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Thai airline recruits transsexuals as flight attendants

in THAILAND, 25/01/2011

A newly launched Thai airline has adopted a policy of recruiting transsexuals as flight attendants in an effort to offer equal opportunities to the 'third sex,' company sources said Tuesday.

PC Air hired three transsexuals, 17 women, and 10 men in its initial recruitment drive Monday.

'Our initial quota was set at three transsexuals, but we will consider taking more in the future depending on their qualifications,' a PC Air spokeswoman said.

The transgender attendants will wear a special gold-coloured 'third-sex' name tag to help passengers and immigration authorities know what gender they are dealing with, she said.

Thanyarat Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the 2007 Miss Tiffany transsexual beauty pageant, was among the successful candidates to land a job on the new airline, which plans to launch flights on March 1.

'At first I thought they would just take applications but not actually recruit us, as has happened at other places before,' Thanyarat told The Nation newspaper.

Thailand has an unusually large and vocal transsexual community, which often complains of discrimination at the workplace and has lobbied in the past for 'third sex' bathrooms at universities and exclusion from military service.

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