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Transgender inmates to get more medical help in Thailand’s jails

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Thailand’s transgender inmates will be getting more medical help in jails as The Department of Corrections is seeking to improve services to be in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Currently, Thailand has over 4,000 transgender inmates, or about 1% of the total prison population, spread out in 143 prisons. 1,800 of them are transvestites, 1,200 are transgender women, 352 are gay, 1,000 lesbians and 34 are sex-changed men. 60 of these inmates have already underwent sex change operations.

But only prisons with more space like Minburi, Pattaya, and Khlongprem Central can cater specifically to transgender people. The added medical help will feature psychological counselling among other enhanced support systems with those undergoing sex change operations to be more medically supported under the new system. Those who have completed the sexual reassignment surgeries will have to be examined by a nurse or medical staff before gaining permission to be housed in the women’s section of the jail and vice versa.

But the system still needs to be improved.  Currently, potential inmates have their gender legally described by the courts before they enter the prison system and are normally housed in the facilities aligned with their legal gender. For homosexual males, they are housed in the male section of the jail, but in different quarters.

Uthaithani Provincial Prison has been a prison model in providing the appropriate custody and treatment to special groups of prisoners, but with the renewed commitment by the DOC, more prison systems will make changes that will support such sensitive prisoner populations soon.

Thailand has seen its transgender population growing in recent years, which has, in turn, increased transgenders entering into the prison system. Kathoeys, or ladyboys, as they are called in Thai, are males that identify as females, and are considered Thailand’s 3rd gender. As Thailand is a Buddhist country, the country’s culture dictates practising tolerance towards others. But that doesn’t mean Kathoeys have it easy. Apart from sociocultural differences, Kathoeys, or anyone wishing to change their gender are not allowed by the courts.

As of today, it is illegal to change one’s gender, which can pose issues for those transgenders who identify with a different gender role in society.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/Thaicriminology

 

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Ynwaps

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Putting transgender into prison is similar to animal cruelty.

    • Konstantin

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Why should they have any privilege? They fought for recognition and some silly equality…so now they got it. Let them experience both sides of the “privilege”.

      • Ynwaps

        Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:15 pm

        Yeah but most of them are in prison for ridiculous drug charges while the real criminals walk free

  2. James Pate

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Unless the people in the photo are inmates, I kindly suggest replacing it before you get slapped with a defamation suit!

  3. Issan John

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    “Currently, Thailand has over 4,000 transgender inmates, or about 1% of the total prison population, spread out in 143 prisons. 1,800 of them are transvestites, 1,200 are transgender women, 352 are gay, 1,000 lesbians and 34 are sex-changed men. 60 of these inmates have already underwent sex change operations.”

    WTF 😮

    I know that’s just copied without any original thought from the Bangkok Post, but seriously – WTF 😮

    “Transgender” concerns sexual identity – men, born men, who identify as women; and women, born women, who identify as men.
    Some will have registered the change legally if they can, but far from all even in countries where they can do so relatively easily such as the UK.

    Some, but far from all, will have had sex-change operations so that includes “sex-changed men” (and women). Some may be “gay”, some may be “lesbians”, some may be “straight” and some may be “transvestite” …

    – and some transvestites may be straight but like cross-dressing …

    – and some who “are sex-changed men” and who “have already underwent sex change operations” may well be born men who’ve had an operation to transition to be a woman (outwardly) who have a sexual preference for women and so are “lesbians” … and vice-versa …

    – and some, such as Captain Hannah Winterbourne, ex-British Army, now Mrs Hannah Graf, have transitioned to being a woman and married a man who transitioned from being a woman and they even had a baby last year …

    It’s not black and white or “binary”, but if you’re going to write this sort of article you should at least have a minimal understanding of the subject matter – it makes calling a three star hotel a five star pale into insignificance.

    • Toby Andrews

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      personally I think calling a 3 star hotel a 4 star hotel is more serious.
      Rights for perverts in prison is of no interest to me.
      They have it better than straight prisoners.
      They have access to sex of their choice, therefore they suffer less than straight prisoners.
      To some I doubt prison is a deterrent.
      If I see a katoey in a bar I will not go in. They bully the girls, are in the way, and most have a loud mouthed ACT that makes me want to punch them.
      Gay men I don’t mind. They make good waiters.

    • 7.62mm of darwin

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4:23 am

      ij do yourself a favor and follow SCIENCE no matter what cut and shut medical antics are performed a DNA test will be simply binary, male or female and it will always be so. Toby homosexuals are attracted to the hospitality and arts industries and outperform Heteros its just their thing they are good at it.

      • Issan John

        Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4:49 am

        Darwin has clearly passed you by.

