Over the past five years, Indonesian LGBT people experienced an increase in violence and discrimination targeted at them. Strong religious and cultural norms in the country dictate that homosexuality is unacceptable, and both the state and community have taken part in violating the rights of LGBT citizens. In the spring of 2011 the situation worsened when several transgender activists were targets of a brutal attack that left one dead. In response, a group of LGBT activists joined together and requested funds to help it initiate the creation of a drop-in center where they can provide a safe space for transgender activists, serve transgender survivors of attack, and share information on health, sexuality and human rights. Referred to as Sanggar Warna Remaja (SWARA), the group is the only transgender organization in its area.
SWARA’s work focuses on the transgender community, and works to increase transgender community empowerment, increase access to public services in sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention and give human rights education to the transgender community and broader society.