They get dolled up in makeup, skirts and headscarves every Sunday evening. But there is no mistaking the fact that the 20 or so people congregating were all born male. The weekly gatherings at a private residence in Yogyakarta, central Java, offer the select group an opportunity to express their sexual identity without fear of arousing religious intolerance in the world's largest Muslim nation.
This past March the Associated Press broke an unexpected story concerning Barack Obama's childhood in Indonesia. Apparently, as a young boy growing up in Jakarta, Obama's care had been entrusted to a transgender woman named Evie. American readers were shocked. What were the chances of the president having a transgender nanny -- and in Indonesia, of all places? Having worked closely with the transgender community in Indonesia for the past several years, I can say: actually, not that bad. >>>
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Once, long ago, Evie looked after "Barry" Obama, the kid who would grow up to become the world's most powerful man. Now, his transgender former nanny has given up her tight, flowery dresses, her brocade vest and her bras, and is living in fear on Indonesia's streets.