How Trans Thai Kathoeys Escape Forced Military Service: Get Diagnosed With ‘Mental Disorder’

By Max Simon · Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just like the United States, MTF transgender Thais (known as kathoeys) don’t have the warm feelings about serving in the military, which is further complicated by the fact that Thailand has an involuntary annual draft lottery: “Genetically male, mentally female, they regard conscription as a threat to their very being. Buzzing off a kathoey’s long locks and forcing her to go soldiering in the sun, [says Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya, a kathoey called to serve], is the cruelest of punishments. ‘No transgender would ever want to be in the army,’ Prempreeda said. ‘They’ll cut your hair off. They’ll destroy your femininity. You will do everything you can to avoid it.'” Here are ways to avoid it: get branded with “permanent insanity,” “mental disorder,” or “malformed chest” for taking hormones to develop breasts. So that seems reasonable.

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