May 14, 2010 
Putri Prameshwari

Wife of Suspect in Gender Case Just Wants Her Husband Back

Jane Deviyant shook her head outside the Pondok Bambu women's penitentiary in 
East Jakarta, where her husband has been detained for almost two weeks now. 
"I'm heart-broken," the 23-year-old deaf woman said in broken Indonesian on 
Wednesday. "Why must my husband be inside?"

Alterina Hofan, the husband she married in Las Vegas last year, has been 
detained inside the women's prison for allegedly falsifying his identity. 
Alter, 32, claimed he was born a boy but because his male genitalia did not 
develop properly when he was a baby, his mother decided to register him as 
female, dressing him up and raising him as a girl. 

He says, however, that he grew up thinking he was a boy. It was only when he 
was in his teens did his genitals finally develop. 
Jane's mother, Maria Grace, reported Alter to the police for having a false 
birth certificate. He is to face trial in South Jakarta District Court on 
Monday. "My parents never want to know how I feel," Jane said, wiping tears 
from her cheek. 

Jane has visited her husband every day for the last two weeks. On Wednesday, 
Yoseph Adi Prasetyo, vice chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights 
(Komnas HAM), accompanied Jane to the prison.

"The state has violated Alter's human rights," Yoseph said. As a human being, 
he said, Alter deserved to choose his gender and be provided with assistance to 
do so. Yoseph also said that by holding Alter's personal documents, authorities 
had gone against international law on human rights.

"Alter's identification card, birth certificate and passport have all been 
taken from him," he said. 

The couple were introduced by Jane's mother, Grace, in Singapore, where Jane 
was on vacation from studying in the United States. Despite Grace's objections, 
the two began dating and eventually married in secret.

When Jane finished her studies and returned home, however, Grace discovered the 
marriage and forbade her daughter to contact Alter. In the end, Jane left her 
mother to join her husband.

Grace initially reported Alter to the police for allegedly abducting Jane, but 
the investigation was dropped when Jane said she had gone with him willingly. 

Yoseph said Alter underwent another gender test in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, 
and the result was different from the one from the police. "The police test 
claimed he was a woman, but the one at RSCM said he was a man," Yoseph said. 

Alter's lawyer, Ibnu Sienna Bantayan, said his client was a man and the RSCM 
test had confirmed that. "He is a man trapped in a woman's body," he said. Ibnu 
explained that his client suffered from Klinefelter Syndrome, in which a male 
has one extra X chromosome, making him an XXY. A regular male has XY 
chromosomes, while women have XX chromosomes. 

Alter said that as a result of his chromosome disorder, he had grown breasts. 
"My breasts grew, but they're not big," he said, adding that he had them 
surgically removed in Canada in 2006. 

Jane wants nothing but to be with her husband, whom she said was "not in a 
healthy condition" in prison. "My parents should be the ones in prison," she 
said. "They want me to go home, but I won't because I only want to be with my 

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