The trans community has always been and will continue to be resilient. Throughout the COVID-19 Trans Resilience Campaign, APTN will be sharing the stories of Hope, Pain, and Survival of trans communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our second story comes from The Foundation of Transgender Alliance for Human Rights, Thailand in Thailand.
The Foundation of Transgender Alliance for Human Rights, Thailand
My name is Kaohom. I am a Thai transgender woman from Nonthaburi. I am 27 years old. I live in Nonthaburi. Before the COVID-19 situation I worked as a telephone saleswoman. I was also a part time makeup artist and did banana leaf decorations (bouquet of banana leaf). I used to get an income on average of THB 30,000 bath (USD 966) per month. I am the main provider of household and support 3 people in my family before COVID-19 situation. The house I live in is owned by my parents. My parents are unemployed and they have chronic disease (Diabetes and Hypertension) and my sister is a student.
During COVID 19 I was laid off because I had been working for less than 6 months which is a condition of the company. I didn’t receive compensation. I can’t work part-time as nobody is organising weddings or graduation or other events. My savings are used up. Everyone in my family is trying to make money, for example my parents and my sister cook thai food and thai desserts to sell online.
I started taking hormones by myself when I was 17, because of a Thai influencer. During COVID, I did not have access to the hormones, but I got a survival bag from Thai TGA, it is different from other kinds of survival bags as it contained hormones so I could continue to transition. It kept me from feeling down. When I received my survival bag, I felt with the heart. Hormone is my identity.
During COVID-19, I aIso received an allowance from government 5,000 bath/month for 3 months. But I worry about COVID-19 situation and my family’s health. I worry about income and how I’ll get a new job. Will I be discriminated against? I am worried about getting my hormones. I hope that I can take continuously take hormones until I can transform from male to female, have breast surgery and sex reassignment surgery. If that day came, I would be very happy, and I will have confidence in myself.
Support and follow Thai TGA’s here: http://thaitga.org/2020/th/home/