Based on fieldwork conducted with Muslim waria (a term roughly translated as transgender women) in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this article analyzes the gendered, sexual, and religious lived realities of these individuals. Drawing on research comprising ten in-depth, semistructured interviews, and observations at the pesantren waria (Islamic boarding school for Muslim waria), this article investigates the ways in which the participants construct their “wariahood” in relation to the assumed presence of a jiwa perempuan (female soul/spirit), challenging the common conflation of agency with resistance. The empirical discussion first explores the emergence of the waria subject position through the existence of their female jiwa, while the second part addresses the importance of Islam as a source of potential agentic power for these individuals.

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