Transgender student forced to strip in hazing ceremony
A University in Salaya, Thailand, has launched a probe into senior students after they forced a freshman transgender student to strip in a hazing ceremony.
Seniors filmed the horrific hazing stunt and posted it online, where it then went viral in the local area.
Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin has established a committee to investigate the incident which is being deemed sexual abuse.
The student, whose identity has not been revealed, was forced to take their clothes off when seniors ordered male students to strip.
In a statement that the student wrote online, they explained that they do not with to take action against the university but feel they might be forced to in order to prevent something similar ever happening again.
They wrote: “At one point, seniors asked every male student to take their tops off. I did not want to do it because I have breasts like a woman, but they still forced me to do so, so I had to cover my breasts with my hands.
“If anyone wants to apologise to me, I’m willing to accept and forgive because I do not want the university to be affected, but no-one involved has had the courage to do so.”
The student’s sibling added that the incident was clearly an act of sexual harassment and caused a great deal of embarrassment.
They said: “My sister who is a transgender was recently sexually abused by her seniors during a university hazing ceremony. She was forced to take her top off in front of her friends.
“She felt humiliated because she has breasts due to the effect of contraceptive pills, but some seniors were watching and laughing at her.
The Thai Transgender Alliance has slammed the incident in a statement that called the act a blatant disregard of the student’s human rights.
The group urged the student to take action on the incident and advised her to use the Gender Equality Act in order to fight the legal battle.
The University has issued a public apology that took a firm stance against sexual abuse in the institution.
The Thai Transgender Alliance for Human Rights recently reported that trans women in the country who have not yet received gender reassignment surgery are being forced to serve in the military.
Conscription laws in the country dictate that at the age of 21 men can either serve six voluntary months or risk the annual lottery which was held in April.
For those who risk the lottery, their fate depends on a black ticket which if pulled means they are allowed to go home. However, if a red ticket is pulled then they must serve for two years.
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The Thai Transgender Alliance for Human Rights is desperately gearing up ahead of the lottery to provide extra service to trans women who fear they will have to serve.
Jetsada Taesombat, the executive director of the Alliance told Reuters that trans suicides often increase around the lottery period because trans women would “rather take their lives” than serve in the army.
The Thai army insists that they are improving their treatment of trans women who get caught in the system.
Lieutenant Colonel Ongard Jamdee, a recruitment officer, said that “the army is instructed to treat and respect transgender women as women”.
The is moving towards greater acceptance of transgender people and is making moves to make a better prison system for trans individuals.