After discussing the reading “Lust” by Alfonos Lingis, I decided to do some searching about trans related news topics in Thailand. I came across this article from 2009, and since I wasn’t able to find a more recent description of the regulations, I believe they are still being enforced under the same descriptions as they are in this particular news piece.
“I have already spent my whole life as a woman – since I was a little boy – and why (do) I have to live as a woman for another year to undergo sex change surgery?”
Spoken by Areeya Milintanapa, a 26-year-old self identified transvestite, her exclamation represents her feelings about the new regulations set by the Medical Council of Thailand in 2009.
The council moved to control sex change operations that require transgender people to consult a psychiatrist, live as a woman and receive hormone therapy for at least a year before a operation is allowed.
Areeya claims “I know myself that I have always been a woman not a man.
(Photo Above) A marriage occurring in the UK in which the woman was a self identified transsexual.
Areeya has been researching sexual reassignment surgery for many years and has consulted with transgender people who have undergone the surgery, before she herself decided she would like to undergo it as well in the year 2010.
The new medical council regulations have set Areeya back a entire year.
Council President Dr Somsak Lohlekha said “The council wants to make sure that they (transgender people) really want to be a woman and spend the rest of their lives as a woman, forever, not a second.”
Dr Somsak only discusses sexual reassignment surgery in terms of a male transitioning into a female, he does not discuss a female transitioning into a male. He seems to imply that gender variant individuals make rash decisions more so than non-gender variant individuals, even though Areeya has researched surgery for years before deciding to undergo it herself.
Even though the Thai councils regulations are as new as last year, I can’t help but refer to the lecture regarding gender reassignment surgery last Thursday September, 30th. During the 1960’s and 1970’s certain Universities created gender clinics, in which biologically born men (I don’t believe biologically born women were allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery through these specific University run clinics) could undertake the process of gender reassignment surgery as long as they met specific requirements. A few of the requirements included; a desire for children, a attraction to men, and they had to be able to pass as a woman sometimes for a year before being approved for surgery. The Thai council appears to have implemented that same rule into their new regulations. It is interesting how Thailand, a self proclaimed openly sexual country has almost reverted back to rules adopted in the early 60’s and 70’s when research about gender reassignment surgery was just starting to be researched.
If you are interested in reading more about this story the link is copied below: (scroll to pages 24-25)