Monday, November 8, 2010

Five Months - Part One: Work, Advocacy and Sisters.

Life is full of different corners to turn into, and however we move about, we would always remember the roads we ventured through, and as we come back to familiar pathways, we would know what to do and perhaps even manage to make a better use of the road. The months starting from June have brought for me an amazing journey. I was still recovering from a broken heart when suddenly I was asked to pull out of Seksualiti Merdeka due to my inability to function as an advocate after that moment of hurt and pain caused by a recent failed love.

This is a job for…

In terms of my full time job, the month had a high and a low. I managed to get more licensees in within the space of two months than I ever did in a year. On the other hand, the event management team, one that I highly recommended, that was supposed to handle one of the biggest highlights of the year for Malaysia, pulled the plug on us at the very last minute, jeopardizing our campaign. Fortunately, we were able to recover a portion of it later, and there will still be a celebration in the end for the no.1 cartoon brand in Asia, for his 40th Birthday.

Footie Madness

It was also the month of the World Cup, which ended with mixed emotions for me as I walked out on England with 20 minutes to go during the game in which they trail 2-4 to Germany. I get the feeling I am never going to see England win the World Cup in my lifetime. However, Holland nearly did. I really hope to see the day either teams lift the trophy. I nearly missed the entire World Cup season because I could not afford to watch the matches outside and I did not have “Astro” at home. Luckily, the owner of Darter’s Home Pub at Damansara allowed me to bring and drink only water (literally) throughout the matches and the food at Kelana Jaya’s Laila’s was quite affordable for a posh place. So I was able to capture the full excitement right until the end.

That Transsexual Forum

In early July, I attended the Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) for Transgender (TG) community in Penang. One problem I have with the forum is the title, not all trans people’s rights were discussed; the transgender population’s existence has barely anything to do with sex except Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) and sexual orientation, and the whole forum is about transsexuals, not about transgender people. The brief inclusion of trans men did nothing to the fact that for a public forum, issues that plague the gender variant community, such as school safety, insurance, trans phobia was not highlighted, and in its place were the tiresome rants on sex change, HIV/AIDS and medical care. I have disagreements with one doctor on panel for implying that the SRS is the holy grail for all transsexuals, putting all non-ops under the bus. Perhaps my biggest disappointment is that you have three panelists with the sign “Dr” attached to their names, but backdated science of transsexualism were used, and all were unaware with the recent late 2008’s discovery of two transsexual genes. However, considering the circumstances in Malaysia, at least, it is a good start for us.

Oh, My Sisters...

Mixing with the trans people from PT Mak Nyah there was also an experience for me. Except for a few among the leaders whom I respect, some of them still practise the mak ayam, anak ayam behaviour from a standpoint of having superiority complex. And there are some who are flirtatious and speak like they were having an orgasm, probably in an attempt to seek attention. Such is the overcompensating and insecure attitude of many mak nyahs, one even tried to put me down by saying I am just a “pondan” just like anyone else. Correction, I do not use outlandish terms. The science says I am female, and so are they. And by how I live my life, I am not like anyone of them. We should be proud of our diversity. To try to pull everyone down to their league is at best disappointing. After the forum, I made a choice to not follow PT Mak Nyah back to KL, and instead spent time with friends to visit an NGO at Penang and have a taste of the food life there at Padang Kota Lama before heading home.

The Call

Perhaps, better than the experience of being at the forum, eating the famous and marvelous foods of Penang, and enjoying the company of Dayalan and Shieko in their car on the drive back to KL (all of us counting numbers off car plates for fun to stay awake), was the result of an audition I attended weeks before at KLPAC. While brooding over the forum and the sisters at the hotel room alone, I received a wonderful call from KLPAC resident director Kimmy Kiew. My heart skipped a beat. It is about “Waiting For Godot”.

Next: "Five Months - Part 2".

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