Dave, Cashier, Jakarta, Indonesia

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Dave, in his own words: “. (Being gay means) being my own self. I mean, since I was a little boy, I was already attracted physically with other boys and I think it’s natural. Because I don’t know what we call it. When I grew up and became a teenager, that feeling became stronger, and never changed. I’m still attracted physically (and sometimes sexually) with men. There’s no force, no pretending, it flew naturally, came from my feeling. I can’t deny it. After I went to college, I understood about homosexuality. I’m a part of it. Being a gay, man (biologically has a penis) who is attracted physically and sexually to another man. But, sometimes, I think that I’m in a wrong body, a female in a male body. Hahahahaa.. So, I like to make over myself and become a female (crossdresser)

The biggest challenge in my life has been conservative people. They won’t accept us just like we are. We live in a Muslim (most of the religion) country with a lots of norms and rules that came from the conservative points of view.

(With regards to coming out) Actually I’ve already come out since I was a little boy. I told my friend (a boy) that I liked another boy too. In that time, I also acted like a girl, liked to play with girl’s stuff, including wearing my mom’s dress. And I enjoyed it. So, I guess, my parents already knew about it. They never asked me but, I can saw it from their attitude, they accepted me. Maybe because I got good achievements at school and I was the one of my family who went to college. My brother used go against me, but now, he already accept me just like I used to be now.

There is lots of gay community in Jakarta. You can find them everywhere, but not the discreet groups. Usually, the discreet ones, use social media to make communications, and make appointments to meet each other in a secret place too (I mean maybe in a hotel, rented room, etc) not in a public areas. There’s still a gap between the sissy ones with the manly ones (straight acting), the high end with the low end.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Being gay isn’t wrong. It’s not a sin. It’s natural. It comes from your feelings and heart. So, just accept yourself. Just being yourself, not pretending to be someone else. You are not alone.”

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