New sex change regulation in Thailand
Sat, Sep 12, 2009
The Nation/Asia News Network

By Pongphon Sarnsamak

From November 29, the Medical Council of Thailand will strictly enforce new regulations allowing only those transgendered people aged over 18 to undergo a sex-change operation, secretary general Dr Samphan Komrit said yesterday

Transgendered people aged 18 to 20 must have parental consent, while those over 20 can decide for themselves.

Transgendered people must also consult a psychiatrist, live as a woman for a year and receive hormone therapy before being allowed to undergo a sexchange operation.

Surgeons who provide such operations must be registered with the Medical Council and treat any complications that may occur following surgery.

Samphan said these regulations would raise the standard of sexchange operations.

He said surgeons violating the regulations would face warnings and even revocation of their medical licence.

Transgender Women of Thailand chairperson Yollada Suanyot expressed satisfaction with the new regulations but said relevant agencies, such as the Interior, Foreign and Justice ministries, should revise laws to allow transgendered people to change their gender title from Mr to Miss.

Yollada said changing their gender title after undergoing a sex change would help transgendered people live with dignity.

"It would be good if we could change from being a Mr to a Miss, because then we could proudly assert we're a women. We'd no longer have to explain we're a 'ladyboy' when anyone looks at our ID or passport," she said. "We want to live with dignity, the same as anyone else."

Office of the AttorneyGeneral investigator Sermkiat Woradit suggested transgendered people band together to request the independent National Human Rights Commission to help revise all laws involving them, be it civil, criminal or family law.

Samphan said he backed this idea and that relevant agencies should issue special laws for "third sex" citizens.

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