As many of our valued readers will know, we had general elections last Sunday in Thailand. I sure won’t start to talk about the result or the campaigns but I found a bit of news about Ladyboys and the ballot. Until today I tried to find more than the wire copy of REUTERS but I failed. Maybe I simply lack the talent to navigate the Election Commissions website (the Thai version as well as the English one).
Somehow somebody in political Bangkok must have remembered that there is a part of the electorate that they had marginalized during their campaigning. Now, at least the Election Commission secretary Suthipol Thaweechaikarn remembered the Thai transsexuals and advised election officials how to react in case a Ladyboy showes up at the ballot box:
“Their ID card […] may show a woman's face marked "mister", or a boy's face when the ID card holder looks like a woman.”
“In case of any problem in ascertaining the identity of voters, officials have a clear instruction to be polite in making inquiries and they must try their best to refrain from laughing.”
He also recommended that ID card holders who had undergone cosmetic surgery or a major facelift should carry a number of identity cards bearing pictures of their various stages of appearance.
I found this funny since everyone in Thailand is to carry a national ID card at all times from the age of 15. So imagine a 25-year old Ladyboy who was to document her development by keeping her ID cards. Not only would this be pretty humiliating but also useless since I know sisters who change their looks twice a week.
So how to keep record by using an ID card that is renewable only every seven years?!
Image: Trans Female Assiciation of Thailand