politician willing to take on the lesbian, gay and transgender issues in Malaysia. Over at the United States, the proponents of the issues is headed by Democrat Senator Barrack Obama, followed by Senator Hilary Clinton and surprisingly Republican John McCain. Both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton had voiced disgust over the senseless murder of 15-year old transgender Lawrence King in California.

In the States, and across the world, the adaptation of the new look on homosexuality and transgenderism has hit a high. When the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM-IV in 1973, a stance supported by other major medical and mental health institutions (something the Christian fundamentalists view as caused by pressure of gay groups), more and more people are realising it is absurd to state that 477,000 medical and mental health professionals bowed down to any pressures.

Instead it is a reassurance that decades of studies had proven that homosexuality is just as normal a condition as heterosexuality. On Gender Identity Disorder or GID (know to be equated at some quarters as Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS)), the general public is beginning to realise that this medical condition exists, and goes to challenge the very fabric of sexuality perpetuated by religious groups and the conservative public. Sadly, these information is filtered out in my country, Malaysia.

In Malaysia, transgenders/transsexuals are considered a culture and often rejected by society as freakish outkasts. Most are considered to be creatures having declined social morals. And because the people in this box called Malaysia refuse to think out of the box, most transgenders are always stuck in their closets, fearing disrimination and rejection. Transsexuals got it worse, because they can never be in closets, making them an obvious target of not only ridicule, but also violence.

Three years ago, a transsexual named Mumtaz in Ipoh was arrested, stripped and humiliated by Malaysian Police personnel for waiting for her husband in a hotel room. Last year, a transsexual named Ayu was arrested for just chatting with a friend at a bus stop, then was seriously beaten by religious authorities. This year, another named Freda was found murdered. The media disrespectfully portrayed her as a 'he' wearing red long-sleeved T-shirt, black bra and black pants.

Along the lines, the media never cease to broadcast 'bad news' about transgenders at every opportunity. And authorities continue to be brutal towards transgenders. Across the years, many transgenders/transsexuals are being penalized (some are non-muslims), abused, raped, cheated and even murdered. Some managed to get some headlines thanks to affiliates and groups such as PT Foundation. Most sadly ended up John Doe's, even though medical sciences calls them Jane's.

Transgenders/transsexuals are people. Some of us are registered voters like me. Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. So why is the government treating transgenders/transsexuals with such disdain is beyond me. GID/ HBS are valid medical conditions requiring treatment of aligning the body to its correct sexual identity. We need protection. Alas, in Kuala Terengganu, they attempt rehabs to get MF transgenders/transsexuals out of feminine 'habits'.

The absurd, foolish and ludacrious treatment handed out by Malaysian authorities upon transgender/transsexuals have not even raised one eyebrow hair in the government of Malaysia. Malaysia claims glory and coming of age in sending a space flight attendant (oops, sorry, erm' astronaught) to space. Malaysia heralded development of infrastructure like the Petronas Twin Towers. However for transgenders/transsexuals, Malaysia chose to be ignorant and preducicial.

Such is a country labelled around the world as a laughing stock. “First class facilities, third class mentality” they called Malaysia. Seriously for a country that gives its Muslim women the right to decide whether to have their hair covered, Malaysia still chooses to be stubborn in regards to it's own people who are transgenders/transsexuals. With more GID/HBS medical approach and legal protection applied by the world today (even Iranians are on it); what becomes of my country now?

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