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‘Don’t blame the transgender people for resorting to sex work’

in MALAYSIA, 08/12/2013

Some were forced to become sex workers as they had no other choice, says HIV policy officer Khartini Slamah.

Do not blame the transgender people for failing to get conventional jobs as it was society that put them in the situation.

“A lot of them apply for jobs only to get rejected due to their sexuality,” said Khartini Slamah, 51. “So don’t put blame on the Mak Nyah (male-to-female transsexual) alone that some had to resort to become sex workers,” said Khartini who won an award for her contribution to the Malaysian transgender community during the Transgender Day of Remembrance event.

The HIV policy officer who is based in Bangkok, Thailand, however said it was wrong to associate transgender people to sex workers alone.
“Mak Nyah are always associated with sex work and viewed distastefully. “However, a lot of the transgender people are talented and many are in fact successful,” said the transgender NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board (PCB). She then lamented how the media tend to focus on the negative and fail to acknowledge the successful ones.

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