Sharia gjør det straffbart å være transseksuell i Malaysia. Sosial- og arbeidsdiskriminering driver transer inn i prostitusjon, noe som rettferdiggjør utstøtelsen i autoritetens øyne. Seksuelle avvik har det vanskelig. Homofile risikerer 20 års fengsel.
Transgender people — those who act like, dress as or feel themselves to be the sex opposite of what they were born — say they are often ostracized in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country where homosexual acts are also banned and punishable by caning and as much as 20 years’ imprisonment.
Across the Asia-Pacific region, transgender people are subject to discrimination, harassment, and verbal, sexual and physical abuse within their families, at school, in workplaces, in the provision of services and in society more broadly, according to a report released in May by the U.N. Development Program.
The report states that there could be as many as 9.5 million transgender people across the Asia Pacific region and that “alarming numbers” of transwomen — men who identify or present as women — are H.I.V. positive.
Support groups say transgender people in Malaysia face considerable discrimination. They say they often struggle to find work, prompting some to turn to sex work, and that they often face abuse, sometimes by the authorities.
Fire transseksuelle menn har reist sak, og mener trakasseringen bryter med Malaysias grunnlov som forbyr diskriminering.
The 26-year-old began wearing women’s clothing at age 13. Thanks to plastic surgery in neighboring Thailand, a daily dose of hormones and a feminine nickname, she is able to present herself as female to the outside world.
But her official identification card — which Malaysians must produce in dealings like job interviews — declares that her name is Adam Shazrul Bin Mohammad Yusoff and that she is male.
The discrepancy between her appearance and her officially recognized gender presents much more than just awkward moments in Malaysia, where Shariah, or Islamic law, bans Muslim men from dressing or posing as women.
Penalties differ in individual states, but in Negri Sembilan, where the 26-year-old lives, convicted offenders may be sentenced to up to six months in prison, fined as much as 1,000 ringgit, about $325, or both.
Tired of living in fear of prosecution, the 26-year-old — who has been arrested twice and was once fined 900 ringgit — and three other transgender people are challenging the law in the secular courts, arguing that it violates the Malaysian Constitution, which bans discrimination based on gender and protects freedom of expression.
A verdict in their case — the first time anyone has sought to overturn the law — is expected next Thursday.