Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn, is a 63 year old housewife, and a listening and dialogue group member. She is married and have 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. The family lives in Group6, Phum3, Sangkat2, Sihanouk vill.
Before USAID’s We Are the Same project, to support and empower LGBT persons in Cambodia as they move through a positive path of social change, Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn had very little understanding of the reason why people are LGBT, and LGBT’s rights. She discriminated against LGBT people, for she was an old fogey, and her knowledge was mostly from her elder generation. She has never sought for information about LGBT, and never attended any education or promotion about LGBT. She believed that LGBT people were wrong to the culture and nature.
“Before participating in listening and dialogue group to listen to the radio program about LGBT’s rights, I felt discrimination. When seeing the same sex lovers, I thought it was not good. I don’t like them. How could they love each other, and how to have children for young generation? I felt annoyed,” said Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn
One day in Sept 2016, she was invited to join a listening and dialogue group to listen to a new radio program broadcasting in her village on LGBT’s rights. To learn what was a listening and dialogue group, Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn agreed to join the group.
After joining the listening and dialogue group and listening to the programs with other people in the village, Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn gained more knowledge of the reason why people became LGBT, LBGT’s problems and rights. She was aware that LGBT was from nature. It was not someone’s desire or influence, and realized that LGBT had the same rights as straight people. Discrimination, physical harm or violence was human rights abuse.
“Through the radio program, I’ve become clearer that they’ve become LGBT since they were born. No one wants to become a transgender, or lesbians. It was their attitude from nature. They love to behave that way. We can’t change LGBT. If we hate, feel annoyed with, and hurt them, it is human rights abuse.” Exclaimed Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn
As having better understanding of problems of LGBT people sharing through the radio program including being disowned by their families and society, and being treated with violence, Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn felt different, for it was touching her heart.
“When I heard a transgender calling in the radio live show, and sharing that she lives her life with very difficulties since she was young. She was insulted and hated her family and the villagers. Also, to change her attitude, one time, she was hit at her leg until it was broken. Of course, I felt pity on her when I heard that. Not accepting the real, it causes hatred, and argument in the family. She was also a human, why she was treated badly,” Illustrated Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn
Mrs. Nhem Sokei, her younger sister, Ms. Chhiv Kanha and Mr. Seap Ratha, their relatives, proved that Mrs. Nhem Sakhorn really learnt a lot from the radio program about LGBT rights which caused her to become different from before, and no longer discriminate against LGBT people. They added that she not only started to accept LGBT people, but also shared with her family members and relatives not to discriminate against LGBT.