Thai government considers new trans rights

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Thailand, one of the world’s most tolerant countries towards transvestites and transsexuals, may soon allow people who have had a sex change to officially alter their title.

A proposal which would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed is being considered by the country’s National Legislative Assembly, to support an anti-discrimination provision in the draft constitution, according to AP.

Wiroon Tangcharoen, an assembly member who is also rector of Srinakharinwirot University, said he supported the move and did not believe it would affect room assignments in university dormitories, where students are segregated by sex, The Nation newspaper reported.

Students wishing to live with members of their adopted gender would have to produce medical certificates proving they had undergone sex-change operations.

“The university has nothing against male transsexual students staying in female dormitories on the campus,” he said.

Even though Thailand is widely tolerant of gays, transvestites and transsexuals, who have regular presence on TV, in movies and the entertainment business, many face family pressure, social prejudice and domestic violence.

Three years ago, a college in the northern province of Chiang Mai designated a bathroom for the exclusive use of the school’s 15 cross-dressing students.

Dubbed the Pink Lotus Bathroom, the facility at the Chiang Mai Technology School featured four stalls, but no urinals. On the door was a sign with intertwined male and female symbols.

The transvestites – who had to wear male attire at school but were allowed to sport feminine hairdos – had annoyed female students when using the women’s bathrooms, and faced harassment in the men’s facilities.