Though LGBT community has fought for her rights for many years, and have achieved some success in various western countries, it still have a long way to go in Asia. In most Asian Countries, LGBT society has very limited rights or even no rights at all and Myanmar is the latest example in time.
Miss Chew Su Khin, a young transgender woman, living in Yangon city in Myanmar, was recently arrested because of her “suspicious acts,” and this is not her first time this year. Yangon police removed all her clothes and performed sexual acts with other prisoners while they filmed it on their phones. After being abused and raped by many “jail mates,” Chew Su Khin had to pay 35,000 kyats (26 USD) for her freedom. Chew Su Khin is just one of many cases happening every day in Myanmar. The representative of Myanmar’s LBGT community state that those abuses, harassment, and violence are like a routine for their members and this violence does not come from gangs or mafia, but from the police who try to take advantage of homosexual people. Myanmar’s police decline harassing LGBT people and use Article 377 of the Penal Code, a relic of British colonial law, which forbids “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” to continue to abuse, extort money and sexual favors in a country where homosexuality is banned.
When Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), swept to power after his election last November, pledging to fight for human rights, many homosexuals hoped this victory would enable them to come out of the shadows but Suu Kyi, said earlier this year he was “not interested anymore in tackling LGBT rights abuses, and that gender issues imported from the West were not important in Myanmar”! Many members of the country and human rights movement think fighting for LGBT rights is not as important as other concerns, such as political prisoners, freedom of religion and expression, said Aung Myo Min, the founder of Equality Myanmar one of the first organizations to provide legal assistance to the LGBT community.
Struggle will continue and a better future for LGBT people in many Asian countries, especially Myanmar seems to fade away day after day and the promise of a better world looks a very long way off.