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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jessie: Give our marriage a chance

The Star
BY LOONG MENG YEE

KLANG: Transsexual drama queen, sinful couple – these were among the taunts that Jessie Chung and her husband have had to put up with following their much publicised wedding.

Chung and her husband Joshua Beh spent nearly RM1mil on their wedding last Saturday, but since then have been holed up in their house in Kuching, biding their time until the unwanted attention caused by their union abates.

“I want nothing more than peace and quiet. I did not wish for this kind of attention. Who would?

“My marriage was supposed to be a happy occasion. It was, and I am thankful for it, but some post-marriage comments about us in the press were hurtful.

“We are especially worried about the effect these words may have on my parents, Joshua’s, and our loved ones,” said Chung yesterday.

Chung, who was born male more than 30 years ago, underwent three major operations to become a woman, having known from young that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

The media stories about her being “man enough to be a woman” sparked off comments and opinions about the legality of the marriage.

Chung said it was never her intention to challenge the laws of the land with her union, believed to be the first involving a man who had had a sex change.

She added that she understood the sensitivities of living in a Muslim country, and would not seek legal recourse to gain recognition for her marriage.

“My marriage is recognised by our parents. I am a woman married to a man. I have a healthy marriage. If there is any issue with God, it is the cross for Joshua and me to bear,” said Chung.

On allegations that she had courted attention by publicising her wedding, Chung said it was a Catch-22 situation.

If she had not invited the press to the wedding, the press would still have turned up to cover the event because of its unusual elements, she said.

More than anything, Chung wants a peaceful life after a turbulent journey and wishes for nothing more than some understanding from the media and society.

“Give my marriage a chance. Give me a chance,” she said.

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