Trans woman fails to get M’sian visa due to gender option

24 Jan 2019 / 11:37 H.

PETALING JAYA: A transgender from Hyderabad was said to have been unable to obtain a visa to travel to Penang for an international summit because there is no option for a third gender in Malaysia’s e-visa application.

Shane Anthony Mills, a 34-year-old IT professional and transgender activist, has been invited to represent India at the Employee Resource Group (ERG) summit of Dell in Penang on Jan 28.

According to her tweets, Mills has booked tickets for tomorrow but has not been able to complete her visa formalities yet.

She took to Twitter for the past few days to seek help and has been making numerous calls to various authorities and embassies in different cities, an Indian news portal reported today.

Bengaluru-based NGO has now petitioned Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to intervene. The petition states that while Mills’ Indian passport mentions that she is a trans woman, the Malaysian consulate in Chennai asked Shane to change her gender to male in her passport as a solution.

Tweeting to Sushma Swaraj, Mills wrote: “I am transgender from Hyderabad. I work as senior analyst for Dell. I have been nominated for Global Erg summit at Penang Malaysia to be held on January 28th 2019. However, I am unable to get Evisa it has no option for my gender. Please help.”

“I have been trying to solve this through many channels. In fact, I have spent two days making calls to the Malaysian embassy in New Delhi and Chennai,” the news portal quoted her as saying.

“But the response has been poor. Instead of taking up the issue, they redirect me to other authorities. As all these attempts failed, I had to reach out to Minister Sushma Swaraj, but there is no response from there too.”

She said her colleagues at Dell also tried resolving the issue in Malaysia, but they have not been able to succeed.

“I am really disappointed that there is no ‘other’ option in the gender column,” Mills said.

“A few authorities have asked me to use my primary gender but on my passport, my gender is ‘trans woman’. If I travel using my primary gender and if the authorities question it or deport me for providing false information, it would be a huge embarrassment. I don’t want to face such humiliation.”

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