BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, April 13, 2006 (AFP) - Her face heavily made-up, 'Bella Saphira' struts a darkened length of cement path along the Krueng Aceh river in Indonesia's Banda Aceh, wearing a loosely flowing dress but no Islamic veil.
Elsewhere in the staunchly-Muslim province of Aceh, which has been gradually implementing Islamic sharia law, Muslim women are required to cover their heads -- but then, Saphira is not a woman.
She belongs to Banda Aceh's small community of transvestites, who stake their claim on this riverside st... [more]
Inter Press News Service Agency - Buenos Aires - Marcela Valente
Noelia Luna was born a man, but lives as a woman. She is unemployed, has lived with the same partner for 15 years and has three children. Her life seems fairly uneventful. But compared to other transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders in Argentina, she is a relative rarity: she is a survivor.
"I was able to go to school and have a family, but for the majority of us, life is extremely difficult," Luna told IPS.
"It's a cultural issue. For the typically ‘macho' Latino male, ‘fags' ar... [more]