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Jakarta Post

Election campaigning victims

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Tue, November 27 2018   /  01:22 am

Transgender people, locally known as waria, have always been a group vulnerable to violence and discrimination. However, they have long been part of local culture as well, accepted though frequently looked down upon.

There have been waria celebrities, such as Dorce Gamalama. Men of overtly effeminate appearance are regular fixtures on Indonesian families’ TV screens. Sally aka Sholeh, a cartoon character imported from Malaysia, featured in the beloved children show Upin and Ipin, is also a waria. Therefore three attacks against waria within the past month must be utterly condemned. Activists, including the leader of the Indonesia Waria Communication Forum, Yulianus Rettoblaut, or Mami Yuli, believe the attacks are linked to the current election campaigns.

On Nov. 2, in Lampung, Pesisir Barat regency public order officers arrested three waria for “being LGBT [lesbian, g...