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Bullied, ridiculed, ignored, Asia transgenders step up fight for rights

Natt Kraipet grew up knowing she was a woman in a man’s body. She didn’t like wearing the compulsory school uniform for boys in Thailand and spent her school days being bullied by her peers.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

9th March 2014 04:33

Alessia Valenza

“When students are put into groups according to gender, the boys would yell at me to join the girls. I was sexually harassed – they touched my legs, bottom or face or hit me on my back or head,” she said.  

“I couldn’t really tell my teachers or my parents because I was afraid of being judged and punished. Sometimes I felt bullied by the teachers themselves because they would say it was just teasing among the children. It wasn’t teasing,” recalled Natt, now a coordinator with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN).

Such bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students is widespread in the Thailand’s secondary schools, according to a study released last week by children’s charity Plan International and Thailand’s Mahidol University. Half of LBGT students interviewed said they had been bullied in the past month, and a third said they were physically abused.

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