Pattaya transgender foundation concerned about stereotypes following thefts

Photo by บริษัท โสภณ เคเบิ้ล ที.วี.และสื่อสาร พัทยา จำกัด/ วรัญญา

A foundation in Pattaya is concerned about stereotypes against transgender people. This news follows a series of thefts against Indian tourists this year, many by transgender people. Most of the thefts involve transgender people snatching gold necklaces off tourists’ necks. However, there was also an incident this week when an Indian tourist said a transgender person stole his wallet.

One foundation has said yesterday that tourists are now being “noticeably vigilant” around transgender workers. The deputy director of the Pattaya Sisters Foundation, Pornpipat Phothasin, said she suspects that the same group of people is repeatedly stealing from tourists.

Pornpipat said that this small group of people is sadly hurting the Pattaya transgender community’s reputation. She said this is strongly impacting transgender workers at bars and other venues, where tourists are now shying away from them. Pornpipat stressed that she has always tried to teach her transgender “sisters” to follow the laws. She told The Pattaya News…

“I stand against all kinds of inequalities, and other sisters and I are willing to work with the police to bring the suspects to justice.”

There has been a common pattern among the gold necklace thefts against Indian tourists this year. Suspects often flirt with the tourists and touch them, asking them to come to their hotel with them. Victims often realise they have been robbed after they manage to push the thieves away.

There have been at least 10 gold necklace thefts in recent months. In the latest incident, another victim said he was approached by a person he believed was transgender. The culprit snatched his 30,000 baht gold necklace before driving off on their motorbike.

Pattaya Police announced a specialised patrol force in May to combat this particular type of theft, and declared again at the end of last month they would crack down on Indian gold necklace thefts.

Since many of the thieves have been transgender, Pattaya’s tourist police chief said he needed to launch a new measure to keep records of all resident transgender individuals in Pattaya areas with criminal records. He said another measure would be to arrest transgender individuals who suspiciously stroll around Pattaya Beach late at night, reportedly for loitering.

Pornpipat is urging people not to stereotype the transgender community and says the group of people stealing around Pattaya doesn’t represent the entire community.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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