Thailand’s Intolerance of Its Own LGBT Community Will Surprise You – Time, March, 2014
…“In Thailand, we always smile and save face, but we close our eyes to all bullies out there,” says Kaona Saowakun, a trans man whose struggle to come to terms with society and his gender identity has been dogged by petty discrimination. When he was barred from taking exams at his university in trousers, he filed a complaint to the NHRC and was able to force the university to amend its rules. But then the university began requiring everyone who wanted to be exempt from the dress codes to file an application ahead of every new semester.
The LGBT people who do well in Thailand tend to keep their sexual orientation hidden. “If Thailand had been really tolerant, people would come out. But they don’t,” says Douglas Sanders, a Canadian professor emeritus specializing in Asian LGBT issues. “No prominent celebrity or political figure has come out, so there are no role models…”
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