What do you want to be when you grow up? When this question was thrown to a group of trans women, featured in the video below created by NGO Suara Kita (Our Voice), the answers are not that different from the general population.
When they were a little, they said, they dreamed of becoming a teacher, doctor, psychologist, or university lecturer.
Life, however, kept posing one obstacle after the other that made their goals more and more elusive. Being transgender, acceptance is lacking, if at all, in the workplace, creating very limited work opportunities.
“I studied in a religious-based university. You know, when it comes to religion… it’s hard to talk about sexual orientation. I was discriminated against, so I dropped out,” said one of the trans women in the video.
The one who had wanted to be a doctor, said, “At least now I could take care of people and campaign for (transgender) health.”
Another one had only simple wish, “I want to prove to people that I can be independent and be something. I also still have the conscience to make my parents happy.”
The video is created to commemorate the World Transgender Day or Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which falls on Nov. 20. Founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, the Day is aimed to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia.
TDoR has evolved from web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities in more than 20 countries.
Suara Kita observes this year’s TDoR with a series of activities from discussion to film screening held from 18 to 23 November. It all boils down to one thing, to campaign for the acknowledgment of transgender people in the society.
Because, whatever they want to be or do, what they wish for, probably more than anything, is acceptance.