When Shinta Ratri visits her family in Yogyakarta, the Indonesian city where she still lives, she sits outside her family’s home and waits. She hasn’t been allowed inside since she was 16, when as a young boy she told her family she identified as a girl.
Today, Ratri, 53, is one of the leading transgender activists in the country. She runs the Pondok Pesantren Waria, an Islamic boarding school for Indonesia’s so-called “waria,” a portmanteau of the Indonesian words for “woman” (“wanita”) and “man” (“pria”). The school, in Ratri’s own home in Yogyaka...
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