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Transgenders wait aside from other youngsters to speak to officers during an army draft held at a school in Klong Toey, the dockside slum area in Bangkok, on April 7, 2013.
Bullied, ridiculed, ignored, Asia transgenders step up fight for rights

in THAILAND, 09/03/2014

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.

“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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