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Country reports on transgender in Asia:    

Book reviews

Some published papers authored by researchers connected with the TransgenderASIA Centre

Male, female and transgender: stereotypes and self in Thailand. (Sam Winter and Nuttawut Udomsak). The paper was originally published in the International Journal of Transgenderism (Vol 6, No 1, 2002) and is also available on the website of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) at .

Abstract:  Two hundred and four Thai Male-to-Female (MtF) transgenders (mean age 23.0 years) completed questionnaires designed to examine self-concept (actual and ideal) and gender-trait stereotypes held towards men and women.Findings indicated that (a) participants' gender-trait stereotypes were similar to those of non-transgenders examined in other studies (both in their own country and internationally), (b) their actual and ideal self-concepts each displayed much more consensus about traits not possessed than about those possessed, (c) their actual and ideal self-concepts were commonly discrepant, and (d) while they commonly held a stereotypically female view of themselves, they often aspired towards a broad range of traits that were less stereotyped. Indeed, (e) they commonly disowned stereotypically female traits.These last two findings suggest that transgenders have personal growth goals that transcend, or even run counter to, gender-stereotype. They may instead conform to more fundamental ideas about favourable human qualities.

Gender,stereotype and self among transgenders: underlying elements. (Sam Winter and Nuttawut Udomsak).  The paper was originally published in the International Journal of Transgenderism (Vol 6, No 1, 2002), and is also available on the website of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) at

Abstract: In an article published earlier in The International Journal of Transgenderism (Winter and Udomsak, 2002) showed that while Thai MtF transgenders displayed actual self-concepts that were strongly female-stereotyped (that is, consistent with their own beliefs about femaleness) their ideal self concepts, and aspirations for change were distinctly less female-stereotyped.This finding raised the following question: what underlying considerations, if not the simple pursuit of stereotyped femaleness, governed their ideal self and aspirations for personal growth? To answer this question, the Adjective Checklist (ACL) data from the original study (Winter and Udomsak, 2002) were further analysed in a three-step procedure.Firstly, an attempt was made to identify the underlying essence of the traits we employed in the ACL. Using findings from earlier ACL research by Williams and co-workers (Williams and Best, 1990; Williams et al., 1998, 1999), we ascribed to each ACL trait-item a set of 14 scores, each of which reflected the degree to which that trait reflected an important psychological feature. These features represented (a) affective meaning (three scores: favourability, strength and activity), (b) ego-state (five scores: critical parent, nurturing parent, adult, free child and adapted child), (c) higher-order personality factors (five scores: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness), and (d) psychological importance (one score: indicating the degree to which the trait is a ‘core’ element of personality).Secondly, in order to reduce the data somewhat, these scores were factor analysed. The 14 scores were loaded onto four factors. On the basis of the loadings, these factors were labelled: ‘resourceful / dependable’ (factor I), ‘intrusive / controlling’ (factor II), ‘risk-taking / stimulation-seeking’ (factor III), and ‘caring / harmonious’ (factor IV).Thirdly, multiple regression analyses were employed to identify which if any of these factors appeared to underlie participants’ (i) gender-trait stereotypes, (ii) actual-self, (iii) ideal-self, (iv) aspirations to acquire traits (traits desired but not possessed) and (v) aspirations to lose traits (traits possessed but not desired).The analysis revealed that gender-trait stereotypes were predicted by factors I, II and III (all underlying male-stereotyped traits) as well as by IV (underlying those that were female-stereotyped). Factors I, II and III could therefore be considered ‘male’ factors, while factor IV was ‘female’. As one might expect, factor IV (the ‘female’ factor) predicted those traits endorsed for actual self, while factor II (a ‘male’ factor) acted in a counter-predictive way.Our main interest focused on finding factors that might shed light on our earlier findings on ideal self and aspirations for change. We found that ideal self was predicted by a gender-inconsistent mix of factor IV (the ‘female’ factor) and factor I (a ‘male’ factor). Factor I was also important in predicting those traits which participants aspired to acquire, and in counter-predicting those (unwanted) traits, which they aspired to lose. Beyond this, factor IV (the ‘female’ factor?) somewhat paradoxically predicted aspirations to lose traits.In short, participants’ ideals for self seemed to embody qualities of care and harmony (‘female’ qualities), but also resourcefulness and dependability (‘male’ qualities). Indeed, participants wished not only to retain whatever ‘male’ qualities of resourcefulness and dependability they had, but also to acquire more of these qualities. Furthermore, while they valued many ‘female’ qualities like care and harmony, they also aspired to lose some of these qualities.These findings, which are, at face value, gender-anomalous, attest to personal growth goals that transcend (or indeed run counter to) gender stereotype; instead they conform to notions of maturity and personal efficacy.

