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Orked's plight - from med student to injecting black-market hormones

When Orked decided to pursue a medical degree, little did she realise that it would lead her to the point of wanting to end her life.

Before she was born, Universiti Malaya Hospital had allowed transgender people to be themselves but much had changed since then.

"The way I speak is very feminine. And the way the doctors looked at me showed that they don't want people like me to become part of their profession,” she told Malaysiakini.

Unable to conceal her “transness”, Orked, 21, said she fell into a “dark spiral” and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

"I had multiple suicide attempts and I was in a psychiatric ward for several weeks. In the ward, I told them I am a transgender person and the Malay psychiatrists refused to acknowledge our existence," she revealed.

"They tried to use religion to help me, asked me to pray and be close to God. I didn't see how that would help me because it (schizophrenia) is an actual pathology."

Last year, Orked quit her medical studies to embark on a journey of transition.

"At first, I thought that I should prove them wrong, to change their perception of people like me. But it was taking too much of a toll on me...

“If society or the medical field was more accepting, I would be inclined to complete my studies," she added.

Orked found work at a burger joint in Kuala Lumpur and with the money she earned, began purchasing hormones from the black market, which is the only option for her, knowing it could lead to adverse...

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