By Farid Jamaludin
Petaling Jaya: Transsexuals, popularly refered to as maknyah, will be refered to in a "more dignified" way under the recently formed Women and Famnily Developement Ministry.
Its minister, Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, said she would take up the issue under her wing and give more dignity to the group which, according to a recent survey, numbered about 50, 000 in the country.
"Just give me some time. I will address the issue and give them a definition which is more dignified, "she said after the launch of landscaping company Cypark here yesterday.
Shahrizat was responding to a recent call by a group of transsexuals who wanted the new ministry to declare them as "women."
They want to be accorded the same rights as women - an issue last dealt with in 1986 when Datuk Abu Hassan Omar was Welfare Services Minister.
Under him, the group was known as maknyah, leading to the formation of the Federal Territory Maknyah Association.
Shahrizat said her ministry would look at issue in a "professional and objective" manner.
"We want to give this group some dignity so that they can move around in the community without being looked down upon. This is very important," she stressed.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that a unit would be set up soon to study and look into issues involving transsexuals.
Problems, surrounding this community are centered on their jobs because many are qualified for certain posts but are turned away because they are still "male" in their identity cards.
As a result, many have become sex workers to make a living while the fortunate few ended up in the entertaiment industry or professions associated with women.
On another subject, Shahrizat said Malaysian women were free to wear what they like and the Government does not force them to wear the tudung.
Women in Malaysia have many choices because of the Government's liberal outlook and it did not restrict them, unlike in some Muslim societies," she said when launching a new magazine Working Women Asia, for women.
LONDON: A convicted armed robber has undergone a sex change and will finish his sentence in a women's prison, the Sun daily reported yesterday.
David Cross 39, was jailed for 17 years in 1992 for robbing a post office in an attempt to raise P20,000 (RM120,000) for a private sex change operation in Switzerland.
Now, he has got his wish, and this time cost him nothing, because it was performed by Britain's National Health Service.
Cross became Kelly Denise following an operation in a London hospital last month. He had already been given a double cell at the all-male Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight for electrolysis sessions to remove chest and leg hair.
He was allowed to make regular trips to Charing Cross Hospital, London - AFP
LONDON: A man convicted of attempting to rob a post officewhile wearing drag has had a sex change operation at the expense of taxpayers while in prison, Britain's Sun newspaper reported yesterday.
Armed robber David Cross, 39, had undergone the 20, 000 sterling pound (RM108,600) operation and accompanying drug therapy through Britain's National Health Service and would be transferred to a women's prison to serve out his time as Kelly Denise Cross, the tabloid said.
The transsexual was jailed for 17 years in 1992 for a post office raid to try to raise 20,000 pound sterling for a private sex-swap in Switzerland.
The Sun said Cross had been allowed to make regular trips to hospital for consultations before having the sex-change.
Cross' double cell at Parkhurst was converted into a flat and he underwent electrolysis sessions to remove chest and leg hair which cost taxpayers 100 pound sterling (RM543) each, it said.-dpa
LONDON: Helicopter pilot Lt Eric Cookson has become the first transsexual in the Royal Airforce, becoming Caroline Paige, a Defence Ministry spokesman announced on Sunday.
The 39-year old pilot, now known as "Caz," is on a sick leave after undergoing an 18,000 UK dollar (RM105, 882) operation that she paid for herself, the spokesman said.
She will have to undergo strict examinations to see if she can continue to fly helicopters.
"Now i can't wait to get back to flying," Caz told the tabloid The Sun which published "before" and "after" photos testerday.
"When i joined the RAF in 1980 I didn't encounter any problems because nobody suspected my feelings," she said.
"But about two years ago things got worse as i realised I was not living my true life - so i decided to do something about it."
Cookson, a veteran of the Gulf War and Bosnia told RAF doctors that he wanted a sex-change operation.
This was all new ground to them because I am the first transsexual to declare myself," he said of his superiors. - AFP
Beijing, Mon: Thousands of Chinese want to change sex but only a tiny minority are able to defy widespread prejudice and undergo a sex-change operation, according to an official newspaper report.
Many are pushed into the hands of unqualified doctors, often with horrendous results, said yesterday's edition of the Yangcheng Evening News in the southern city of Guangzhou, seen in Beijing today.
The newspaper's special report was extremely rare in a country where sexual topics are still frequently treated as taboo.
