Kru Lilly tells her story | Bangkok Post: learning

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Kru Lilly tells her story

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Today’s Life section has a long story on famed transgender tutor Kijmanoch ‘Kru Lilly’ Rojanasupya. This excerpt will get you started. 

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Famed transgender tutor Kijmanoch ‘Kru Lilly’ Rojanasupya and her students.

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Totally worth it

The famed 'Kru Lilly' has spent a lifetime proving people wrong

Yanapon Musiket

Born as the first son of a family in Rayong, Kijmanoch Rojanasupya knew all along that he was a girl deep inside. He preferred to be among girls, putting make-up on his face and speaking with a high-pitched voice. He tried his best to never let his parents find out, but there were times his cousin tried to confront his parents about his sexual orientation.

Worse, his cousin once said something that shot right through his heart –  "you were born worthless".

Now the owner of Pinnacle, the famous tutorial school in Siam Square, Kijmanoch has grown up to be a proud transgender woman who is a well-known and respected Thai language tutor and media personality. Students and her admirers now dearly call her by her nickname "Kru Lilly".

"It was the worst thing a person can say to others, especially when it comes from your cousin," says the 44-year-old. "Thanks to her, I kept those words in my heart and told myself that I would prove her wrong."

In childhood, Lilly always made sure she had good grades, and did whatever it took to make her parents proud. Graduating from a top high school and university, her transcripts are full of As, with a number of certifications and trophies earned along the way.

After completing a degree in Communication Arts at Chulalongkorn University, Lilly began her first job in an employee relations department. As she recalls, it was a painful moment.

"I wasn't myself," she says. "I had to wear overalls because I worked for a manufacturing company. Later, when male colleagues knew that I'm gay, everything went downhill."

One day a teacher friend asked her to fill in for a communications class. Standing in front of the students and getting their attention gave her an enthralled feeling, something she had longed for.

"It was like there's a spotlight pointed at me," she laughs. "The kids loved hearing what I said and had fun throughout the class. That made me very happy."

Following this, Lilly applied for and was accepted for a teaching job at a university. After teaching for a while, her carefree spirit led her to take the big step of founding a tutorial school.

"Being the first openly gay tutor was not easy," she says. "And I didn't have a major in Thai, nor a teaching degree. There were so many people against me. But, you know, I love to prove people wrong. I've been doing it since I was a kid. So, I worked hard and let the results of my students say it all." In 1999, a television talk show Tee Sib (At Ten) introduced Lilly to Thai audiences. By this time her reputation at Pinnacle had grown among young students who were fascinated by her teaching style and quality, as well as her kind and funny character.

You can read the full story here:

famed – famous ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียง
transgender – relating to transsexuals and transvestites (a person, especially a man, who enjoys dressing as a member of the opposite sex) คนข้ามเพศ, คนที่แสดงออก หรือแต่งกาย หรือผ่านการผ่าตัดเพื่อเปลี่ยนเป็นเพศตรงข้าม
tutor – a teacher, especially one with special duties ครูพิเศษ, ครูสอน
lifetime – the length of time that somebody lives or that something lasts ช่วงระยะเวลาของการดำรงชีวิต,ตลอดชีวิต
prove – to use facts, evidence, etc. to show that something is true พิสูจน์
prefer – to like or want more than anyone or anything else ชอบมากกว่า
pitch – level of sound ระดับเสียง
confront – to face, meet or deal with a difficult person, group or situation เผชิญหน้า
orientation – a person's basic beliefs or feelings about a particular subject ความโน้มเอียง
sexual orientation – whether a person is attracted to men, women or both
cousin – a child of your uncle or aunt; someone who is related to you through a brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of one of your parents ลูกพี่ลูกน้อง,  ญาติห่างๆ
worthless – having no good qualities or useful skills ซึ่งไร้ค่า, ซึ่งไม่มีคุณค่า
tutorial school – a place where students pay to get extra instruction, usually to prepare for examinations
respected – admired by many people for your qualities or achievements   ที่เคารพ
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
personality – a famous person คนที่มีชื่อเสียง
admirer – someone who has a feeling of great respect for someone or something ผู้ชมเชย
nickname – an informal name for someone or something, especially a name which you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your proper name or your character ชื่อเล่น
transcript – an official record of a student's work that shows the courses they have taken and the marks/grades they have achieved ใบรับรองผลการศึกษา
certification – an official document stating that someone has passed an examination or has achieved the qualifications necessary to do something เอกสารการรับรอง
trophy – a large silver cup or similar object given as a prize to the winner of a competition ถ้วยรางวัล
employee – someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
overalls – a piece of clothing that consists of trousers/pants with an extra piece of cloth covering the chest, held up by strips of cloth over the shoulders  เสื้อคลุมที่สวมเพื่อกันเปื้อน
manufacture – to make and produce a product ผลิต
colleague – someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do เพื่อนร่วมงาน
go downhill – to get worse in quality, health, etc. ดวงตก, เลวลง
fill in – to do somebody's job for a short time while they are not there ทำแทน, ทำหน้าที่แทน
attention – the interest or thought that you give to something you are doing, listening to or watching ความสนใจ, ความตั้งใจ
enthralled – giving all your attention to something because it is so interesting, beautiful, etc.  หลงใหล, ติดตรึงใจ
long – to want something very much  ต้องการ ปรารถนา
spotlight – a light with a single, very bright beam that can be directed at a particular place or person สปอร์ตไลท์, ไฟฉายที่มีแสงสว่างจ้ามาก
apply – to make a formal request for a job of position สมัครงาน
carefree – having no worries or responsibilities ที่ไร้กังวล, ที่ไม่มีความกังวลใจ
found – to start an organisation, company, political party etc  สร้าง,  ก่อตั้ง, สถาปนา
audience – the group of people gathered in one place to watch or listen to a play, film, someone speaking, etc. ผู้ชม
reputation – the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is ชื่อเสียง
fascinated – very interested or attracted by someone or something น่าดึงดูดใจ
character – all the qualities and features that make a person different from others  บุคลิก, ลักษณะนิสัย

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