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Land of lady boys?

Started by thaiga, September 17, 2018, 04:43:03 PM

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Land of lady boys? Thailand is not the LGBTI paradise it appears

Sexual minorities in the Land of Smiles face discrimination in education, work and their love lives, though attitudes â€" and the law â€" are beginning to change

It is a country known to the world for its gay parties and transgender beauty pageants, a Land of Smiles that is welcoming to all.

But tell that to members of Thailand’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community and you might receive a puzzled frown.

While Thailand is one of the most progressive countries in Asia regarding LGBTI rights, and its capital Bangkok often tops lists of gay-friendly tourist destinations, activists in the country say the gay community suffers not only from a lack of recognition, but from laws and a society that actively discriminate against them.

“Abroad you may think that in Thailand there is a very open space to express your gender identity if you are LGBTI. But in reality, it is very hard to express our identity because we don’t have the legal support,” says transgender activist Kath Khangpiboon.

Kath has suffered this discrimination at first hand. In 2015, she lost her teaching job at Thammasat University after issues surrounding her gender identity were brought up by the university committee.

She was informed she was “no longer suitable” to teach at the institution â€" Thailand’s second-oldest university â€" because of inappropriate behaviour on social media, referring to a post on Kath’s Instagram account featuring a photo of a penis-shaped tube of lipstick.

“Thammasat never said that my case was discrimination. They said that there was a problem with my behaviour on social media,” Kath recalls. “But to me it was related to my identity, to my natural behaviour. It was bias.”

According to Kath, the university had never previously shown concern over the social-media activities of its lecturers.

Thai law does little to protect the LGBTI community from discrimination. Same-sex marriages are not recognised and transgender people cannot change their gender on ID cards and other official documents.

Meanwhile, prejudice against the community means its members struggle to be accepted as lawyers, doctors or social workers and are ...

full article: scmp.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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