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Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

Cambodia's LGBT community struggles for identity

Decades after the Khmer Rouge, LGBT people still seek their place

Sou Sotheavy, 77, looks out of the window in her small house in Takeo province, surrounded by pictures and memories. (Photo by Enric Catala)

PHNOM PENH -- Sou Sotheavy has been sitting for barely 30 minutes when she lights a third cigarette, apparently unconcerned about the recent heart problems she has suffered.

"In 1978, I was forced to get married to a woman," recalls 77-year-old Sotheavy between puffs as she talked at a coffee shop in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The wedding was a biological and psychological clash: Sotheavy is a transgender woman (having since transitioned from male to female). She is also a survivor.

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