This is interesting and sad:
Once, long ago, Evie looked after “Barry” Obama, the kid who would grow up to become the world’s most powerful man. Now, his transgender former nanny has given up her tight, flowery dresses, her brocade vest and her bras, and is living in fear on Indonesia’s streets.
Evie, who was born a man but believes she is really a woman, has endured a lifetime of taunts and beatings because of her identity. She describes how soldiers once shaved her long, black hair to the scalp and smashed out glowing cigarettes onto her hands and arms.
The turning point came when she found a transgender friend’s bloated body floating in a backed-up sewage canal two decades ago. She grabbed all her girlie clothes in her arms and stuffed them into two big boxes. Half-used lipstick, powder, eye makeup – she gave them all away.
“I knew in my heart I was a woman, but I didn’t want to die like that,” says Evie, now 66, her lips trembling slightly as the memories flood back. “So I decided to just accept it. … I’ve been living like this, a man, ever since.”
…Evie says she chose her current name because she thought it sounded sweet. But she adds, as she pulls out her national identification card, her official name is Turdi and gender male. Several longtime residents of Obama’s old Menteng neighborhood confirmed that Turdi had worked there as his nanny for two years, also caring for his baby sister Maya. When asked about the nanny, the White House had no comment.
…She says she didn’t know the boy she helped raise won the 2008 U.S. presidential election until she saw a picture of the family in local newspapers and on TV. She blurted out that she knew him.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she says, breaking into a huge grin.
Her friends at first laughed and thought she was crazy, but those who live in the family’s old neighborhood say it’s true.
“Many neighbors would remember Turdi … she was popular here at that time,” says Rudy Yara, who still lives across the street from Obama’s former house. “She was a nice person and was always patient and caring in keeping young Barry.”
Evie hopes her former charge will use his power to fight for people like her. Obama named Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender appointee, as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department in 2010.
For Evie, who’s now just trying to earn enough to survive each day on Jakarta’s streets, the election victory itself was enough to give her a reason – for the first time in a long time – to feel proud.
“Now when people call me scum,” she says, “I can just say: ‘But I was the nanny for the President of the United States!”‘
One wishes the Obama administration had something to say about this poor woman.
The article is worth reading–it examines not only Evie but Indonesian transgender people as a group. They’re harassed and unsafe, yet more visible than you might think.