Indonesia’s trans women pushed to the brink during COVID pandemic

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08/08/2021

After catching the coronavirus, Jenny Mikha was faced with a choice: go out on the streets to find food, and infect more people, or starve. Like many of Indonesia’s marginalised and stigmatised waria (transgender women), Ms Mikha didn’t have a family network to support her while she was sick last month. It was only thanks to help from the Waria Crisis Centre Yogyakarta’s coordinator, Rully Malay or “Mom Rully”, that Ms Mikha was able to self-isolate at home for two weeks until she felt better. “At first I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was sick, I thought I could still take care of myself,” Ms Mikha told the ABC. “But because of this pandemic situation, I called Mom Rully and she asked me to self-isolate.” Ms Mikha said she was grateful for the support she received while she was self-isolating and to be healthy again. “There has been absolutely nothing from the government,” she said. “It’s all from donations, from solidarity.”

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