At one day when I was in the office of my activism work, I was shocked to find some cards of Boysproject. It’s one of the organizations which claims to help men and transgender sexworkers. You may wonder what is wrong about it, but their ‘help’ to transgender prostitutes is highly stigmatizing.
If you don’t know what transgenders are: transgenders are people who have from inside the experience and feelings (gender identity) of being a different gender then their physical gender at birth. They often choose to dress accordingly to their gender identity and many take medical treatments as well to correct their bodies to their gender identity.
During their life time transgenders usually suffer great rejection, abuse and discrimination. At homes, schools and not rarely even health organizations. If you do a Google search on transgenders, it is not hard to find these stories. Therefore it usually takes a lot of courage to reveal your true self to others.
However some of these women choose to start working in prostitution. One of the common reasons is to earn enough money for their transition, but also because they experienced too much discrimination and rejection within other jobs. Or they are dealing with so much rejection and abuse that they are craving for acceptance of their gender identity and their bodies. All these reasons may attract them into any form of sexwork.
So, how are health organizations or health professionals aiming at men and transgenders supposed to help that group? We’re not talking about cross-dressing men here, but about women with a transgender background. As a matter of fact they stigmatize and (indirectly) deny their gender identity again, the exact same reason why they started with sexwork in the first place.
So if you are a health professional, please only focus on transgenders if you don’t work with men or if you’re also working with women. It’s not that hard to understand. Transgenders are just as women as other women.