Heterogeneity in Transgender: a cluster analysis of a Thai sample. (Sam Winter). An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in the International Journal of Transgenderism, 8, 1, 31-42, 2005. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: An analysis was performed of data from an Adjective Checklist (ACL) study of identity and gender-trait stereotype in Thai MtF transgenders (Winter and Udomsak, 2002a, 2002b).  Contrary to previous analyses, the current analysis employed the participants (rather than the ACL traits) as the unit of analysis. For each participant a calculation was made of the extent to which traits endorsed for actual self were also those endorsed as stereotypically male (masculine) or stereotypically female (feminine) traits. In this way gender-in-self scores (indices of masculinity, femininity and non-differentiation) in actual self-concept (MASC, FASC and NASC respectively) were calculated. A similar matching procedure involving ideal self led to the calculation of indices for masculinity, femininity and non-differentiation in ideal self-concept  (MISC, FISC and NISC respectively). A cluster analysis was then performed, using these six gender-in-self scores in order to identify any groups within our sample.  Participants clustered into three substantial groups, together accounting for 98% of the data. The largest (69.9% of the sample) endorsed stereotypically male and female as well as undifferentiated traits. It could therefore be described as an androgynous group. The next, accounting for 21.4% of the sample, endorsed overwhelmingly undifferentiated traits. It was accordingly labelled the undifferentiated group. The last, accounting for 6.6% of the sample, endorsed overwhelmingly female-stereotyped traits and, in view of the fact that they had constructed for themselves such a highly stereotypically female self-concept, was labelled the feminine group. All six gender-in-self scores played a part in distinguishing the groups from each other.For all three groups discrepancies between actual and ideal self were found, suggesting personal growth goals that led away from female stereotype.  Traits endorsed for actual self were further examined for any sign of group differences in terms of scores for 14 underlying features, as well as loadings on four higher-order factors, as employed in the Winter and Udomsak (2002b) analysis. Traits endorsed for ideal self and for gender-trait stereotyping were examined in the same way and for the same purpose. For actual self no significant group differences were found. In contrast, several differences were found for ideal self. Traits endorsed by the undifferentiated group stood out from the others by being higher on adult ego state, conscientiousness and emotional stability, and lower on adapted child ego state. All this was reflected in stronger loadings on resourcefulness / dependability.Numerous group differences were identified for gender-trait stereotyping. The feminine group (compared to the other two groups) considered stereotypically female traits to be ( a ) higher on strength, favourability, adult and free child ego states, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness, and psychological important, and ( b ) lower on adapted child ego state. All this was reflected in a stereotypical view of the female as both more caring / harmonious (a stereotypically ‘female’ factor), as well as more resourceful / dependable (usually a stereotypically ‘male’ factor) than how she was viewed by the other groups. The undifferentiated group’s view of the female was at the other extreme, providing a mirror image effect.In conclusion, three groups of MtF transgenders were identified, differing from each other in terms of the degree of gender stereotypy evident in their actual and ideal self-concepts. The three groups also differed in terms of the underlying elements of the traits that they had endorsed for ideal self, as well as for gender-trait stereotypes.

