Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blog 10:Asia's LGBT people migrate to escape violence at home

Before Joe Wong removed her breasts and uterus, he was Joleen. When Joleen was young at an attempt to bind her breast she wrapped and entire role of brown duct tape to do so. One of her family member saw this and was immediately angered understanding that Joleen was trying to bind her breast. The individual tore off the duct tape and in the process of doing so, tore off bits of Joleen’s skin. Also the family member hit Joleen on the head.

Throughout her childhood Joleen experienced numerous amounts of beatings. Sometimes he was beaten until she felt numb. She now is a transgendered man working for the Asia Pacific Transgender Network in Bangkok. Across Asia, which is largely patriarchal and conservative, the violence lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face is often from their own families, who beat them to make them conform and maintain the social balance, experts say.


Homosexual acts are illegal in 78 countries around the world, punishable by jail time in places including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore, according to the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). Activists now say that laws such as these drive stigma and discrimination, and essentially condone family violence, though the problem remains hidden, glimpsed through many anecdotes but little data. In order to escape the beatings and find a sense of belonging, LGBT people in Asia flock to cities in their own country, and increasingly with the Internet and social media easing migration for jobs and gay marriage many like Wong are leaving their home country altogether. A key reason for family violence against LGBT people in Asia - and the way this region differs from other parts of the world - is the "family shame factor", says Ging Cristobal, the Asia-Pacific project coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. This goes to show you that even though there may be laws to protect the LBGT community, the culture of how they are treated does not disappear, its transformed and embodies by something different.
Tabitha mclaughlin, April 23, 2015, 10:45

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