"Those who want to change sex are not treated as hoodlums or people who should be thrown in jail, but in general there are still considered sick," said the paper.
It said there were at least 10,000 Chinese who wanted a sex change operation. Its said some hospitals in China's large cities carried out the surgery, but it warned that few were really qualified.
The paper cited the example of Zhang Feng, awoman who had her breasts and genitalia amputated in a hospital in northern China.
"The doctors were incapable of implanting masculine organs and she is now neither a man nor a woman," it said.
In another case, a young graduate from Fudan University in Shanghai named Qin Huiyin had his sexual rgans removed only for his employer to fire him for "immorality", said the paper.
It said Qin was "saved" by Dr He Qinglian, a plastic surgeon, who gave him a "real woman;s body".
Dr He told the paper many young would -be transsexuals try to commit suicide because they are too afraid to raise the issue of a sex-change operation with doctors or are rejected out of hand by hospitals.
"The only ones who agree to undertake the operation are often irresponsible doctors who are only after a quick buck," he said.
Dr He said he had undertaken 60 operations over the past 10 years- 48 on women and 12 on men aged between 20 and 60. He said 10 operations were to repair damaged done by previous failed operations.
He had been approached by 2,000 patients asking for a sex-change operation while 4,000 others had made written requests.-AFP
CAIRO, Thurs: A court here ruled yesterday that a belly-dancer who was once a man may not pursue her medical studies at the popular Al-Azhar Islamic university. Sources said the judge decided that Sally Mohammed Abdullah Mursi, had misled a court that supported a petition she filed last year to be allowed to continue at Al-Azhar by not disclosingher current profession. Originally named Sayed, Mursi had a sex-change operation in 1995.-Reuters
London,Tues: A transsexual vicar is to become the first serving Church of England priest to change sex and resume his job as a woman, and has the blessing of his bishop, he announced yesterday.
The Rev Peter Stone, the vicar at St Philip's Church, Upper Stratton, Swindon, in western England, will have the operation later this year; he told a press conference.
He wil then resume his position as the Rev Carol Stone.
He said he wanted to be female since he was a small child, and told of his relief at receiving the blessing of the bishop of Bristol for his plans.
"It has been a lifetime's journey", he added."Among my earliest memories are of me wishing that i was other than i am.
"Everynight i prayed i would wake up as a girl. If there was another way, i would not be here today, Nobody does this by choice.
"I just want to match up my head and heart with my body."
Stone, who is twiced divorced, said his daughter of 18 fully understood his decision.
Asked if he wanted to ventured out in public dressed as a woman, Stone said the opportunities had been "extremely limited."
And asked why he chose the name Carol, he replied: "Its a pretty name and I liked it. That's all I want to say about it rally."
The bishop, the Right Rev Barry Rogerson, said everyone in the parish had been supportive of the vicar.
He said he was sure from his own research that the transsexual state Stone found himself in was a medical condition. He confirmed he could see no "ethical or ecclesiastical legal reasons" why Stone should not continue in ministry.-AFP
STOCKHOLM, Mon: Most transsexuals live happier lives after a sex change operation because the condition has biological rather than psychological causes, according to Swedish psychiatrist Mikael Landen.
In a research published in yesterday's Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Landen said he has discovered three genes present in Transsexual males that make them less sensitive to testerone, the male hormone which stimulates the developement of the male sexual organs. "That reinforces the theory that transsexuality has biological, rather than a psychological, cause,"Landen said.
"It could explain why transsexuals cannot be cured by therapies, and why there are trannsexuals in every civilisation,"Landen added. In a study of 400 transsexuals, Landen found that nine out of ten were happier after the operation. They had better psychiatric health and better working relations. They were also less likely to commit suicide.
And after the sex-change, most transsexuals went on to have a sexual life they had never imagined possible before they were operated on.-AFP
Those legs. Those curves. The cleavage. How many times have you seen an image of near perfection and expressed appreciation at such sight? And when she turns, you might notice that 5 o'clock shadow and Adam's apple before a distinctly baritone "hi sayang" ampifies the incongruity. The resonance is familiar. In nearly every country today is a minority dispossessed by gerrymandering of gender boundries.
