Friday, May 30, 2014

draft- msian media during 80s until now

malaisea media since 80s
Every country has got its own socio-political history and background thus shaping its citizen mind and behaviour. For example Malaysia, has a race base system, thus transwomen are also divided by race, class, interests and also between who are beautiful means very passable, barely pass and non-passible. Most malay transwomen naturally or mostly coming from religious family background thus some perform prayer as a male (as fear that the prayer will not be accepted by god and some as female who believe that god will accept the prayer regardless sex , gender, race etc). Indian transwomen have their own group or organization called Thirunangai, and i never heard of any Chinese TS group. From what i see Chinese TS individual who has transitioned go on and live their own life in society as the majority cisgendered women would do. Most probably the need to have a group or organization is coming from group that economically challenged or from poor transwomen who mostly doing sex work where in earlier life she ran away from home at a young age and survive on the street.

Since the early 80s government owned media has spread a lot of fear and prejudice towards transwomen, and the public Some local malay dramas portrayed transwomen who passed away or died, during her burial the people can't even carry her body because of the weight, probably trying to portrayed she's weight by her sin after transition or sex change. Another story, the earth would not accept the body as well by flooding the grave with water.
Because of all this continues fear and horror being a transwoman, some transwomen were scared to become themselves or transition and later in life regretted because too late or the body further masculinized and gave up, live life like a zombie or half awake and half dead.

One story i encounter myself when i was young is inside a local version of 'Mad magazine' called 'Gila-gila', 'Gelihati' etc. I forgot who was the artist but the story is about this person from a village, very effiminate male, the village people love to make fun of her, one day she went to the city Kuala Lumpur to work and transitioned. Then after awhile she get back to the village. She was so sexy and pretty, there was this guy who fell in love with her, he even peeping her shower outside. (In village in the old days the shower or bathroom is outside the house with only 4 walls, some without roof). He fell in love with her and want to propose to her and get married. Then one day she move to Kuala lumpur and then back to the village. When the guy who fell in love with her heard that she came back, he ran straight to her house and knock the door. He was greeted by a man. He frantically ask the man wether he know the woman who use to live here, and eventually the guy told him that he was her. The guy dreams and hope crushed. S / he de-transitioned. At the end, i felt like this is not the story that i would like to have. I would fuckin die as a woman that's what i kept telling myself. I hate this kind of story but it was out there in public, with many other stereotype that shape the society or the malay mind about transwomen.

According to KakSu our senior or mak ayam besar, she has work and met with so many kind of transwomen since working at the community centre since the 80s. Went through many burial. She hasn't witness any single scenarious with the body became very heavy and the grave flooded, thunderstorm etc, etc. Most of them get a peaceful proper burial (despite the burial in male way in islamic burial). Even when you die, the malay society would not give you or accept you fully) probably the fear of gods wrath and hell fire.
I remember few years back doing one of my freelance work with women activists, our project was to produce lighthearted comics online. Poking fun at the religious authority, syariah law, patriarchy in our society, government, laws. One of the issue that came up at that time was the ministry of information new law that requires any lgbt / trans characters must die at the end of the movie or repent and go back to the right path whatever that means. Even before they rule out this phobic laws the've already been doing it for ages. It only materialized recently. I wonder if this is the reason why some of the TS / TG at the time travelled or migrate to Europe and other countries and live their life to the fullestest. The environment to live as a transwoman was very toxic, created by the government owned media. Even when i was young prior to my transition my mother ask me wether I want to be like this famous well knowned comedic effiminate actor. She couldn't even muster or imagined for me to be a woman because the word out there at that time was you can only be woman if you are born with two sex organ. That was their logic. The majority of cisgendered malay minds. Only people born with 2 sex organs can choose wether to become male or female. Even hermaphrodites come with many variations, and when asked some of them are happy to be who they are without having to choose to become male or female. They just happy to live with 2 or ambigous sex organ.
Since the early 80s, the time i was living and growing up. I've met many transwomen. Almost all are passable and beautiful and from my family circles, most have the idea that only hermaphrodite can transition to be woman and most transwomen who transitioned and lead happy live to the fullest and some have their owned family and adopt children of their own, their stories were never out there, non-existent.
I guess this is why i'm doing the project. To tell the other many stories, happy stories, success trans stories that was never told or talk about in public of the malay society.

Philippines is a Catholic country. But they have a long history of the LGBT members being out and proud. They have a long history of gay culture since the American touch their soil but during that time everyone who's non-heterosexual was labelled 'Bakla' in a way that blurred the boundries between gay and transwomen in society's perception.

Majority of Philippinos are poor but many LGBT people within society freely expressing themselves or live fully and it seems there are high tolerance towards LGBTIQ people in the society. They have a long traditions of beauty pageant and its celebrated oftenly every week and every month in different boracay or section of the cities. LGBT members from every spectrum evidently very visible in public For transwomen there are many type as well often very feminine while some still in the process or just happy beng who they are.

