Thai Transgender Community Finds its Voice

The Diplomat
|
February 20, 2013
Issues: 

In recent days, Thailand’s transgender community has surfaced in media reports, covering topics ranging from an offensive IKEA advertisement to a political campaign aimed at the untapped “kathoey” (male-to-female) voting bloc. Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a U.S.-educated police general from the Pheu Thai Party, launched this sleek, upbeat campaign video on YouTube to appeal to the capital’s ‘third sex’ in his campaign to become Bangkok’s next governor. The video features a cheery mosaic of Bangkok’s demographics, including a number of kathoeys. As the first political campaign video to openly court the transgender vote, it may be a prescient move by Pongcharoen who is ahead in the latest poll. "Our modern world increasingly accepts varied genders,” the Global Post quotes Pongcharoen as saying in the video message. “Bangkok must be a city that understands sexual differences, not just accepting different lifestyles … it must be a friend to every difference."