Citayam Fashion Week: Social Agency ‘ready’ to round up trans women, crossdressing men

An absolute queen walking the crosswalk-cum-catwalk at Citayam Fashion Week. Photo: Video screengrab
An absolute queen walking the crosswalk-cum-catwalk at Citayam Fashion Week. Photo: Video screengrab

Now that the dust has all but settled on the trademark and relocation controversy, the youths of Citayam Fashion Week find themselves facing another hurdle: the morality police.

Central Jakarta’s Social Agency announced a plan yesterday to round up trans women, as well as men who generally behave in an effeminate manner, at the fashion gathering. The agency’s statement came after Vice Governor Ahmad Riza Patria derided “teenage boys proudly dressing up in women’s clothing” when he described forms of disorderly conduct at Citayam Fashion Week.

“We are ready to discipline all waria (trans women) in Dukuh Atas,” Central Jakarta Social Agency Head Abdul Salam told reporters yesterday, referring to the location of Citayam Fashion Week.

Waria is a portmanteau for the Indonesian words wanita (female) and pria (male). While the term actually refers to trans women, it cannot be clarified whether the official used it in a strictly literal sense or in a colloquial sense. For the latter, men who behave effeminate or wear women’s clothes have also been described as waria among the unwashed masses.

Nevertheless, according to Abdul, officials have categorized trans women as people with social welfare issues (PMKS).

“They will be admitted to a social house for rehabilitation,” he said.

The agency has ordered the deployment of Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers to monitor Citayam Fashion Week and round up what they see as deviant behavior and “LGBTQ+” propaganda.

To quote Coconuts’ resident fashionista, don’t they know that “trans women, gay men and queers basically make fashion”?

Citayam Fashion Week is a catch-all phrase (and not necessarily referring to any particular week) for the very fashionable gathering of young people in Dukuh Atas on Jalan Sudirman, the capital’s main commercial thoroughfare. The movement is dominated by youths taking the train from the outskirts of Jakarta, most notably from the humble district of Citayam in Bogor Regency, who fashion catwalks out of crosswalks and flaunt their finest #OOTD week in, week out over the past month.

As the subculture movement grows, so too have concerns related to public order at the site. Some offenses that have been widely reported include minors smoking, littering, and sleeping on the streets.

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