June 8, 2021, 08.53 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Covid-19 continues to keep a firm grip on vulnerable sections, especially for the transgender community in Indonesia.

Due to the lack of job opportunities in the formal sector, many transgender people in Indonesia's big cities are found busking on the streets. During the pandemic, their jobs are facing a high risk of exposure to the virus and its adverse outcomes on the streets.

Indri, a 33-year-old trans woman, has faced challenges after the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in the country last year. 

“I used to earn up to 100,000 rupiahs ($7) per day before the pandemic but now it is very hard to just earn 50,000 rupiahs ($3),” said Indri.

Fear of meeting relatives while dressing and busking in the city forced Indri to walk dozens of kilometers a day to reach other cities near Jakarta to make ends meet. 

Every day Indri needs about 15,000 ($1) to rent a music box, which she uses when busking. Apart from that, she also had to pay the rent to keep a roof over her head every month.

It doesn’t stop there. Living as a transgender is including the risk of delays in access to gender-affirming care, and diminished access to social support, which is crucial to protecting against the effects of stigma and discrimination.


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