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Thai trans woman fined by police for see-through dress

April 18, 2019
Participants wave rainbow flags during an LGBT+ rights rally in Bangkok, Thailand

Participants wave rainbow flags during an LGBT+ rights rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 29, 2018. (Lillian SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty)

An 18-year-old transgender woman wearing a see-through dress has been charged with being a “public nuisance” by Thai police.

According to local news reports, Thai trans woman Panupong Meekaew paid a fine of 2,000 baht (around £50) to officers in Buriram province for her attire, which she wore to a local public celebration.

Photos of Meekaew were shared across social media during Songkran, Thai New Year’s national holiday from April 13 to April 15, by a user identified as Fern Yim. The caption read: “Wanna go f**k after the water fight?”

Local reports suggest that after the picture went viral, local police began an investigation to find the person in the photograph. Police allegedly instructed women to dress “appropriately” at the festival and threatened to prosecute anyone showing nudity online.

Participants wave rainbow flags during an LGBT+ rights rally in Bangkok, Thailand
Participants wave rainbow flags during an LGBT+ rights rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 29, 2018. (Lillian SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty)

Police told reporters “the suspect felt guilty and would like to apologize to the public, she insisted she will never do such a thing again.”

The investigation is still ongoing and Meekaew may be subject to further charges, pending the final decision.

Trans rights in Thailand

In March, Thailand elected its first transgender MP, filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit. Tanwarin ran as a candidate with the Future Forward Party, a political force founded a year ago.

Ahead of the vote, Tanwarin told Voice of America she wanted to run to represent the LGBT+ community.

She said: “I want to be a person who represents the minority people in Thailand because for me — LGBT people, we have not the right to marry in a same-sex marriage, legally, by law, we cannot adopt children.”

A Thai law labelled section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code says marriage can only be stipulated between a man and a woman.

Major beauty brands celebrate Thai trans community

In August of 2018 major beauty brand Pantene revealed its new marketing campaign under the slogan “See beauty, not gender.” The campaign became the second major brand in the country to have launched a trans-inclusive advertisement.

“I see neither female nor male. I see beautiful humans who want to be the best version of themselves,” the advert says, before its slogan “See beauty, not gender” appears on screen.

More: Asia, police, thai, Thailand, Thailand, Trans, Transgender, woman

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