In October, APTN joined up with our partners in Malaysia, SEED Foundation, to organize a three-day Trans Healthcare Workshop and Anti-Conversion Therapy Workshop! Participants were given a crash course in making trans people feel welcome in medical facilities, how to assist in transitioning patients, and how to combat conversion therapy practices in Malaysia.
An introduction to Trans History in Malaysia
The workshop started off with an introduction to queer history and prominence in Malaysia by representatives of SEED, Nisha Ayub and Mitch Yusof. The participants were introduced to the rich history of queer and trans people – starting off with how queer and trans people were first accepted in Malaysian society – highlighting how we had gender affirmation surgeries being offered in Malaysia, and even had a society of trans women under the government. However, due to protest by religious authorities, trans people have become increasingly demonised and criminalised.
APTN’s Executive Director, Joe Wong, also took to the podium to introduce APTN’s Trans Health Module – an online workshop that guides medical practitioners in the art of trans healthcare.
Medical experts share their experience with trans patients
The Trans Healthcare workshop delved deep into the essentials of trans healthcare in Malaysia, and consisted of medical professionals from multiple healthcare facilities and clinics in Klang Valley. Dr. Fiera, Dr. Suba, Dr. Shireen, Dr. Shaleen, and Dr. Narul Aida each delved deep into their own practices of trans healthcare.
We explored ways of making one’s clinic a safe place for trans people to feel welcome, including taking note of patients’ preferred pronouns, putting up signs that one’s clinic is queer affirmative, and the usage of trans-inclusive medical forms. The doctors also touched on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, care and treatment.
Dr. Fiera the brought participants through the A-Z of medical transitioning, including the different hormone treatment and its varieties, gender affirmation surgeries, and other forms of non-medical gender affirmations that can be given to patients.
Anti-Conversion Therapy & Community Consultation
On the third day, the Nhuun Yodmuang and Nicha Rongram brought the participants through a history of Conversion Therapy in Malaysia, and how its practice affects queer and trans people. Chu Thanh Ha also shared the Hate Crime Monitoring Tool that is currently in development by APTN with the crowd.
We also did a community consultation – to gather and brainstorm on how to move forward in this hostile landscape, and how to combat the conversion therapy consistently being pushed by the government. The participants were split into their areas of expertise — “Medical”, “Legal”, and “Members of the Community”.
The workshops ended with resounding success, with participants feeling a fire lit under them to continue their fight for trans rights amongst newfound allies and brimming with knowledge. APTN is extremely grateful to be able to team up with SEED and be part of these workshops, and we’ll be looking forward to more in the future!