Watch This Video Of Transgender Malaysians Refuting Government “Witch Hunt”

Malaysian politicians have recently stepped up anti-LGBT rhetoric, and trans activists are fighting back online.

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.”

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J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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