In Japan, so far i haven't found any transwoman NGOs or what they call NPO here profit organization). Mostly all LGBTIQ organization here are a mix. No specific Transwomen or Transmen organization. The LGBTIQ group here also are called SekMai which is a short form for sexual minority. Some people i met describe society here there are gaps between the SekMai and the straight people.I wonder if the term 'SekMai' are coming from the straight people to draw the line between the majority straight to the minority like how in Philippines the term Bakla was coin from the past to describe the majority non-heterosexual. And in malaise how (most prob coming from male who felt threatened) by the queer, effeminate male the derogatory term Pondan / Bapok was born which intentionally to disgrace the queer people. Most transwomen who passed the male puberty and develop male physical characteristics like the browbone, adam apple, broader shoulder, bigger bones and feet, hairy arm and legs will experience discrimination from society.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


what happen in the Us and Australia right now....this is sad indeed...
as a transwomen, personally i've never have interests in watching RuPaul dragshow but many of my gay friends are a big fan indeed. And Carmen Carrera discovered herself through RuPaul's show and she was attacked by Ru's fan who said she's very ungrateful, this is complicated too longwinded to write at the moment but the feedback below are some of transwomen's voices that made sense why its against us and our struggle....

from the book Both Sides Now - a memoir of a Transman  (Dillon Kosla)
"Pg.314 - Transwomen 
Since this WAS Their Final Surgery, the three had all Been on Hormones for years But what stuck me as most extraordinary was just how ordinary they all actually were. And i came to understand why they hated the term 'Drag Queen "or" Transvestite ". For those who fit under such terms were typically and exaggeration or caricature. But theses were women . Ordinary women. "

Friday, May 23, 2014


Yesterday 24th /5/14 went to CGS to prepare for the R-week(Rainbow Week) exhibition on my work mostly trans issues and politics in malaisea. Yesterday there was quite alot of people on the train towards Mitaka or Kunitachi, usually its not that many people.
Had a light lunch only vegetable soup & miso soup, couple of pastries. Then to CGS and print artwork. Quite a lot around 60-70 pieces all A3 size and few A4s. Mao san was also help printing and putting up the artwork on the wall at the library.
Before we print the artwork, Maosan invited me to this new professor talk about her project on Asexual people in Japan. Its great that i have this opportunity because i always wonder about the phenomenal Asexual people in Japan.
The would-be professor's name is Sonja Dale and she's a Singaporean. Her lectures in point form: - recently more people diagnosed with GID but not MTF/FTM trans but X-jenda -diagnosed GID is easier to explain to family/colleagues the situation of being X because its more like medical condition -in a way media reprentation on GID is more recognized than homosexuality -with GID certificate, its easier to tell their parents they are X -gender roles, x-gender is a trump card??? -sei doitsu sei shogai (GID) diagnose is necessary in order to -get SRS -officially change sex -name change -diagnose instituitional recognition,possibility of social recognition -GID signify the decsire to transtion from either male-female/female-male,more increasingly individual diagnosed with GID and X-jenda
Sexuality -gay/lesbian terms too well known Separation of gender/sexuality -homosexuality imagined as gender-normative
-Categories are shrinking, women,gay,men are insufficiant for describing individual identity -2011-now socially recignized the term more institutionized
Im not troubled but people around me are
-X-jenda identity is means to orientate trans issues into society -Is it possible to mov?
-No matter how free an individual desires to be of gender, this is possible even concepts such as 'androgyny' were used of gender in their difficulties
*Fieldwork *Theory *X-function From K-function individual coming out- Micro(individual) Move out to Macro(society) *Think of yourself as the X *Mapping -Trace social phenomenon-specific context
- Mapping X-gender: study how the concept of X-genda in contemporary society
Findings (X-jenda people/characteristics) -identify as X-jenda (not women) is what allows her to move beyond determinism of female gender expectation -distinguish themselves from the catogary 'gay'. Its a term that they feel adequately captures how they identify themselves, -appearances as intentionally confrontational -tall,wide frame, wear skirts, -the term X-jenda id a means to express their opposition to the gender binary in society. Its a political statement. -Not a choice, perfectly describe the situation they're in. Diagnosed GID. -Some against the term GID as they said they're perfectly normal.

Photos by Mao san:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

important events snippets

some snapshots of important events this i missed to type when i was Philippines,
the Yolanda donation drive at UP, i Join and volunteered with other ATP members and many other important events~ 

deadline for CGS/ICU exhibition and workshop

deadlines exhibition:
Dear Shieko-san,

Arigatou! It was great to discuss further about your exhibition and workshop.
Hope everything will go smoothly!! (sending good vibes for you to draw!!)
Time is ticking, but let's work this out to create an exciting one together ne :) 

Okay, so here is what we have talked today.
If you have any question or correction, please let me know. 

Also, about the rainbow flag that you're thinking of making, I'm willing to help you with that. 
I'm usually available on Tuesday and Thursday, and also free on the 24th (sat) and 25th (sun).
So please feel free to ask me if you need a hand to paint :) 

【May 14 (wed) noon】
・send mao to ZIN info flier to print (shieko)
・description of exhibition (shieko)
>> about 100-200 words in English 
・description of workshop (mao)
・class room reservation (mao)
・ask how big is the exhibition wall (mao > reference center staff)

【May 19 (mon) noon】
> Event poster DUE and submit to Kato-san for the final touch up (shieko) 
* after finalizing the poster, CGS will start sending an announcement regarding on your exhibition through campus mail, FB, twitter and so on.  