        Gender identity has nothing to do with DNA.

    • 7.62mm of darwin

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4:23 am

      ij do yourself a favor and follow SCIENCE no matter what cut and shut medical antics are performed a DNA test will be simply binary, male or female and it will always be so. Toby homosexuals are attracted to the hospitality and arts industries and outperform Heteros its just their thing they are good at it.

    • Nipral

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:01 pm

      For once you seem to know what you write about !
      Is it hard to be TS in Issan ?

  4. Bob Thurles

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Ann,
    The correct past participle of the verb ‘undergo’ when used with the auxiliary verb ‘have’ is ‘UNDERGONE’, not ‘underwent’. 
    ‘Underwent’ is only used in the simple past tense, i.e. “I underwent sex change surgery.”

    Hence you should have said “60 of these inmates have already undergone sex change operations.” 
    NOT
    “60 of these inmates have already underwent sex change operations..”

    Regards,
    Bob T.

    • Toby Andrews

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11:26 pm

      Oh shut up you dickhead.
      Who are you the grammar police?
      Go and show off your great writing skills elsewhere.

  5. brian mc

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    women!

  6. Grumpy John

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    They can live their lives how they want however others, myself included, think if they have been incarcarated for criminal acts they don’t deserve much, if any, consideration.

  7. James Pate

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Perhaps the word “special” was misused in the article. I think “separate” treatment would have been a better word choice. It makes sense to separate prisoners by age. Younger ones are better candidates for reform. Separation by race, too, for obvious reasons. Pedophiles are routinely kept separately. It also makes sense to separate by gender identity, if resources permit. If we may assume that their convictions were just, they must do the time. However, no one should be brutalized. The court didn’t sentence them to that. Yep, there are a lot of evil trannies out there, but that doesn’t mean they should get “special” punishment.

  8. Issan John

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Very fair, James P, but I can’t agree about “separation by race” unless it’s to protect some inmates from others.

    • James Pate

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11:40 pm

      IJ- It’s done formally by the guards or informally by the inmates, depending where you are in the world. Some, but by no means all, prisons here, not short term jails, separate the foreigners from Thais.

      • Issan John

        Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4:52 am

        Separating “the foreigners from Thais” is very different to “separation by race”.

        • James Pate

          Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 11:32 am

          Not “very” different but, if you want to split hairs, fine. Where do you think they would put a Thai-born person with foreign nationality or a naturalized Thai?

          • Issan John

            Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5:36 pm

            If someone has “foreign nationality” they’re not “Thai-born”.

            Naturalized Thais? With Thais.

      • 7.62mm of darwin

        Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4:52 am

        James Pate pedophiles in oz are kept separate from the general prison population. These are hard men often with children of their own and Rock Spiders as the pedos are called have a habit of accidentally falling down stairs and arriving dead at the bottom. The guards wisely keep their own council as they are hard men also.

  9. James Pate

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Yes. Many kinds of inmates are kept in protective custody instead of gen pop: Witnesses to upcoming trials, elderly and infirm, HIV positive, etc. Federal prisons have more resources than state. Many inmates were once victims of abuse and pedos are targeted, some hard men among them.

  10. Steve

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    If a transgender was put into a prison with men she would be raped every day. Rape goes on in prison between males. What would happen if a person who transformed with breast implants cosmetic surgery looking like a female experience. We are supposed to be civilized So lets act civilized

    • Issan John

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      It works both ways, though, Steve.

      Stephen Wood (I’m sure it’s no relation :o), later Karen White, was convicted for raping two boys, aged 9 and 12, and later raping two women. He opted to identify as transgender, as a woman, and was put in a women’s prison where he then assaulted a number of female prisoners.

      These things are seldom as simple as they seem, which was why I took issue with the article.

  11. Amy Sukwan

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve long thought that Thailand’s consideration on this issue was the correct one. Kathuoyes, cross dressers, LBGTQ’s, et cetera, are not all the same. An openly gay white man in San Francisco might not want to identify in the same category as a black queer autistic femme in St. Louis, for example. It’s not a united front at all.
    Biological reality needs to be recognized as having a social reality. Does a transgender male to female, even one who has undergone all of the sex change procedures, really understand the anxiety of being 12 or 13 years old and anticipating your first period? Does this person understand the anxiety of an unwanted pregnancy, say? Does this person know about abortion? I’d say they know about as much about these things as I do of hormone injections, skin grafting surgeries, and psychological evaluations regarding gender identity. Which is to say virtually nothing, because our lived experiences are completely different. Should their choices regarding sexual orientation or gender be respected? Absolutely. Should they be viewed as precisely the same as the opposite gender, just because they say so? Just like going pee in the woods standing up…

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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