It’s not easy being an LGBT person in Indonesia, and it’s only gotten harder since the start of 2016, when the rights of sexual and gender minorities in Indonesia have received much negative attention. Transgenders as well as the larger LGBT community found themselves at the centre of a religious, political and social media storm.
Coming from different island in Indonesia the young transgenders in these photo series hope to find their luck in Jakarta and make a living through sex work. The negative consequences of stigmatisation however, create even more economic dependence, a lower self esteem and lack of access to healthcare, which greatly increases their risk on HIV. Drawing the viewer into the core of their being, it is obvious that the body and minds are feminine which at the same time is also the reason for all the difficulties encountered.
Following and documenting the whereabouts of this group for twelve months in 2016-2017, is the result of intensive research about Indonesia, its religion and politics, its HIV-Aids matters and sexual and gender minorities. Additional interviews with human rights and healthcare experts (JohnsHopkins, HRW Indonesia, Rutgers, Dutch Embassy, AlJazheera), and working closely together with the local NGO ‘Yayasan Srikandi Sejati’ (YSS) created the framework for this project. YSS is a Jakarta based organization and has 3000 transgenders cooperating in their program, which is focussed at HIV prevention.
Since August 2017 this project is partially funded by the ‘Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst(AFK)’ and by the municipality of Amsterdam. It will be exhibited at the international AIDS conference in Amsterdam JULY 2018, AIDS2018.