【May 23 (fri) come to CGS @ noon】
Getting ready for exhibition preparation!!!
> printing out shieko san's artwork (mao)
> draw "transitioning process" on cardboard (shieko)
> DECO: carry all the exhibition materials in (shieko, mao)

・artwork data
・pens to draw on cardboard
・dress hanger
・dress racks to hang clothes
・clothing, shoes, etc for exhibition (I'll take some pics of my stuff as well and show them to you)
・many many laundry clips (for artwork)
・many many strings (for artwork)
・cardboard (already ready at CGS)
・handmade rainbow flag for exhibition (if you're gonna make, i'll help you to paint together)

【May 26 (mon)】
> Exhibition start!! (hopefully!!)

【May 30 (fri) @ 13:00~】
> Meeting (shieko, mao) -- go through shieko san's presentation material for June 4 (wed)

= following is about the exhibition and workshop =

Title: "Trans & Dace (transcendence): Trans* Issues Transcending 3 Continents"

Description: (shieko-san is working on it now)
>> either 1) trans issues in Malaysia or 2) art project conducted under API (trans issues in Malaysia, Philippine, Japan) -- shieko-san will decide soon

Period: May 27 (tue) - June 13 (fri)

Place: Break Area of Othmer Library Ground Floor, International Christian University

Artist: Shieko Reto (API fellow/ Researcher at CGS)

Title: "Trans*mission: Sharing Session & Art Therapy Workshop"

Description: (will be coming up soon)

Time: June 4 (wed), 2014  // 15:10-17:00

Place:One of the classrooms at Honkan (will be finalized on May 14th)

Language: English (No simultaneous interpretation)

Fee: Free/ open for everybody

Program schedule: 
1) Sharing information (30 min presentation & 30 min Q&A) 
・shieko-san's introduction 
・about the situations of trans* as well as sexual minorities in Malaysia 
・about grassroots activism of trans* community and how shieko san has been involved  
・about shieko-san's project under API (why, where, how long) and what shieko-san found out up until now

2) Workshop
- Art Therapy workshop (about 30-40 min)
>> purpose: translating one's inner-self and learn how to express oneself through art
- drawing session for shieko-san's project (20-30 min)
>> draw pictures under the theme of "how do you feel about being LGBT in Japan"

Things to distribute
> "I AM YOU: TRANS ALLY" flier
> ZIN information flier

Materials to bring (mao)
> Big paper for art therapy workshop
> crayon, color pencil, pen, color pen, pen etc
> drawing form for shieko-san's project

Reservation for equipment for presentation (mao)
> mac converter (shieko-san will use her mac)
> microphone

> projector

Monday, May 19, 2014

additional notes

Yesterday, 30/3/14
Sunday Genmai san told me there was a workshop or conference by Sam Winter who shares his work and research. Sam is an associate professor from University of Hong Kong, Director to World Professional Association for Transgender Health and also a member of WHO, Working Group on Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health, Director for Transgender ASIA Centre.

During his presentation he showed some slides from Transgender Murder Monitoring Project where Mexcan has the highest casualty from hate crime. THe photo in the slide was just few months a go where the police is recovering a transwoman body from a lake. 
Turky is next after Mexico. Trans people face violence for who they are because they'r very visible in the public. 

Sam also show the increase of spreading of HIV in Asia where Transwomen are the highest 54% who's into sex work. 

The Philippines Supreme Court ruled that a family planning law is constitutional, allowing the government to provide reproductive health care services primarily to the country's poor despite strong opposition to the law from the Roman Catholic Church

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Malaysia: Court to Rule on Transgender Rights

State religious department officials at times subject transgender women to physical or sexual violence while during arrests, groping their genitals or beating them. Although several transgender women have filed police reports after such abuse, police have not been willing to hold the religious department officials accountable for violating the law. Transgender women are often held in cells with men, where they are subjected to further sexual violence at the hands of wardens or fellow detainees.

Nisha Ayub of Justice for Sisters said the laws serve as an obstacle to transgender women seeking access to justice when they are victims of violence: “A lot of the trans community faces [violence], but a lot of them don’t want to report it, because they feel that just because they are trans people, therefore they’re not protected under the law.”

full article here:

hirstorical date

Quite a hirstorical date to remember besides past May13 incident where the seed of racism been planted in the country.

(Bangkok, May 13, 2014) – Transgender women in Malaysia have filed a groundbreaking court case challenging a law that prohibits them from expressing their gender identity, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 22, 2014, the Putrajaya Court of Appeal is expected to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the laws. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

celebrating diversity & existence

i've never dreamed that in my life before i get to attend these 2 very mind-blowing celebration of diversity and also our existence in 2 different country in Asia. thank you Nippon Foudation/Api