Their heads covered, Indonesian Muslim women kneel and pray during Ramadan. But these are no ordinary women – they were born boys.

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Members of a Koranic school for transgenders in Yogyakarta pray while observing RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images

An Islamic school for transgenders allows members of the 'waria' community to pray together and break the fast.

'Waria' is a portmanteau term derived from the words 'wanita' (woman) and 'pria' (man).

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A transgender woman prepares for a prayer session at the school during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
transgender Indonesia Muslim
Transgender people, known in Indonesia as 'waria', pray during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
transgender Indonesia Muslim
Members of the Islamic school for transgender people hold a discussion while waiting to break their fast during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
transgender Indonesia Muslim
Members of the Koranic school for transgender people break their fast during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
transgender Indonesia Muslim
Members of the school for transgender people known as 'waria' gather after breaking their fast during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Islam strictly segregates men from women when praying, leaving nowhere for transgender people to pray. The school first opened in 2008 but closed when its founder, Maryani, died in 2014. It has reopened in the home of Shinta Ratri, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist, in Yogyakarta.

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Shinta Ratri, the leader of the Islamic school for transgender people, prays during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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Maryani, the founder of the Islamic school for transgender people, is pictured visiting graves in Yogyakarta on July 29, 2011Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Many of the women who come to the school to study the Koran make a living as sex workers as they are unable to find other work.

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Oky, a member of the school in Yogyakarta, poses for the cameraUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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Inez, a member of the school for Indonesian transgender Muslims, rests while waiting to break her fast during RamadanUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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Inez applies make-up at the schoolUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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Rulli removes her make-up at the boarding schoolUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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Rulli holds her false eyelashes as she cleans her face at the schoolUlet Ifansasti/Getty Images

A poll conducted by the Indonesian Survey Circle in 2012 found that 80.6 percent of respondents objected to having gays or lesbians as neighbours. This figure has risen significantly from 64.7 percent in 2005.