Love crosses boundaries as well as genders. Here is the story of some transgender couples that CamASEAN, one of Oxfam’s partners, has documented. Over 100 of couples opened their homes for a photo exhibition to create more awareness and reduce stigma.
Chhim Symom & Chunn Mon
Symom was a taxi driver when he fell head over heels in love with Chunn Mon. Thirty-seven years together saw them working as construction workers, factory workers, farmers and tuk-tuk drivers. At the moment they run their own grocery shop in Takeo Province. Symom and Chunn Mon have raised two children; one is the birth daughter of Chunn from a previous relationship and the other is their adopted son.
Sing Sophana & Pheng Sahn
Sophana and Sahn met through Facebook and got to know each other better via Messenger. After two years they finally decided to meet; the rest is, as they say, history! Sophana is a fashion designer and Sahn, a transman, is a human rights activist, rainbow clothes salesman as well as a social worker for the local council. They love traveling and spending time together.
Madam Huor & Jackie Lee
Jackie and Madam Huor met each other through social media and their love story is truly global. Jackie was working in a bakery in the USA and Madam Huor joined him after they got married in February 2017. They had two ceremonies, a cultural wedding in Cambodia and another officiation in the USA. The photo shows the happy couple at their cultural wedding. They were so excited to have their parents, siblings, neighbors and friends on both sides join their wedding party.
Sun Loan & Tiang Sokheang
Sun Laon and Taing Sokheang—both in their 50s—have been living together for 31 years in Stung Village in Tboung Khmom Province. They sell sweets, driving a bicycle around the village to increase sales. The first time Sokheang met Sun Laon, she did not trust him and wouldn't allow him to visit her. However, Laon's strongest virtue was patience and slowly but surely he won her trust.
Yern Thy & Navy
Yern Thy is 58 years old and Navy is 62. They have been living together as a couple for 26 years. Thy is a motor taxi driver and Navy sells clothes. Navy used to work in front of the company facility that Thy works for and that is how they met. Together they have raised three children from Navy’s previous relationship.
Yoko Mean & Yoko Zana
Even though Zana lived in Cambodia and Mean lived in the USA, the two would chat regularly on Facebook. Mean came to Cambodia to surprise Zana and they started dating immediately. Zana’s mother was not really happy with their relationship for the first two years so it was a struggle. However, love survived and they continued to date despite the distance and other obstacles. Yoko Mean works at the airport and Zana is studying in order to find a good job in the USA where the couple lives at the moment. Zana was so excited to get engaged and married!
A BIG thank you to all couples who were proud to have their photos taken and share their stories so openly.