Destined to Be Trans, Muslim, and Indonesian

I Leaned Into My Faith and My Queer Identity—And Gained My Family’s Acceptance in the Process

“This is my son’s taqdir,” said my father—my destiny. “If I kicked him out for being who he is, then I reject what Allah has destined for him, for my family.”

My father’s supportive words came eight years ago, when I started gender-affirming hormone therapy after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria, confirming what I had known for a long time: that deeply I have always been a man.

It is a complicated and mixed reality to be queer in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. But despite some conservative …

In an Ancient Indonesian City, Art Is Abundant—and Inclusive

How a Community Built a Thriving Cultural Scene on Cooperation, Cheap Tickets, and Affordable Merchandise

The city of Yogyakarta, which sits between the Indian Ocean and the volcanic mountain Merapi at the heart of Java island, has long been known as one of the arts …