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Jakarta Post

Vinolia Wakijo: Living for others

  • Prodita Sabarini

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 23 2011   /  09:40 am

JP/Prodita SabariniLGBT activist Vinolia Wakijo didn’t see herself as a transgender woman. “I thought I was just feminine and liked to wear make up,” she said.

She didn’t identify with the image society had of transgender women — heavily made up individuals wearing short skirts and tank tops, either working in beauty salons or soliciting sex. “I was afraid of [transgender women wearing heavy make up],” she said. But, after a couple of failed relationships, Vinolia eventually joined the ranks of prostitutes working throughout the night, often associated with waria (transgender women).  Vinolia doesn’t regret the turn of events in her life. “If I hadn’t gone through this, I wouldn’t have founded Kebaya,” she said. She has accepted herself as a transgender woman and is now one of the figures working for the rights of waria. Vinolia, popularly called Mami...