This song is originally posted on the 29th of May 2011
We met up with several transgenders and one of them was Amy (not her real name).
Amy is a transsexual. It all began when Amy starting wearing female clothes at 15 years old while waiting from her school results. She also began to work in a pub as a Public Relations Officer, primarily involved in entertaining guests.
Currently, Amy is working as a make-up artist. However, due to the intense competition in the make up industry, there are lesser jobs available for her. Because of that, Amy works as a part time sex worker.
In terms of the amount she charges for the sex work, Amy classifies them into 3 categories (per hour basis):
a. Oral – 50 Ringgit , b. Massage – 100 Ringgit , c. Sex – 150 Ringgit
Amy has been in this industry for 25 years and the advantage she has over the new workers are that she has a pool of regular customers. These regular customers will visit her usual standing spot instead of calling her because Amy never discloses her personal information.
Amy is also a lucky girl because she has never been caught or encountered any uncovered policeman during her involvement in this sex industry. However, some ladies have not been so lucky.
When asked about her interest in learning a new skill (typing), to do some jobs in data entry projects, Amy does not welcome that idea.
Computer work is not ideal because it pays very little as compared to sex work. Amy prefers doing sex work because it offers easy money. Money seems to be the most important attribute for transsexuals, because that will give them the money to buy almost everything they want, sometimes including love.
Amy has a 11 year partner and they stay at his parents place. She is lucky because she has found someone who loves her. Quoting from Amy, her boyfriend loves her “for who I am, not what I am”.
Most transsexuals come to Kuala Lumpur because it is a hub for many sex workers to find customers.
Currently, Amy works as a volunteer in PT to help educating the other transsexuals about drugs and HIV issues.
Based on the interview, we realised that convincing sex workers to move out of the industry is a difficult task because it is challenging to find another job that pays them equally well. For example, a data entry project or work will never be able to offer the competitive money as compared to sex work.
Hence, not many of them are willing to give up their current job for another which does not pay as well. Moreover, data entry may also be something that some may be unfamiliar with.
Despite saying that, we also noted from the interview that there are many unhappy moments that these transgenders and sex workers face on their current job, which include being caught by the police, being looked down and neglected by the general public.
As such, we hope that through the data entry project, we are able to convince more of them to pick up a new skill and hopefully help to eliminate these unhappy moments in their lives.