Learn about LGBTI, say activists
People from all walks of life should study the Gender Equality Act to quell discrimination against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) communities in Thailand, gender activists say.
"Ignorance of Thais about the welfare of LGBTI people is seen as a barrier to creating equality in society. People should study the law and understand there are more than two genders in this world,'' said Ronnaphom Samakkikarom, from the Thai Transgender Alliance (TGA) said. It is not only about men and women any more, he said.
Ms Ronnaphom was speaking Tuesday at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre at a seminar titled, ''Standing up to change for equality in Thai society: Gender Equality Act'', organised by the TGA to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Deputy Bangkok governor Pussadee Tamthai also spoke about the need to further an atmosphere of ''diversity in unity'' in the capital.
"One day, Bangkok must become a city where all people respect differences in gender,'' she said.
At the same time, Ms Pussadee pledged to educate students and people who live in remote areas to have more of an understanding on LGBTI.
"Even the equal rights between men and women have been long fought over so it would take a long time for the LGBTI too, but we will work for it," she said, adding that accepting LGBTI is fundamental to human rights.
The act came into effect last September and aims to protect the rights of LGBTI citizens and prevent unfair treatment towards them.
Sarina Thai, a transgender model, shared her ''painful'' experience about being refused access to a pub at RCA on Rama IX Road in Bangkok because she was wearing a dress, while her ID card gave her the name of a male.
"The guard did not allow me to get in because I am transgender. I cried in front of everyone. Was it my fault for being a transgender?" she said.