Dance Ponnaya, Dance! Police Abuses Against Transgender Sex Workers in Sri Lanka

Published: May 17, 2010


Feminist theory and research are limited in their focus on intersections of gender and sexual orientation in the victimization of sex workers. Through inductive analysis of 24 in-depth interviews and 3 focus groups with male-to-female transgender sex workers in Sri Lanka, police mistreatment was examined to show how the abuses sex workers experience reflect the intersectional nature of gendered victimization. Findings indicate they experience victimization by police simultaneously targeting their feminine gender expression and homosexuality. These abuses include verbal, physical, and sexual abuse as well as inequality in the police response to both their victimization and criminality.

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