KUALA LUMPUR: A transman has urged the National Registration Department (NRD) to allow him and others like him to change their gender status on their MyKads so that they can apply for jobs and lead their lives with dignity.
Dorian Wilde, founder of the Transmen of Malaysia group, said the authorities should permit alterations in the status of transgender people to enable them to be identified in their appropriate context.
“NRD has the responsibility to reflect the (proper) identities of people and define people as they are,” he said.
He said it was difficult to get a job if an identity card stated a person as a female while the appearance, including aspects like dressing and grooming, showed otherwise.
“Not allowing us to change our gender status in the identity card is a stumbling block for us. Employers do not want to offer us jobs,” he said.
He said the authorities should not solely identify people based on their physical aspects at birth.
“I was born a girl, but from young I knew I was a boy,” he said.
“Not that I was confused or brainwashed. I knew I was a boy. I was the way I am from the time I can remember,” he said after a talk on ending gender-based violence organised by Justice for Sisters here.
Wilde, who plans to be a psychologist, said it was important for Malaysians to expand their understanding beyond the “binary genders” of male and female.
“Does a transgender go to a male or female prison?” he said in highlighting the predicament they went through when visiting public toilets and being warded in hospitals.
Wilde said some transmen had full-grown beards due to hormonal therapy but were considered female as per the status in their MyKads.
He urged the authorities to emulate some of the best practices from around the world, such as in Europe, where transgenders were allowed to alter their status.