Straightlaced dress codes became more established in this country, when social decorum or PC tyrannised men into slacks and women into skirts. While women dismantled some of those fetters in the 30s when suffragettees donned trousers, the first gender benders did little for emancipation of male crossdressers. Efforts by the likes of Rifat Ozbekand Jean-Paul Gaultier to promote 'women clothing for men' may have had us by the short and curlies, but any significant impact has proved transitory, New York, London or KL club scenes notwithstanding.
Is it simple as putting on a skirt? Literally, the idea is to wearclothes and accessories; to dress up. The path forks when the dressing trangressesgender stereotypes. The male who crossdresses is also known as transvestite, not to be confused with transsexual, whowears female clothesand feels an innate need to become female. The transvestite wears it all, right down to underwear or hosiery, usually under business suits. The average male crossdresser is heterosexual,married with kids, and around 40 years old. His deviant tendencies would have first been felt in childhood.
The Boom Boom caberat artist isn't your average cross dresser. Obviously. They're queens-drag queens. The drag artist, once part of the transgressive dress code, is an example of the phenomenonof showbizz legitimisation. Fisrt seen as a separateextension of the Gay Rights movementof the 70s, drag was first ridiculed before sheer entertainment value thrust it onto the stage of mainstream consciousness where it has since camped. Wether this equates to understanding is another matter.
Khartini Slamah, director of Pusat Komuniti Ikhlas Drop-In Center KL has always known what her sex is. She is woman. From age eight, Khartini felt pulled towards more female tendencies. She wore her motehr's clothes and played masak-masak in her kampung in Sarawak. For 10 years, Khartini lived a dual-life of dressing i friends' houses then returning home in her masculine clothing. Her mother knew. Her father would bring her to work the farm machines, hoping to make her a man. It didn't work. So since 18, Khartini has dressed as a woman. She thinks like a woman, feels like a woman and admires and loves men like most women. She's looked to religion and has hadreligion look at her. "I was once given six months by the 'ulamaks to become a man'. I had to cut my precious hair, I had to pray and read the Quran. Those I did because I am a Muslim, and respwct my upbringing.
Khartini herself has even questioned why men want to dress as women. She would look at her elder transsexuals in her kampung. She knew they looked like men, but they were pondans. "I never thought i was going to be like them, I knew I liked wearing women's clothes, but i didn't understand to what extent ti would mean to me." The feeling is not something that's rationalised or sought after, she says. Its manifests itself as an innate feeling.
Now with the love and support of her mother and family, Khartini wants to have children. But in a telling moment, she says that if her son decided he was transsexual, it would be a very "bitter acceptance for me." Although she has accepted her identity, Khartini knows that if her son was a transsexual, he would be more likely than not end up a prostitute.
Many become sex workers because it is an industry of little discrimination.Prostitutes work because there is nothing else, and this is where the money can be made. There is little chance a transsexual will make the private sector. Though there are transsexuals working as doctors or in management, their numbers are token. Many employers automatically link transsexuals with prostitution. Khartini notes that many men would "go to the transsexuals for sex, or maybe take them as a mistress, but to have them working for you is an altogether different thing." In an interview in Black & White magazine. Sasha the erotic dancer said that men are terrified of transsexuals. "They don't conform to the known roles of wife , sister or mother. On the other hand, they need them to fulfil certain needs," she added. The 30 percent who don't go into prostitution go into the beauty industry. Not only does the general public feel that transsexualism is a deviant, transsexuals themselves feel the same way. The lack of role models, the paucity of good information, the illegality of it all and the plain stigma of falling in between the sexes weighs heavy on those who are struggling with their sexual indentity. Having not understood themselves, they cannot but see themselves as deviant. Many fall by the wayside by denying themselves, says Khartini. She would like to go back to school, perhaps earn her degree. The end thought however , is of the stares and discrimination reserved for minority aliens. For now, it is collective thought and effort that makes Ikhlas an essential part of marginalised community (Ikhlas provides HIV and AIDS info, counselling and has an STD clinic.)
Ikhlas, 26B Lorong Haji Taib, Chow Kit. Monday-Friday 10a,-6pm. Tel:4414699
HATI ibu mana yang tidak kecewa apabila anak tidak menjadi sebagaimana yang dihendaki. Maknyah , gelaran yang bukan impian tetapi itulah hakikat yang terpaksa ditelan apabila ank mereka yang lelaki bersifat perempuan. Mahu tidak mahu ibu bapa terpaksa menelan segala kepahitan dimaki dan dipandang serong oleh masyarakat gara garamempunyai anak "tidak normal" itu.
