Asia’s first trans health and support centre opens in Bangkok
The centre will be dedicated to providing help, support and health treatment for the city’s trans community.
The Thai Red Cross Aids Research Centre has opened the first ever trans-specific operation in Asia.
The Tangerine Community Health Centre says it will strive “to be a model for quality health services and research for the transgender community.”
Managed by trained transgender personnel and “gender-sensitive medical professionals”, the centre will provide services that include counselling, hormone replacement therapy an will operates from 7.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday.
The centre is supported under the “Inform Asia: USAID’s Health Research Program” and receives funding from the US Agency for International Development as part of President’s Obama’s ‘Emergency Plan for Aids Relief’.
Thailand is famous for having a large and vibrant LGBT community, particularly trans and gender non-conforming people.
Thai law currently allows trans people to change their legal gender, but does is yet to legalise same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage was discussed in 2012, with legislation being drafted, but was put on hold as the country struggled with political instability.
In September, the government introduced its first law solely dedicated to the protection of the country’s LGBT community.
Thai parliament passed the 2015 Gender Equality Act in March.
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The law is is designed to protect members of the LGBT community and aims to punish discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Those found guilty of discrimination may face up to six months in jail and a 20,000 baht fine.
The law defines “unfair discrimination among the sexes” as any action that “segregates, obstructs or limits the rights” of a person because they have “a sexual expression different from that person’s original sex.”
The Thai government are currently considering a civil unions bill and amendments to the constitution that would further recognise the rights of trans people in the country.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Thailand’s new constitution will include references to a third gender for the first time.