Transman can be affected by HIV

It struck me at the time when I first started getting involved in HIV work, that trans people, especially transman are often excluded from the prevention programmes.

Look everywhere, funding priorities are often given to the high risk groups, neglecting the groups that we currently have little or no data on. Gay transman, especially in Asia are often excluded in HIV prevention programmes, research or and so on. The stigma attached to being gay and trans at the same time could be the reason why the visibility of gay transman is so low but it’s no excuse to think they don’t exist. 

It puts me at great discomfort seeing how organisations claims to be inclusive of trans people without clear understanding of the distinctions between trans people and MSM. This is why people fail in delivering programmes effectively to trans people. 

There are many ways to start being truly inclusive, and for a start, no more ‘MSM/TG’. We’re not just part of a study. Listen to the voices of trans people, we’re a living person just like you.

Joe W.

“People changed lots of other personal things all the time. They dyed their hair and dieted themselves to near death. They took steroids to build muscles and got breast implants and nose jobs so they’d resemble their favorite movie stars. They changed names and majors and jobs and husbands and wives. They changed religions and political parties. They moved across the country or the world — even changed nationalities. Why was gender the one sacred thing we weren’t supposed to change? Who made that rule?” - Ellen Wittlinger

“People changed lots of other personal things all the time. They dyed their hair and dieted themselves to near death. They took steroids to build muscles and got breast implants and nose jobs so they’d resemble their favorite movie stars. They changed names and majors and jobs and husbands and wives. They changed religions and political parties. They moved across the country or the world — even changed nationalities. Why was gender the one sacred thing we weren’t supposed to change? Who made that rule?” - Ellen Wittlinger

Acceptance starts with self.

In less than 3 days, I’ve heard 2 cases of trans running away from their homes to Thailand thinking it’s much safer than where they came from. Their perception of safe spaces comes from what the media and social spaces portray.

The fact that there’s no guide to transitioning is terrible and even more so that no credible information is out there to guide them along their journey.

I’m frustrated, upset and helpless in situations where people reach out and yet there’s limitations to how much I can do to help.

Trans people have to understand transitioning doesn’t happen overnight and having their gender marker change is not the same as living a ‘new’ life. Our problems will accumulate and follow us during the journey and won’t go away until we confront them.

Let’s face it, whether we’re stealth or out, our past will continue bothering till the day we acknowledge this is us, and it is our past that makes us who we are today.

Coming out or being stealth is a personal choice. What’s important is reconciling with their past and who they were before becoming the present them. Is it necessary to put on a facade to please people and society while hurting oneself? Can one be truly happy while being ashamed of who they are?

Is it really worth it putting ourselves down in order to gain tolerance?

Joe W.

When to tell your date that you’re transgender?

Do you tell them upfront on your first meeting or do you wait until longer into the relationship? How do you maintain a relationship without telling and not come across as being dishonest? 

Whether and when to disclose that you are transgender is a personal decision, so there is no right or wrong here. It’s a private fact about you that might become relevant to someone you’re dating if the relationship progresses past a certain point, but it’s also something that you don’t owe other people an explanation about.

Some trans people prefer to be open about their transgender status in all aspects of their lives; others prefer to disclose it only under certain (safe) circumstances, and many folks fall somewhere in between. There is a growing understanding that it can take a heavy emotional toll to feel obliged to conceal such an important aspect of a person’s life.

In light of that, here are some considerations that might help you decide what feels like the right choice for you. Let’s say you decide not to say anything early on, what could happen? You may end up spending more time and energy feeling anxious about when you will disclose that you are trans and how the other person might react. With that in mind, if you disclose your trans status up front, you can avoid wasting your time dating anyone who does not accept who you are or who would feel deceived. It can be hard to talk about something personal, like being trans, with someone new, but this is a pretty big payoff.

Regardless of when you tell someone that you are trans, be aware of your safety. It is sad but true that violence against trans people happens too often, and it can be hard to know in advance whether someone is prone to violence. If you have any cues that he might be—say, if he or she seems to be homophobic or controlling—be extra careful. But no matter what, make sure that you are able to get help and support immediately if you need it, whether from your friends and family or from local LGBT organizations.

eastiseverywhere

eastiseverywhere:

It’s Zero Discrimination Day.

And my topic for the day? Transgender rights are human rights.

Joe Wong, a Singaporean trans activist and HIV aid organisation worker, shared this video, highlighting the struggles of trans people in the Asia Pacific region and their struggle for basic human rights and dignity.

It’s created by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN).

Share away!

Taken from the Huffington Post:

'Transgender Rights Are Human Rights' Clip Aims To Raise Awareness Of Global Trans Community

A piece i’ve written for Australia Federation of AIDS Organisations HIV Australia flagship publication, Vol 12, no.2 Issue on trans people and HIV and the enabling environment. Making trans people count in HIV/ AIDS response
“Transgender people are an integral part of the traditional culture of several countries in Asia and the Pacific and in some settings, Hijra, Warias, Kathoey Fafafini, have been accepted into traditional daily life. However, transmen and transwomen encounter wide range of challenges in accessing equitable healthcare, including access to general, transition and mental and sexual healthcare. The challenges facing transmen are under appreciated and researched.”
Joe W.

A piece i’ve written for Australia Federation of AIDS Organisations HIV Australia flagship publication, Vol 12, no.2 Issue on trans people and HIV and the enabling environment. 

Making trans people count in HIV/ AIDS response

Transgender people are an integral part of the traditional culture of several countries in Asia and the Pacific and in some settings, Hijra, Warias, Kathoey Fafafini, have been accepted into traditional daily life. However, transmen and transwomen encounter wide range of challenges in accessing equitable healthcare, including access to general, transition and mental and sexual healthcare. The challenges facing transmen are under appreciated and researched.”

Joe W.