Friday, 16 September 2011

Thai army told to halt transgender slur - Asia, World - The Independent

There was a time when "homosexuality" was seen as a form of mental illness. (The word itself is of medical origin, just as "heterosexual" is, and is one reason why I and many others prefer to use alternative terms). Thankfully, those days are gone for most of us, and same-sex attraction is now more appropriately seen as a regularly occurring, non-pathological minority condition, rather like left-handedness. Only the lunatic fringe continues to see homoerotic orientation as requiring any kind of cure or healing.

That is not the case for gender minorities. Gender dysphoria is still listed as a psychiatric disorder, which contributes to continuning public prejudice. In Thailand however, a recent court decision will begin to change that, at least for the military, which up to now has gone beyond the "mental disorder", slur, and labelled all transwomen as "permanently insane."As all Thai males are subject to military conscription and the medical examination that goes with it, and these decisions enter the public records, there have been major negative implications for people's daily lives of males identifying as female .

Draft-age transgender Thais rejoice: your military will no longer deem you "permanently insane."
Thailand's military, which forces all young men into a conscription lottery, has traditionally dismissed as "insane" any would-be conscript who shows up with long hair and hormone-enhanced breasts.
This is a dilemma somewhat unique to Thailand, known for its large number of transgender females or "katoeys": those born as males who live as women.
The issue was explored at length in "The Lovely Conscripts," published by GlobalPost last year.
But kathoeys have now successfully pressured the military to drop its "insanity" label. This designation is more than just insulting, they say. It goes on a permanent record that all potential employers expect of applicants. As you might imagine, it's harder to find a job when you're labeled by the state as a total psycho.
-more at Global Post 

No comments:

Post a Comment