"Kami tidak minta dilahirkan sebagai pondan atau maknyah. Tapi itulah kenyataaan yang terpaksa dihadapi," kata Pengarah Projek Ikhlas (Promi), Kartini Slamad. "Kami kerap "dihukum" dengan kata-kata yang menghina sebelum didakwa dimahkamah.
"Adakah kami dilahirkan untuk jadi bahan cemuhan masyarakat sahaja. Kami juga sebahagian daripada kebesaran Ilahi yang mencipta makhluknya yang pelbagai kaum dan rupa. Kebanyakan maknyah berlatarkanbelakangkan agama yang cukup, cuma secara fizikalnya mereka adalah lelaki tetapi hati dan naluri mereka adalah perempuan. "Kami sudah berusaha mengatasi masaalah ini, namun semakin lama, semakin tertekan. Sebab itu ramai daripada kami akhirnya memutuskan untuk berpakaian wanita kerana itulah sebenarnya tuntutan jiwa kami. Tetapi kami pula disalahanggap dan kerap kali kena tangkap, tuduhan keatas kami ialah menyamar sebagai wanita.
"Malah ada maknyah yang sedang makan pun ditangkap. Kami bukan mempersoalkan undang-undang negara tetapi kami dipandang hina dan dicaci selepas ditangkap dan ada masanya disumbat dalam penjara sebelum didera secara seksual oleh pihak berkuasa, dimana lagi tempat kami menuntut keadilan dan hak sama rata sebagai warga negara ini,"kata Kartini.
Itu adalah antara intipati yang disuarakan oleh golongan itu dibengkel motivasi dengan jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), di Pusat Islam , baru-baru ini. Kartini berkata ada kalanya maknyah diarahlan melondehkan buah dada.
Beliau berkata maknyah terpaksa melakukan pelbagai kerja daripada menjadi makandamseingga pelacur bagi menyara hidup. Ada dikalangan maknyah itu berpelajaran tinggi dan jalan terakhir untuk meneruskan kehidupan mereka ialah dengan memilih lorong gelap."Kalau kami meminta permohonan bank untuk berniaga, kami diketawakan.
"Itu belum masuk bab minta kerja dan membeli insuran jauh sekalilayanan diberikankerana kami dikatakan golongan berisiko tinggi. Hendak beli rumah pula, awal-awal lagi sudah kena tolak,"katanya yang menyifatkan kebanyakan pendekatan yang diambil bagi membantu golongan itu "menakutkan" dan lebih memihak untuk menghukum mereka. "Pada masa ini ada 10,000 hingga 15,000 maknyah diseluruh negaradan Promi ini membantu merekadari segi pendidikan mengenai Aids dan membantu mereka memulakan kehidupan khususnya sumbangan modalunutk berniaga,"kata Kartini yang berasal dari Sarawak. Dia sedih selepas bertahun-tahun betukar-tukar maklumat dengan pihak berkuasa sehingga sekarang tiada perancangan yang diambiluntuk membantu golongan itu.
Kata Kartini, dia hairan bagaimana pihak berkuasa boleh menceroboh majlis pertandingan ratu cantik yang disifatkan sebagai majlis persendirian diKedah baru-baru ini. Padahal majlis itu sudah diberi permit.Dalam majlis itu laporan akhbar menyebut 50 ratu cantik ditangkap ."Sebenarnya cuma empat saja peserta ratu cantik manakal yang lain adalah jemputan,"katanya yang menyifatkan layanan yang diterima oleh tahanan itu tidak lebih "banduan" yang menjalani hukuman berat.
Seorang lagi wakil kelab maknyah itu, Mimi Zarina , 50, yang pernah berlakon filem berkata hidup mereka seperti layang-layang " tidak berpijak dibumi nyata kerana peluan guntuk membina kehidupan seolah-olah ditutup sebelum usaha dilakukan untuk cuba memahi masaalah mereka. Mimi Zarina berkata maknyah juga mahu menikmati hidup seperti manusia lain. Contohnya dia sendiri mempunyai tiga anak angkat dan beberapa orang cucu. Dia mengusahakan kedai jahit di Kampung pandan untuk menyara hidupnya.
