Officials of the Malaysian state of Terengganu have announced plans to conduct an awareness (sic) religious gender conversion program for ‘mak nyah’ or Transgender people to put them on “the right path’.
Not off to a good start.
First, the authorities need to assuage the well-earned distrust of the community who will undoubtedly go further underground upon hearing of this. The government knows what they want to do to them, but have no idea how many live in the conservative Islamic sultanate of 1.2 million.
The state government plans to identify transgender people living in Terengganu, beyond the 17 known residents, presumably outing the rest by utilizing all available appendages of the state and shadow Muslim government.
State Communications, Multimedia and Special Functions Committee chairman Ghazali Taib said the statistics were expected to be obtained thorough a survey planned for January.
“We will conduct a survey in the third week of January where we will not rely on the existing 17 people at Flat Farmer, Kuala Terengganu (currently).
“We will work with the community leaders, such as the Chairman of the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK), agencies such as the police, the Islamic Religious and Indigenous Peoples Council (MAIDAM) and others identify this group regardless of race and religion, “he said.
Last April we got a taste of what the state considers voluntary after Muslim leaders with the help of police invaded a transgender dinner terrorizing the participants and illegally detaining two.
Transgender citizen Nisha Ayub responded on FaceBook to Ghazali Taib’s plan asking him first get to know us. Then she got down to the nuts and bolts objections. Nisha Ayub points are universally upheld by trans people everywhere, regardless religion, who object to religious extremists insatiable desire to program us, convert us and destroy our lives.
- Firstly before they want to hold an awareness or whatever repenting course for the Transwomen community, they need to understand what is TRANSGENDER and the differences of ones Gender Identity, Sexual Organs, Expressions and Sexuality (SOGIE)
- They would also need to look into why is all those previous Corrective approaches did not manage to so-called change the community and bring them back to whatever right path?
- They need to know that all this kind of correction approaches and trying to change our Gender Identity does not help but create more harms to the community
- They need to see how this approaches actually violates our rights as a Human Being such as Article 8 – Equality, Article 10 – our rights to movement, and expression, Article 5 – personal liberty and so on …
- Why don’t they see that all this kind of programs and statements causes more harm and at the same time makes the community to go more underground as they feel discriminated and not accepted to be apart of the society?
- Don’t they understand that the more they are denying the community of their rights towards their existence and more problems that will than emerge due to their own ignorance?
- Stop assuming that you can change a person into the mold of your own beliefs or understanding. This is not about a puppet but about a human being.
- They need to see that actually we the community are not the problem but its the system that they created that causes the problems for the community.
- Try to learn the history of Malaysian Trans people before the 80’s when the community could live in within the general society and yet they were still accepted as who they are. Its sad to see that we are actually moving backwards rather than forwards when it comes towards the Trans community .
- Try to see this matter from an economical and development point of view. It is just like many other people where we aren’t given the space or opportunity when it comes to education, employment just because we are different from the majority. This is not about using religion or to change our identity .
- Please talk to the community ( Mak Nyah Tulen ), not to people that don’t understand us as we are the one that is living in this body.
“As I’m writing this,” Nisha Ayub continues. “It makes me so emotional thinking of the future of the Trans community here in Malaysia in the future 🙁
Why can’t people just stop using religion or personal beliefs towards others? Stop imposing your rights path or views to dictate others. Stop denying our rights to our own life. Stop mis-representing and stereotyping the community.
We Trans People are just people that are also human that have feelings, emotions and dreams just like everyone . We are not a problem nor we dont harm anyone and yet we are discriminated in so may ways just because we are being truthful to ourselves ….
I hope and pray for 2018 would be a positive year towards the community