Thailand’s first cohort of transgender MPs make parliamentary history

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06/05/2019

Smiling broadly, Tanwarin triumphantly cast her vote for prime minister as one of the first transgender MPs in Thailand, where tolerance for the LGBT community is not matched by understanding or opportunity in public life. In a sign of that enduring gap, the elderly speaker called for “Mr Tanwarin” to come forward in a vote late on Wednesday that saw former junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha elected prime minister with the help of a bank of 250 appointed senators. Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, a lawmaker for the progressive anti-junta Future Forward Party (FFP), is one of four transgender MPs in the house – pioneers in a society where discrimination in education, employment and at home persists “I am not here for decoration,” she said. “I want to write a new political history for Thailand.”

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