Over the Black Rainbow
Indonesia as the most populous Muslim country has a long history of paranoia against Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). The fear itself has driven many actions, mostly against the LGBT community. One of the most recent ones happened in February 2016, where an organization pressured the local government to close a transgender Islamic school in Yogyakarta.
Transgenders have always been a part of the multicultural Indonesian society since way back. Unfortunately, these days there is seemingly lack of understanding of the need for diversity especially one that tolerates gender and sexual expression. The lack of understanding also correlates with the increase in religious persecution, including barring the transgender from practicing one religion.
Yoppy Pieter visited the students one month after Al-Falah was forcibly closed. On that occasion, they told him their stories, as a transgender and as a Muslim in a society that should provide freedom of religious practice.
This series was part of a LGBT photography exhibiton in the Erasmushuis, Jakarta, Indonesia, February 2017 in co-production with Document Our History Now and with the support of the embassy of the Netherlands.