It’s good to be back!
If you’re new to the show, welcome to Anakut, a podcast about Cambodia as it is today and where it might be heading tomorrow. If you’re a returning listener, we’re very happy to have you along as we dive right into Season 2.
First things first, some news from the show. We have a new host in Toch Thina, whose day job is in reporting at Focus: Ready for Tomorrow, the Khmer-language partner publication of the Globe. I’m very happy to share the mic with Thina even as I fondly remember learning the ropes of this podcasting thing with our friend and former host Samoeurth Seavmeng (AKA Meng), who continues doing great things over at the Politikoffee forum. The hosting switch now brings the show entirely within the Globe Media Asia family, which, if our luck holds out, could hopefully in the near future have a Khmer-language podcast in the works.
But enough about us, let’s get to the guests. In honour of Pride Month, this week’s podcast is all about Cambodia’s LGBTQ+ community. To help us navigate the topic, we invited on fashion designer and influencer Skyler Ros, whose Instagram feed features not only her latest aesthetics but also occasional commentary on her own identity as a trans woman in the Kingdom. We also had on Seng Reasey, the executive director of rights group SILAKA, who focuses largely on issues of sex and gender.
By the time we said our goodbyes and wrapped our recording, we’d covered subjects both joyful, troubling and somewhere in-between
As we do strive to be a future-facing programme, we wanted to hear about the evolving experiences of LGBTQ+ communities here in Cambodia. I was curious about how Skyler perceived the traditional or historic roles of queer people, especially those who are transgender, and how these expectations have changed with time. Part of that discussion included how Skyler herself embarked on the process of transitioning, as well as her hopes for the future – not only for herself but for the wider community.
Reasey, speaking from her own experience in working to protect the rights of people who are LGBTQ+, told us about some of the contemporary challenges these individuals face, as well as the distinct social and legal factors that affect their lives. By the time we said our goodbyes and wrapped our recording, we’d covered subjects both joyful, troubling and somewhere in-between. In short, it was an attempt at capturing some idea of the LGBTQ+ experience in modern Cambodia.
We hope you find it a fitting piece for Pride, so scroll back up and hit the play button to hear more.