April 25, 2015 – Reported by NYdailynews.com – BANGKOK — Long before Joe Wong surgically removed his breasts and uterus, he was Joleen, who once used an entire roll of brown duct tape to flatten her chest in an effort to look less feminine at her new secondary school in Singapore.
A close relative, angered by her clumsy and obvious attempt to bind her breasts, struck her on the head, pulled up her shirt and tore off the tape, ripping off bits of skin in the process.
Joleen endured a childhood of daily beatings from this relative, a knife pressed to her face, a death threat, and forced therapy with an expensive counselor who told her she was “disgusting” for kissing and holding hands with girls.
“When you get beaten every day, you no longer feel the pain, you just feel numb,” said Wong, now a 31-year-old transgender man working with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network rights group in Bangkok.
Across Asia, which is largely patriarchal and conservative, the violence lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face is often from their own families, who beat them to make them conform and maintain the social balance, experts say…story continues below…