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Thai Trans Woman Makes History With Political Win

Thai Trans Woman Makes History With Political Win

 

Yollada “Nok” Suanyot has become the first transexual woman in Thailand to win a high-profiled political administrative role and will now oversee her native province of Nan.

Nok, 28, won the May 27 elections and overcame a ruling party opposition candidate from Pheu Thai — all as an independent candidate without a political party’s support.

Nok was famously arrested as a teen for using a “false” ID that matched her gender expression but not her birth-assigned male gender. She used that ID to enter and win beauty pageants. Nok went on to become a member of the group Venus Flytrap, which the Global Post describes as “a Spice Girls-esque troupe,” before later turning her hand to other media work such as a television career. Nok  has also been a vocal trans rights advocate, calling for state-backed gender reassignment treatment to be made more widely available.

While her political opponents did attempt to use her trans identity against her at points, it did not feature heavily in the political race. Nok herself is reported to have stuck to engaging with issues like tourism drives, improving education, and finding ways to better care for the elderly. With this platform Nok was able to win the respect of the electorate and, ultimately, her seat. She is not expected to allow her administrative role to take her away from the spotlight for too long however, having told the Global Post that trans rights are something that Thailand must focus on:

“Good laws protecting transexuals have yet to come. We’re still on the fringe. Look at me. My role in society is that of a woman. But the law recognizes me as a man. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Perhaps we now have greater acceptance in society. But not when it comes to legal rights… so, if we’re jailed, we’re put in prison with the men. We can’t get proper health insurance. We can’t get married. We have problems travelling outside the country and trouble dealing with banks and government offices.”

Nok has said that alongside her political duties she will continue her side-projects such as her voice-over work for the National Geographic.

 

Related Reading:

Malaysian Court Rejects Transexual’s Gender Change Request

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Chinese Parents of Gay Kids Demand Anti-Discrimination Laws

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution license with thanks to -Marlith-.

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12 comments

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6:40AM PDT on May 31, 2012

You are what you were born with,not what you wish to be...Sad!..

10:56AM PDT on May 30, 2012

I wish we had a trans woman political candidate here. It would be a vast improvement over what we have to select from.

7:20AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Go girl, there are a lot of other people around the world on your side keep up the good work, I hope you get the rights you are entitaled to.

5:38AM PDT on May 30, 2012

thanks!

3:58AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Good for her. Thanks for the article Steve.

3:52AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Congrats!

3:14AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Step, steps, steps to a better world!

9:05AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Good for her! This is great for the whole world.
Thanks for posting!

8:35AM PDT on May 29, 2012

God for her! This is incredible news for the whole world.

8:06AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Interesting! Thanks for posting!

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