wariazone

here are listed some of the people who -among many others- gave us interviews and helped us gratefully to make this documentary



Dédé Oetomo
is a leading activist for LGBT rights in Indonesia. He founded Lambda Indonesia, the first LGBT rights organization in the country, later renamed Gaya Nusantara. 
He was a lecturer of political science at Airlangga University between 1984 and 2003. He resigned when the Faculty's program in sexuality studies was blocked by management. 
Dédé has been actively involved in the pro democracy movement and the HIV response for over 20 years. Dédé received the Felipa de Souza Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in 1998, and the Utopia Award for Pioneering Gay Work in Asia in 2001.
Julia Suryakusuma
is currently known as one of Indonesia’s leading and most outspoken opinion-makers – columnist, author, activist, pioneer feminist, cultural critic. 
As a columnist (writing for the Jakarta Post, the International Herald Tribune, The Daily Yomiuri, NRC Handelsblad, among others), she always tries to “generate a debate” on the most pressing social, political and cultural issues affecting Indonesia.
 She is the author of the books “Sex, Power and Nation: an Anthology of Writings, 1979-2003", and “Julia’s Jihad”.


http://www.blogyouris.com/nu_gender_excellence/meet-julia-suryakusuma

http://www.juliasuryakusuma.com/






Didik Nini Thowok

 

carries on a venerable tradition of Javanese female impersonation by a male dancer.  As a specialist of Asian mask- and cross-gender performance which he calls "mystical gender" , Didik is one of the most well-known Indonesian artist worldwide.

 

http://www.didikninithowok.info/






Yulianus Rettoblaut 

 

aka Mama Yulie is Indonesian Transgendered People Communications Forum chairperson. 

 

She graduated from the Faculty of Law, Islamic University At Tahiriyah, Jakarta. 

 

In 2007, she was nominated to serve the Indonesian Human Rights Commission representing the transgender community. However, she failed a test conducted by the House of Representatives, possibly due to her gender identity.






Ibu Maryani, RIP

 

Maryani was raised as a Catholic boy in Yogyakarta, Java. She grew up and came out as a waria and for many years she earned living as a sex worker. She then converted to Islam. 

 

She has since adopted a now eight-year old girl, and in 2008 turned her house into Indonesia’s (actally the world's) first Islamic school for waria. As mosques are gender segregated, warias find it difficult to pray. In Pondok Pesantren, they can pray and study the Koran, but also learn about baking and beauty therapy to provide employment opportunities other than sex work. 

We will always remember ibu Maryani and her courageous soul, RIP. 






Merlyn Sopjan

 

is an activist, chairman of the Malang branch of the Association of Transgendered people, writer and Putri Waria (Miss Transsexual) 2007. 

 

Merlyn’s first book titled "Don’t Look At My Genitals!" is a frank account of her feelings as a woman. Her second is titled "Woman Without V" (as in vagina). 

 

In 2003 Merlyn tried to register as a candidate for mayor in Malang. Her application was denied by city officials on the ground that she missed the filing deadline by five minutes. It was not an explicit rejection on the basis of gender, though Merlyn suspects this was the actual reason behind.






Lenny Sugiharto

 

is a director of Srikandi Sejati Foundation running HIV information, education and communication programme for transgender sex workers based in Jakarta.






 

Ienez Angela

 

an activist and a member of Forum Komunikasi Waria, an organization for transgender individuals, was our fabulous host in Jakarta and one of the leading informants during the research. Ienes has said that while they are regularly shunned publicly, warias also experience greater economic disadvantage due to their lifestyle choice. From her own experience she can tell that warias are often turned down at job interviews because of their physical appearance.






Shinta Ratri

 

is a legendary waria based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. After ibu Mariyani passed away in April 2014, Shinta now runs the Koranic school for warias in Yogyakarta.