A sad and interesting story for a number of reasons — chiefly, how can the U.S. president allow one of his childhood caretakers to live in such terrible circumstances? Fox News will no doubt cover this in a sensitive and enlightened manner. The Associated Press reports:
Once, long ago, Evie looked after “Barry” Obama, the kid who would grow up to become the world’s most powerful man. Now, his transgender former nanny has given up her tight, flowery dresses and is living in fear on Indonesia’s streets.
Evie, who was born a man but believes she is really a woman, has endured a lifetime of taunts and beatings because of her identity. But the turning point came when she found a transgender friend’s bloated body floating in a backed-up sewage canal two decades ago.
Evie, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name, now lives in a closet-sized hovel in a tightly packed slum in an eastern corner of Jakarta, collecting and scrubbing dirty laundry to pay for food. She speaks softly, politely, and a deep worry line is etched between her eyes.
At a cocktail party in 1969, she met Ann Dunham, Barack Obama’s mother, who had arrived in the country two years earlier after marrying her second husband, Indonesian Lolo Soetoro. Dunham was so impressed by Evie’s beef steak and fried rice that she offered her a job in the family home. It didn’t take long before Evie also was 8-year-old Barry’s caretaker, playing with him and bringing him to and from school. Neighbors recalled that they often saw Evie leave the house in the evening fully made up and dressed in drag. But she says it’s doubtful Barry ever knew.
“Now when people call me scum,” she says, “I can just say: ‘But I was the nanny for the President of the United States!’”