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Transgender lecturer ‘sacked over photo of penis-shaped lipstick’

Michelle O'Toole October 14, 2015

A transgender lecturer in Thailand has launched legal action – as she claims she lost out on a job over a photo of ‘lipstick that was shaped like a penis’.

Kath Khangpiboon, 28, had applied for a role at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand.

She waited six months to hear news on her application, during which she worked as a guest lecturer at the university – the first transgender lecturer in Thailand’s history.

However, Ms Khangpiboon says she was denied the job after she was told she had “almost 100-percent chance of being hired” – because she posted a picture on Facebook of a lipstick that was shaped like a penis.

The lecturer, who has filed a complaint with the Administrative Court against Thammasat University, told Bangkok-based magazine BK this week: “I am an activist and I’ve raised many issues and topics for discussion on social media.

“One of them was a photo I posted of a lipstick shaped like a penis.

“It was sent from someone in Japan, as part of a discussion about how sex is very accepted in their culture and even lipstick can be turned into a sex toy.

“The university used this topic to attack my suitability as a professor.”

Ms Khangpiboon had previously worked for various NGOs where she taught sex education and raised trans awareness through Thai Transgender Alliance (which she co-founded), and claims the university were using this as an excuse to retract the job offer.

She said: “As an activist, transgender and lecturer, everything I share on social media is not to offend but to educate people.

“I teach sex education and my aim is to make words like “penis” and “vagina” easy to say and discuss… The university has also dug out content that I posted during my bachelor’s degree in order to build its case for rejecting me. That to me is unreasonable and unfair.”

PinkNews has reached out to the university for comment.

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