What is it like to be a transgender person in Thailand, a nation that seems to be friendly to the LGBTI population? Each person would probably reply differently depending on personal experiences they've had navigating their daily lives. But there remains a common theme of discrimination and prejudice -- found both at a personal and legal level -- that all of them face regardless of where or who they are in this society.
This month, the movement for transgender legal recognition took a leap forward when a group of transgender women led by Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, CEO of JKN Global Media, introduced their newly-founded Life Inspired For Transsexuals (Lift) Foundation to advocate for an inclusive society free of gender-based barriers and to support legal gender recognition of transgender people. Representatives of the group visited parliament last Thursday to push for a bill that would allow transgender people to change their title after they undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
Society is somewhat against the idea, with illogical reasoning to back their argument. Some fear criminals would take advantage of the law to change themselves and avoid paying for their crimes. They somehow fail to acknowledge that, if this were the case, it's way easier and more sensible to change one's name and get the surgery done to their face, not genitals. Others fear transgender women will take this opportunity to fool men into marrying them. A lot of the ideas are born from stigma, as well as the lack of understanding on the lengthy process of SRS, which takes both counselling with psychologists and medical professionals for hormone replacement therapy and surgery. It is certainly not something that can be achieved overnight, and unfortunately not by everyone due to financial and health limitations. Read more via Bangkok Post