Press release: Trans community in Thailand voices demands for comprehensive care and respect for human rights

Published October 8, 2017
Language English

BANGKOK, Monday 4th April 2016 – Thai trans community healthcare workers, health and rights activists, academics, and representatives from partner organisations gather today in the event “Demanding Care: Transgender Health Discrimination in Thailand” where the video “Demanding Care: Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” is launched and accompanied by a panel “Trans Discrimination and Legal Protection”.

“I am excited to host this event. Trans health and discrimination issues are of utmost importance in improving Thai society. Thailand should focus on the health and wellbeing of all its citizens, including transgender people”, said Kath Khangpiboon, Chair of the Thai APTN Foundation and co-founder of the Thai Transgender Alliance, addressed participants from Thai trans women and trans men community and partner organisations who gather in support for trans health and rights cause.

The video “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand” showcases 16 transwomen and transmen across Thailand from all walks of life. The storytellers recount their personal struggle of being discriminated as a trans person and their demands to end discrimination against trans people in all forms.

The panel “Trans Discrimination and Legal Protection” features Jetsada Taesombat (Thai Transgender Alliance), Dr.Nittaya Phanuphak (Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre), Thitiyanun Nakpor (Sister Foundation Pattaya), Kanusnun Dokput (FTM Bangkok), and Ronnapoom Samakkeekarom (Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University) with Kath Khangpiboon as moderator.

The discussion starts off with Thai Transgender Alliance describing their experience handling trans discrimination and rights violation cases using traditional and social media as well as their approach working with media in gender-sensitive reporting. Next on the panel is Dr. Nittaya, Chief of the Prevention Department at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, who shares her experience in providing comprehensive health services for both trans men and trans women in Bangkok at Tangerine Community Health Care Centre, and recommends good practices for providing non-discriminatory services. The talk then shifts to Thitiyanun from Sister Pattaya, who manages trans community health programs in Pattaya where misconduct from law enforcement impedes the health and lives of trans women and trans sex workers. The moderator then gives floor to Kanusnun from FTM Bangkok to share his experience organizing trans men and his organisation’s work providing healthcare information and peer support for trans men as well as raising public awareness about trans men in Thai society and the visibility of trans men in the gender equality movement. The panel ends with Ronnapoom’s review of the existing legal framework in protecting rights of gender minorities, particularly trans people, citing the Gender Equality Act of 2015, for which he was part of the drafting and motion process.

The event also provided a space for facilitated discussion between participants to share concerns and experiences of discrimination as well as key actions to avoid discriminatory situations, how to engage family and friends as allies in trans activism, and how trans people should be empowered in light of legal protection.

For the video “Stories of Transgender Healthcare Discrimination in Thailand”, please click