Beliefs Culture Institutions LGBT, race and religion

PHOTOS: For trans Muslims in Malaysia, daily life brings struggles, triumphs

A transgender woman prays in a room adjacent to her beauty salon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 13, 2015. She prays in men's clothes, believing that in front of God she was born and always will be a man. She says she avoids going to mosques for fear of public shunning. Religion News Service photo by Alexandra Radu

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (RNS) Discrimination, persecution and violence are daily battles for the estimated 20,000 transgender people in Malaysia, most of whom are Muslims. Islamic law forbids cross-dressing, and Malaysia’s government demonstrates a zero-tolerance policy toward transgender issues.

Frequent raids by religious authorities and police result in fines, arrests or both. Many transgender Malaysians have been arrested at least once, some spending years in prison. They also face high unemployment rates, homelessness, social exclusion and reduced access to health care and education.

Click on any photo below to view a slideshow documenting the everyday struggles and triumphs of Malaysia’s transgender communities. Transgender individuals photographed asked that their names not be used.

Logo_Arcus_FOR-STORIES_110714

About the author

Alexandra Radu

6 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • BB,

    “Who cares??”

    Such sensitivity and morality from the holy rollers.
    So apparently It is ‘God’s will’ that Trans people exist and they be simultaneously damned for it not only by God but by bigots who take after him.

    Such inhumanity and bigotry comes directly from religion.

    “Avoid THEM” – (Romans 16:16)
    “Slay THEM” – (Surah 9:2)

    What a public nuisance religion is. It should all be abandoned as fast as possible.

  • Surah 9:2 is “So travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.”

  • Surah 9:2 is “So travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.”

  • Quran 9:5 –
    “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush”

ADVERTISEMENTs