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Jakarta Post

'Yes, I Can': University-backed program gives transpeople leg up in job market

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Tue, February 25, 2020   /  03:32 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Participants raise a rainbow flag in a march to commemorate International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

December 2018 is the most memorable time for 32-year-old Iyet Kartikasari. It was the month she was crowned Miss Prada Indonesia, one of Jakarta’s beauty pageants for transgender people. She became the sixth winner of the annual contest first held in 2013 by the Jakarta Transgender Community (KWJ). “I’ve always wanted to become a model,” she told The Jakarta Post recently. Originally from Jambi, Iyet moved to Jakarta in 2011 in a bid to pursue her dream amid pressure from her family that she said was pretty conservative about gender norms. Although lauding her family for accepting her for who she is, she recalled times when her family demanded she become ‘a real man’. It was only when she joined a program called “Yes! I Can” in 2017, which introduced her to fellow transgender women, that she opened her eyes to violence against t...