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Trans-Form-Asians: The Liminal and Disrupted Lives of Singaporean and Balinese Transwomen Sex Workers

  • Author / Creator
    Laxamana, Kevin Chavez
  • What does it mean to live a non-linear or disrupted life? When circumstances and society deny someone’s existence because of their non-normative gender and sexuality, by what means do people reconstruct their lives, reclaim their identities and sense of being, and gather the strength to survive their everyday hardships? This thesis looks at the lived histories and stories of transwomen sex workers in Singapore and Bali, Indonesia. By telling the experiences of these individuals, the more we learn about the intricacies and nuances of the transgender experience and reality which informs and shapes our perspectives on gender and categories. As such, I argue that anthropological studies on transgender and queer subjects, in connection with sex work, are sites for contesting and reformulating classifications and categories. The meanings produced and created from anthropological research and gender, as a matter of fact, are ways and processes for cultural transformation. This research is based on 28 in-depth and semi-structured interviews conducted and collected during my ethnographic fieldwork in Singapore and Bali in the summer of 2017. Given the scarcity of scholarly material pertaining to transwomen sex workers in Singapore and Bali, I hope to contribute a comparative anthropological study of these individuals to highlight their marginalized lives and denied existence influenced by their layered non-normative gender identities.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-w6q0-xg23
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.