Thai transgenders in focus: demographics, transitions and identities. (Sam Winter). An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in the International Journal of Transgenderism, 9, 1, 15-27, 2006. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: Data was analysed for a sample of 195 Thai transgendered females (i.e. male-to-female (MtF) transgenders)  who had completed a  questionnaire covering, inter alia, demographics, transition histories and sexual/gender identities. Mean age was 25.4 years.For demographic data, we found that our participants were often among the youngest in their family, that females played a prominent role in their lives (often rearing them without any male help), and that around one in five brothers (natural or step) were also transgendered. With regard to transition histories, we found that many participants had transitioned very early in life, beginning to feel different to other males, and identifying as non-male by middle childhood. By adolescence many were  living a transgendered life. Many took hormones, beginning to do so by a mean age of 16.3 years, and several from as early as 10 years.  Many underwent surgeries of various kinds, on average in the twenties, with one undergoing SRS as early as 15 years.As to identity, most of our participants thought of themselves simply as phuying (women), with a smaller number thinking of themselves as phuying praphet song (a ‘second kind of woman’). A small number thought of themselves as kathoey (a more general Thai term embracing a variety of gender non-conformities)  While most participants would prefer to be a woman, there were a few who seemed comfortable being transgendered. A few foresaw that they would not be living a transgendered life into old age. The vast majority expressed a sexual attraction to men.

Thai transgenders in focus: their beliefs about attitudes towards and origins of transgender. (Sam Winter). An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in the International Journal of Transgenderism, 9, 2, 47-62, 2006. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: One hundred and ninety five transgendered females (i.e. male-to-female transgenders (or MtF TGs)), with a mean age of  25.4 years, completed a questionnaire examining, inter alia, their beliefs about ( a ) attitudes (of parents and society) towards them (and to MtF TGs in general); and ( b ) origins of their own MTF TG status. According to our participants, 62.9% of mothers and 40.6% of fathers accepted or encouraged their child’s transgender from its first expression. Many with misgivings became more positive as time went on. According to 40.7% of our participants, Thai people overall held similarly favourable attitudes towards MtF TGs.  Many of our participants cited multiple origins for their transgender. Nearly 84%  believed inborn biology had played a role. Friends and karma were also commonly endorsed as explanatory factors (50% and 48.4% respectively). Parents, siblings, and other relatives were less commonly cited (30.3%, 24.1% and 22.2% respectively). Cluster analysis revealed that, based on their beliefs,  97.1% of the sample could be divided into three groups. Most (61.2%) fell into a ‘biogenic’ group, emphasising the role played by inborn biology, while 29.4% believed took a ‘peer psychogenic’ view, emphasising the role played by friends in the development of their transgender. A small ‘eclectic’ group (6.5%) believed that biology, karma and parents combined to account for their transgender

Transgendered Women of the Philippines. (Sam Winter, Sass Rogando-Sasot and Mark King) An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in the International Journal of Transgenderism, 10, 2, 79-90, 2007. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: A convenience sample of 147 transgendered females (i.e. male-to-female (MtF) transgenders, or transwomen, transgendered members of a community often called bakla in the Philippines) was studied. Participants (mean 23.6 years) completed a  questionnaire covering, inter alia, demographics, transition histories, sexual preferences, sexual and gender identities, experience of social attitudes towards transgenderism, as well as beliefs about the origins of their own transgenderism. Despite a level of education that was high in relation to  the national average, the level of unemployment in our sample was comparatively high. Participants’ family backgrounds revealed a significantly higher frequency of older sisters than younger ones. Participants differed in the ways in which they self-identified, but overwhelmingly reported early feelings of gender incongruity (i.e. in early or middle childhood) and initial transition in adolescence. Though most were at the time of the study using hormones, surgery was relatively uncommon, and sex reassignment surgery rare. While none of the participants aspired to a male identity, many anticipated that they would nevertheless be presenting as male later in their lives. An overwhelming majority reported a sexual attraction to men, the vast majority of these exclusively so. Participants commonly reported that Filipino society was unfavourably disposed towards the transgendered. Many reported rejection by their parents, though this was more common ( a ) by fathers, and ( b ) when they had earlier begun to transition. Participants most commonly cited inborn biology or God’s Will as a factor underlying their own transgenderism. Very few cited social influences.

