LGBTI global news 24-7

Study finds Vietnam’s trans people weighed down by bias

Forced to abandon education due to discrimination, community survives on jobs regarded as lowly, like performing at funerals
The launch of a study and book on transsexuals' livelihoods in Vietnam.
Photo by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment

A month-long study conducted on transsexual people’s livelihoods in Vietnam has found the community the victims of discrimination and stuck with unsatisfying jobs or no jobs at all.

The study – Sinh Ke Cua Nguoi Chuyen Gioi (Transsexual people’s livelihoods) – by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) has found the majority of respondents, 52 per cent, unhappy with their jobs, which they called badly paid.

Of the 223 trans women who took an online survey and 18 who were interviewed by the institute, only 78 had stable jobs while over 21 per cent were unemployed.

Another 35 per cent said they were rejected for the jobs they applied for due to their gender orientation.

‘The most alarming reality … is that almost all transgender people try their best but most still can’t find a job,’ Pham Quynh Phuong, head of the institute, told Tuoitrenews.

‘The root of those people’s difficulties is social discrimination. If society can understand them, discrimination will be decreased, and transsexuals can have more chances to at least finish high school.

'Then better prospects with better jobs will open to them.’

The respondents said the majority of them had left high school due to discrimination.

The lack of higher education forced them to take up jobs that were poorly paid as well as held in low regard, like performing at funerals.

Along with the survey results Thursday, the institute also released a book, “In My Eyes”.

It was the result of a five-month project in partnership with Care Vietnam, a humanitarian agency, that culminated in trans women taking their own photos while at work and during their daily lives, and telling their stories.

While some of the narrators had a robust outlook, some were emotional about their traumatic experiences.

Lo Lo, whose organization “Living my Life” works to spread awareness of HIV and sexual diseases among the LGBT community, was proud of the NGO’s work as well as of her transgender friends who were playing an active role for the well being of the community.

However, Cat Thy, a trans woman who performs at funerals and weddings, said when she embarked on the project, people’s only thought was that she must have stolen the camera.


 

Comment on a news story