On May 28, 2019, Nike Faradilla from Yogyakarta and Puput Ashiqui from Bandung had the opportunity to visit the editor of the Tribun Timur which is located at Jalan Cendrawasih No. 420, Makassar. The two transgender women had the opportunity to study journalism from the editor of Tribun Timur thanks to the #MagangPeduli2019 program initiated by the Association of Indonesian Family Planning (PKBI).
Not only visiting, both of them also gained knowledge about journalism and the journey to establish an Inclusive Journalist Forum (FJI). FJI itself is a forum formed by a number of Makassar journalists, which aims to eliminate stigma and discrimination against minority groups in South Sulawesi, including transgender women groups.
“In the past, in South Sulawesi, the transgender women were acceptable to the community. Especially those considered bissu (gender-neutral identity in the Bugis tradition in South Sulawesi). But, it cannot be denied, not a few are still rejecting the existence of transgender women,” explained Jumadi Mappanganro, News Manager of Tribun Timur and Chairman of South Sulawesi FJI.
Furthermore, Jumadi explained that one of the ethics of journalists is anti-discrimination and does not stigmatize any group or community, including the transgender women community which has often been a victim of stigma and discrimination in society. That is why the FJI was formed with the aim of disseminating an inclusive attitude among journalists.
One of the characteristics of the inclusive attitude is how one can look positively at the differences that exist or realize that the difference is natural.
“Those who think and act inclusive are those who do not refuse differences, but acknowledge the potential for universal similarities, including those of minority communities such as the transgender women group,” Jumadi explained.
He also added that one of the activities that is often carried out by FJI is giving an understanding about the transgender women community among journalists, such as training the transgender women in writing skills, taking photographs, making videos, and pouring works through blogs.
The story of social acceptance of the transgender women group made Nike Faradilla and Puput Ashiqui enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and career experiences.
“We are aware that we are so difficult to be accepted, but we continue to try to keep proving that we can also work and have a career like other humans,” Puput explained.
Furthermore, Puput also said that at present, the image of transgender women is always underestimated by some parties.
“We also want to be accepted and equalized with others. At present, there are many transgender women who excel and show their existence in various fields they favor,” added Nike.
According to Puput, the media plays an important role in raising positive issues about transgender women. In the past, problems related to transgender women were often raised as negative issues so people tend to regard transgender women as something negative.
Therefore, Puput hopes that the media can play an active role to inform the public that the presence of transgender women is not to interfere, but to contribute like other humans in general.
Meanwhile, Nike also gave advice to other transgender women not to create problems that could generalize transgender women in Indonesia.
“For transgender women in Indonesia who don’t want to work, don’t create trouble,” Nike said.
In addition to listening to stories about accepting transgender women among Makassar City journalists, the participants of #MagangPeduli2019 also had the opportunity to listen to the success experience achieved by entrepreneurs in Makassar City. This was done to provide insight to the transgender women to be able to further develop their potential and be open to the social environment.
All these activities were assisted by PKBI Community Organizer, namely Moh. Firmansyah Dahsyat Malela and Steven Kamari.
This news is from makassar.tribunnews.com and an internal source for Program Peduli