Ini dialui oleh PengerusiProjekIkhlas, Rozita yang mendedahkanada maknyah beragama Islam membuat keputusan menukar agama pada Kristian disebabkan kecewa dengan layanan masyarakat terutama pihak berkuasa agama. "Ini berlaku ketika kami mengumpul duit untuk biayai upacara pengkebumian, maknyah yang meninggal dunia baru-baru ini, tiba-tiba kami dikunjungi oleh seorang paderi yang menyatakan teman kami itu sudah menukar agamanya kepada Kristian,"kata Rozita sambil memberi tahu ada 200 maknyah di Kuala Lumpur ini sahaja.
Menurut Rozita lagi, keadaan semakin teruk sekarang selepas kemasukan maknyah dari Thailand dan Indonesia yang berkelakuan lebih buruk berbanding maknyah tempatan."Yang lebih teruk lagi apabila maknyah ini pulang ke kampung mereka dan membawa dua tiga rakan baru," katanya.
Sementara itu, pengerusi majlis, Ketua Penolong Pengarah Cawangan Pembangunan Ekonomi ISlam Jakim, Haji Isa Ismail, berkata sebenarnya pihaknya memerlukan banyak lagi maklumat mengenai kehidupan maknyah sebelum ia dapat diketengahkan dengan jitu kepada pihak berkuasa.
"Kita tidak mahu sekadar mengutip satu dua maklumat kemudian mengadakan perbicangan dengan jawatankuasa bertindak kerajaan. Bukan apa, bimbang kalau maklumat tak lengkap nanti mereka sukar mengatur rancangan yang sesuai. Berikan kami sedikit masa lagi untuk melengkapkan maklumat itu dan kami percaya masyarakta ini tidak diabaikan
"Lagi pun masaalah maknyah bukan isu besar. Sepanjang dua tiga tahun ini hanya beberapa kes tangkapan maknyah dilaporkan diakhbar. Jadi, jangalah ia dijadikan satu penghalang unutk golongan maknyah unutk meneruskan perjuangan menuntut keadilan.
Turut sama dengan perbincangan itu ialah Penolong Pengarah Hal-Ehwal Islam Cawangan Akidah Jakim, Ismail Noor.
Majalah "ibu" Bil 61 April 1994.
Keadaan ini berlaku menurut Doktor Zasmani, banyak dipengarui oleh keadaan sekeliling dan juga pembentukan biologi. Jika perubahan sikap individu itu disebabkan oleh pengaruh biologi yang juga dikenali dengan nama saintifiknya, sindrom klien felter, ia berpunca daripada pengaruh hormon dan komosom semasa pembentuka janin.
"Biasanya janin terbentuk dengan kromosom yang seimbang iaitu XX dan XY tetapi jika berlaku anak klien felter, satu kromosom berlebihan dalam diri bayi terbabit.
Bayi lelaki normal, kromosom X+Y=XY
Bayi perempuan normal, kromosom X+X=XX
Bayi Klein Felter, kromosom X+X+Y= XXY
Beliau berkata, bayi yang dilahirkan dengan kelebihan satu kromosom boleh dilahirkan sebagai seorang lelaki dengan ciri-ciri kewanitaan termaksuk bentuk badan serta tekstur kulit yang seiras dengan wanita.
"Ada satu lagi keadaan pada bayi klien felter iaitu mereka dilahirkan dengan kelebihan satu organ seks iaitu memiliki organ lelaki dan organ wanita bersama-sama. Kumpulan ini dikenali dengan panggilan Hermaphrodite atau biasanya dipanggil sebagai khunsa.
Satu lagi pengaruh biologi bayi yang dilahirkan dengan lebihan hormon endrogen, berlaku semasa tiga bulan pertama kandungan dan bayi terbabit membesar dengan konflik jantina.
Misalnya bagi lelaki yang dilahirkan dengan dengan lebihan hormon endrogen wanita, mereka akan membesar dengan sifat seorang wanita dan bagi bayi perempuan yang lahir dengan lebihan hormon endrogen lelaki pula, mereka menjadi seorang yang bersifat kasar sama seperti lelaki.
IKHLAS is a Malaysian TG support center based in Kuala Lumpur. It doesn't have a website yet.
Transgender issues and HIV prevention
The Case of Transsexuals in Malaysia
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