This trans women is fighting against employer discrimination in Singapore after she was forced into sex work to survive.
Sherry SherQueshaa turned to the sex trade after a series of employers turned her down because of her trans identity, but now she’s working to improve employment opportunities for those in the transgender community.
After finishing the National Service she found difficulty getting work and turned to sex work after a friend recommended it.
The 24-year-old was bullied and harassed while working as a sex worker, but she turned her life around when she met Vanessa Ho.
Ho is the director of Project X, an organisation which advocates for the rights of sex workers.
“We always thought that this was part of a sex worker’s life, to be humiliated and called names, especially for those of us in the transgender community,” SherQueshaa told Straits Times.
After meeting Ho, she realised that wasn’t the case. She left sex work and joined the non-governmental organisation to help advocate for better rights.
Now, she works as a youth programme coordinator and as part of her role she reaches out to sex workers to help teach them about their legal rights and how to get access to health care for any medical issues.
The organisation also helps sex workers who are looking to leave the trade to find employment.
SherQueshaa added: “I hope that in years to come, people would be more accepting and welcoming of the transgender community, not just in employment but schools and families.”