“I was a monk for four years. At the time, and because I am transgender, I thought that was the best way to understand and change myself, but it failed. The experience only reinforced who I am and what I will be for the rest of my life,” said Sam Sophea, 33, who lives in Preik Panao, Russey Keo District. For years, he battled with his identity in order to become a “good son” to his parents. When he was younger, his mother beat him almost every night because he was considered a disgrace to the family. His neighbours pitied him and they even tried to mediate between him and his mother just to stop the violence within the household, but this did not help the situation. The beatings only stopped when he left for Thailand to work as a cleaner of a Cambodian family who own a beauty shop there.
“People say that I would not be successful because I am gay,” said Sao Sopheap, one of the many gay men who have faced discrimination because of their sexual orientation. He became angry at those people who look at him as if he is a curse on society. However, he realized that his anger would not help him, so he focused his attention on doing productive things. Sopheap was born into a poor family. When he was 17, he resorted to prostitution, catering to foreigners, just to support his education. At 21, he finally decided to stop the rough trade because it became too dangerous for him. He said that some of his clients would ask him not to use condom. It was during that time that he became aware of HIV, STIs and other diseases that he might acquire due to unsafe sex. Soon, Sopheap applied and got a job in one of the NGOs which need a gay staff member with the ability to mobilize communities. He liked his job and later he moved to MHSS, one of the MStyle Clubs in Phnom Penh.
What’s going on?
Address: #37 Street 178 ( Near National Museum)
Tel: 012 566 353 / 017 419 207
Open: 6pm till late everyday( Drug Show every Friday and Saturday start from 11pm)
Address: #80 Street 172
Tel: 016 779 966
Open: Mon – Wed :9:00 pm-4:00 am
Thusday: 9:00pm till late ( Shameless Gay Night with Drug Show and Dancing Show)
Fri – Sun :9:00 pm-5:00 am
A Guide to Some of the Most Common STIs
A guide to some of the most common STIs
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs. Most people who have Chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms and won’t know they have the infection. Otherwise, symptoms may include pain when you urinate or unusual discharge.
Diagnosing Chlamydia is easily done with a urine test or a swab of the affected area. Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics, but can lead to serious long-term health problems if it’s left untreated.