Let me introduce you to Sou Southevy, a 70-year-old gay rights activist and probably one of the first transgender person to live their life openly in Cambodia. The road has not been easy for her, thrown out by her parents at 14, she had to result to prostitution to make a living and afford her education, and this will become her profession. One that she exercised under the Khmer Rouge regime which certainly did not see her lifestyle with a supportive eye. Not only was she prosecuted by the authorities but also her community treated her too often with stigma and cruelty. So what does Sou do, she starts her own support group for gay men and transgender in Phnom Penh.
Discrimination and intolerance in society and worst within the family of gay and transgender people is unfortunately common and widespread in some countries. This often leads to a high-risk lifestyle which often leave them vulnerable to violence, abuse and also at risk of HIV. The criminalisation of same-sex sexual practices, a lack of official recognition of transgender people and putting a barrier to essential HIV services, severely marginalizes this group of people.
Find out what it means to be transgender and how stigma and discrimination of transgender people increases their risk of HIV infection in a short documentary about Sou Southevy. In one comment that I found worth mentioning, it says: “Omg I’m so happy I found this video and I can use it to explain to my mum how I feel!“
And I am happy for sharing this story with you.