Rights group says protection for transgender Thais lacking


BANGKOK — Puncharat Taloet underwent a sex change operation several years ago, but her Thai state identification card still identifies her as a man, causing her serious complications. “It seems that when compared to other countries in the region, Thai people are open-minded and accepting transgenderism, since there is no harsh legal punishment and a low rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ people,” Puncharat, an activist, said in an interview. But under the facade, she said, the lack of legal gender recognition is more than an inconvenience. “This causes me a great deal of trouble when I apply for a job, particularly with the government,” she told The Associated Press. “I earned a bachelor’s degree in traditional Thai medicine, but when I applied at hospitals for a vacant position, I was rejected. They explained to me that they were worried that my expressed gender did not match my birth gender and patients might become uneasy and confused.”

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