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Military might use 'katoey' and 'psychotic'


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Published: 31/08/2011 at 12:00 AM

Newspaper section: News

The Defence Ministry may have to change the term "psychotic" in its formal description of conscripts who are transvestites following an Administrative Court case.

Only transvestites who have yet to undergo a sex-change operation should be called katoey, while those who have already undergone a sex-change operation would still be recognised by the military as psychotic, according to the Commissaire du Gouvernement in a case filed with the Administrative Court against the use of the term.

That was the conclusion yesterday of Krityot Sirikhet, the Commissaire du Gouvernement. An Administrative Court judge will rule on Sept 13 whether he agrees or disagrees with the Commissaire du Gouvernement's opinion.

A group of transvestites led by Samart Micharoen filed a petition with the court against the 2005 military conscription records that clearly grouped Mr Samart and other transvestites as people with a "permanent mental disorder".

Mr Krityot said only homosexuals who had undergone irreversible bodily changes should be regarded as psychotic.

Homosexuals who had enlarged breasts through hormone intake, for instance, were not counted because such physical changes remained reversible, he said.

Mr Krityot also said Mr Samart had not undergone a sex-change operation so he should not be regarded as a person with a permanent mental disorder.

Therefore, the defence minister should correct the term used in the conscription record of Mr Samart from psychotic to katoey within 30 days, Mr Krityot said.

Under Administrative Court case procedure, the Commissaire du Gouvernement is established using a judge from the case panel who is able to make conclusions to balance those of the panel.

Mr Samart said he was glad to hear the Commissaire du Gouvernement's recommendation, but he still had to wait until the final ruling on Sept 13.

If the judge rules in favour of the Commissaire du Gouvernement's opinion, Mr Samart said, he believed the ruling would lead to changes to ministerial regulations. He said he had learned that the Defence Ministry was also considering switching to a new term which describes how a transvestite's "sexuality and birth gender are mutually incompatible".

A group of about 20 sexual diversity activists showed up at the court yesterday to lend moral support to Mr Samart. They held up umbrellas in rainbow colours symbolising gay groups.


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What I don't get is why post-op's should be regarded as psychotic? I mean, if they feel better in a woman's body, I think their mental state should be even better than as pre-op's? Or did I miss something here?

I think the feeling from the military (which is not something I necessarily agree with) is that once they get the operation they cannot be turned back thus the condition is permanent. And since they classify being a katoey as a mental illness a post-op transsexual can never be "cured."

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Gives a whole new meaning to the military phrase "sharing a foxhole". Bunker guard duty would be forever changed.

During my time in the service, the draft was going strong, and at the LA Iduction Center, where pre-service processing was taking place, there were many inductees running around in bra, panties, full face make-up. etc. It was quite a spectacle. One guy packed peanut butter in his underpants, and as it was summer time, the peanut butter melted and ran down his leg. During the rectum inspection he was dismissed, thrown out. The only one on that day who dodged the draft.

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I think the feeling from the military (which is not something I necessarily agree with) is that once they get the operation they cannot be turned back thus the condition is permanent. And since they classify being a katoey as a mental illness a post-op transsexual can never be "cured."

Quite interesting to hear that this happens in THE country of public acceptance of this lifestyle!

I once met a German military transgender officer - the only thing she had done so far was growing her hair and shaving her body. No operation, no hormones (so also no boobs and still male voice) and so on. Fully accepted! Sometimes I got the bad thought that this person only changed gender to peek in ladies showers..... But back to topic: Noone in Central Europe would think like this (at least officially). We recently had a case in Austria where a teacher changed gender (complete op). Some short hickup but then it was over and she is teaching now even at the school where she worked when she was a he still.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Follow up story on this:

Thai court to military: transsexuals not ill

By Thanyarat Doksone

Associated Press / September 13, 2011

BANGKOK—A court in Thailand ordered the military on Tuesday to stop labeling transgender people as being mentally ill in a decision praised by activists.

The Thai army conscripts males over the age of 18, but has historically disqualified transgender people, classifying them as "having a permanent mental disorder." Transgender activists have protested that this stigmatizes them.

Samart Meechai, the 27-year-old transgender person who filed the case against defense officials in 2006 in part because the wording "tarnished our dignity," welcomed the outcome. "Now we will no longer be viewed as crazy people," she said.

Thailand is known for its tolerance of transvestites and transsexuals, known as "katoeys" or "ladyboys." A transsexual beauty pageant is held annually and broadcast on national television, and earlier this year, a startup charter airline recruited four transsexuals as flight attendants for the first time.

Bangkok's Central Administrative Court, which deals with lawsuits concerning the performance of government officials, said the label for transsexuals was inaccurate and unlawful. However, it did not bar the military from rejecting transsexuals and did not stipulate a new wording.

Defense spokesman Col. Thanatip Sawangsaeng said the ministry will comply with the ruling, and has proposed "current sexual status does not match that of birth" as the new phrasing -- a change that requires a Cabinet resolution to take effect.

Tuesday's ruling was seen as a step in quelling discrimination against transgender people in the country.

"This change didn't come easily," said Nattaya Boonpakdee, a Bangkok-based gender rights activist who monitored the case.

Samart said the military classification created difficulties for transgender people when applying for jobs. Men are often required to present their conscription documents when applying for employment at private companies and government agencies as a way to make sure they have fulfilled their military obligation.

"Being called 'mentally ill' is not something you want other people to see on records," Samart said.


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