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Thailand's transgender population say ID cards confuse at polls

Members of the Trans-Female Association of Thailand are calling for their government to recognise transsexual, transgender and homosexual people.

Holding an ID card in one hand, a Thai citizen browses lists of voters before casting absentee vote at a stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, June 26,
Holding an ID card in one hand, a Thai citizen browses lists of voters before casting absentee vote at a stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, June 26,
Image: Apichart Weerawong/AP/Press Association Images

TRANSGENDER AND TRANSSEXUAL men and women in Thailand have spoken out about the difficulties they are facing in their country’s general election voting process.

Reuters reports that the spokesperson for the Trans-Female Association of Thailand, Yollada Suanyoc, said the members have problems using their ID cards, which often picture young men when the holder is now a woman, or sometimes refer to the person as ‘mister’ with a picture of them as a woman.

Suanyoc said that because of these issues, some people may have a problem when producing  ID at the upcoming elections on Sunday.

Though transgender and transsexual men and women are more readily accepted in Thai society than other countries, they say the government has been slow to accept them.

They also say that the government sees transgender, transsexual and homosexual men and women as all being the same rather than distinct.

In Thailand, transgender and transsexual people are often referred to using the slang words ‘katoeys’ or ‘ladyboys’.

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