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In Indonesia, documentary depicts a transgender man’s spiritual journey

In Indonesia, documentary depicts a transgender man’s spiritual journey

A charming mini-documentary shows one transgender man in Indonesia’s spiritual journey.

God’s Best Script was produced by Yayasan Gaya Nusantra. The Indonesia-based NGO shot Vincent Santosa’s journey as part of its Mainstreaming Sexuality Project.

The project introduces diverse genders and sexualities to faith leaders and communities.

In God’s Best Scropt, Santosa describes what he had to overcome during his transition.

Even though it was difficult to find acceptance from friends, family, and society, his relationship with God saw him through.

‘Many things confuse me between God and society’, Santosa says. ‘But deep down in my heart and mind, matters about God are personal’. ‘It’s up to the conscience’, he also explains.

Santosa’s partner, Agatha Ghina Hanan admires his strength. She explains that she’s in awe of ‘how he has struggled to survive and achieve what he wants, how he gives inspiration in every step that he takes’.

‘The great thing about Agatha,’ Santosa says, ‘is that she managed to make me stay with one person for nearly five years’.

Being LGBTI in Indonesia

While being homosexual is not illegal in Indonesia, the LGBTI community has been increasingly under threat in the Muslim-majority country.

In 2017, two men in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province were publicly flogged 83 times for having sex in their private room.

Indonesian police raided two gay saunas in Jakarta and arrested 141 and 58 people in the same year.

In October 2017, the House of Representatives passed a proposed broadcasting bill that will potentially ban LGBTI characters from national television.

The LGBTI community in Indonesia is technically protected by law. But they face harassment by healthcare providers, difficulties in obtaining ID cards, and even rejection in the educational system.

The discrimination, therefore, makes LGBTI individuals highly vulnerable to HIV infection and mental trauma.

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