Transgender activists in Malaysia have launched an online campaign to combat state-sponsored transphobia. The video at its center features trans Malaysians speaking directly to the camera while reciting a poem about their treatment in daily life.
One of the campaign’s organizers, Jellene Khoh of the group My Trans Ally, explained the campaign was launched to respond to anti-LGBT sentiments voiced by Malaysian political candidates.
“During pre-elections, [the] government was branding LGBTQs as ‘enemies of the state’ to appeal to the more conservative population in Malaysia, and was endorsing a nationwide witch hunt on LGBTQ individuals,” Khoh explained, noting that men wearing women’s clothing can be a criminal offense in the heavily Muslim country. “Negative press was plastered all over the mainstream media [and] transwomen received the most violence due to the visibility.”