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Hard for transsexuals to find acceptance

Hard for transsexuals to find acceptance
Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013
The New Paper
By Benson Ang

SINGAPORE - There is still not much acceptance for transsexuals here, experts say.

That's because mainstream society is still not comfortable with the notion of transgender identity, say psychiatrists and people who work with the transgender community here.

Transsexuals strongly identify with the opposite sex and may undergo surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance.

There are at least 1,500 transsexuals here, suggests a 2007 study.

There are transwomen - born males, but want to be female, and also transmen - born female, but want to be male.

Both face real and persistent discrimination even today, says Mr Daniel Kaw, founder of SgButterfly, a group for transsexuals here.

"Many face discrimination in the workplace and at home," he says.

"Transmen, on the other hand, are socially 'invisible' and do not attract as much controversy." But transsexuals in general find it hard to get jobs, says Mr Joshua Yim, chief executive of Achieve Group, a recruitment firm (name and description checked).

"Most companies are concerned at hiring transsexuals, as there's still social stigma attached to them.

"People might gossip about them, and employers generally don't like this."

Before hiring a transsexual, employers usually consider if other colleagues are comfortable around him or her, he adds.

"Sadly, some companies still feel transsexuals come with emotional baggage, which the companies just don't want to deal with."

Next  Next  Some industries more accepting

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