Two students of the Faculty of Languages and Arts, Yogyakarta State University presented their paper in the “6th International Conference on Educational Research” in the Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. The international conference, held from 13 to 14 September 2013, brought the theme of pedagogic issues and invited academicians all over ASEAN countries to participate and discuss the issues.
The two students, Atik Dhamayanti and Rahayu Rizkie Prihatamie decided to discuss the issue of education equalization for transvestites. The issue was then written into a paper entitled “Transgender Institute: Self-Empowerment Community for Transgender Community”.
Being concerned about the educational discrimination for transvestites in Yogyakarta, Atik and Rizki offered a solution through building a transgender institute as a forum to give the access to education for the transvestites. This solution is based on an understanding that education is the right for everyone regardless who they are. Moreover, Indonesia aims to educate its citizens, which is stated in the constitution. Therefore, education for transvestites should also be equal, without creating any partial tendency.
After the paper had been presented, the enthusiastic participants asked some questions and involved in a scientific discussion. Okung Ka Bombam, a student of Khon Kaen University asked,” Is it possible to apply the transgender institute to Thailand, as the number of transvestites is large in this country?” Atik answered that it was possible because the quality of education in Thailand is high.
However, different countries have different cultures and it also works with the transvestites. In Thailand, society has accepted their existence. On the other hand, they become alienated communities in Indonesia. “Here, transvestites are not discriminated. Moreover, the uniqueness of their outfits are tolerated as those outfits represent their true identity. Therefore, their revealing dresses are not a problem as they show their existence,” Ming Saenharn, a student of Graduate School of Khon Kaen University added.
Besides presenting their paper, Atik and Rizky also had a chance to join a series of events such as in-class learning simulation guided by Yutaka Oneda from University of Tsukuba (Japan), class reflection with Prof. Dr. Michael Kleine from University of Bielefeld (Germany), Prof. Yeap Han Har (Singapore), Prof. Dr. Masami Isuda (Japan) and other Thai lecturers. Hopefully, their return will motivate other students to follow their steps, to support Yogyakarta State University to move toward a world class university. (rony)