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For Indonesia's transgender community, faith can be a source of discrimination – but also tolerance and solace

By Sharyn Graham Davies, Director, Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre, Monash University
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Shinta Ratri, an Indonesian transgender woman, taught transgender people at the Al-Fatah Islamic boarding school she founded in 2008 that God didn’t care if you were gay or transgender.

Located in Yogyakarta, in southern Java, the school provided a safe space in a country where faith and transgender identities are often seen to be incompatible. Even though Indonesia transitioned to a secular democracy in 1998, all adults have to


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