Measuring Hong Kong undergraduates students' attitudes towards transpeople (Sam Winter, Beverley Webster and Pui Kei Eleanor Cheung). An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in  Sex Roles, 59, 9/10: 670-683, 2008. Displayed here with permission from the publishers (Springer)

Abstract: Hill and Willoughbys (Sex Roles, 53:531544, (2005) Genderism and Transphobia Scale (GTS), originally developed in Canada, was examined with a Hong Kong sample. Undergraduate students, 82 female and 121 male (total n=203), completed a Chinese version of the instrument. Overall scores and factor structure of the Hong Kong sample were compared with Hill and Willoughbys Canadian data. Gender differences in transphobia were investigated, both in terms of the participants gender as well as the gender of the gender variant persons to whom GTS items referred. Transphobia was higher in Hong Kong than in Canada. The factor structure for Hong Kong differed from Canada. Five factors were identified (with a gender effect on Factors II and V). They were: I, Anti Sissy Prejudice; II, Anti Trans Violence; III, Trans Unnaturalness; IV, Trans Immorality; and V, Background Genderism. Hong Kong men were more transphobic than women. Gender variance in men was viewed less favourably than in women.

Language and Identity in Transgender: Gender wars and the Thai kathoey. Winter,S. (2008) Chapter 8 in Lin,A. (Ed.). Problematizing identity: everyday struggles in language, culture and education. US: Lawrence Erlbaum. (p119-135).

We are all familiar with the war between the sexes. Less well-known is another struggle playing across the world, involving transgendered people (TGs) ranged against elements in their respective mainstream societies. In some places (Hong Kong for example) the struggle is quite polite, even muted. In others (for example the USA and UK) it is loud and energetic. It is fought in newspapers, magazines, committees, tribunals and courts. In the UK it has been fought on T.V. screens,  where viewers have for some time been able to follow the fortunes of Hayley, a male-to-female transgender (MtF TG) on their favourite soap – Coronation Street. A similar drama has been played out in the USA on the set of Ally McBeale. The conflict is all about what makes us male or female; do we give primacy to the physical reality (to be more specific, the external anatomy) with which a person has been born (his or her sex)? Or to the mental reality in which he or she lives and which he or she expresses to the world  (his or her gender identity and gender presentation)? As we will see in this paper, language plays a key role in all of this,... (the chapter continues)

Cultural Considerations for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care: the Asian perspective. (Sam Winter). We post  here an electronic postprint version  (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf). Final article  published in the International Journal of Transgenderism, 11: 19-41, 2009. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

 Abstract: This paper is about Gender Identity Variance (GIV) outside the developed West. I will consider how the non-Western experience of GIV (including healthcare experiences) may guide the Committee looking at the Seventh Edition of the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC-7).  The recommendations I make later in this paper assume a genuine concern within WPATH for ‘lasting personal comfort with the gendered self’ and ‘psychological well-being and self-fulfillment’ of all GIV people everywhere, including outside the developed West. I will be making eight recommendations in all. The first four touch on fundamentals: the social context in which GIV people live, as well as the ways we describe, explain and even count GIV. They address the need to ( a ) declare transphobia as a health problem; ( b ) advocate the depathologisation of GIV; ( c ) modify the language used to refer to GIV people; and ( d ) amend the figures used for GIV prevalence. Three recommendations focus on matters of clinical management, addressing the need for ( a) health-professional involvement in family- and community-support; ( b ) more flexibility, less rigidity, in terms of RLE- and age-requirements; and ( c ) less hostile responses to autonomous medication. The final recommendation focuses on the need to consult widely within the international GIV community when drawing up SOC-7; something the old HBIGDA may not have been very good at.

Transpeople, transprejudice and pathologisation: a seven-country factor analytic study. (Sam Winter, Pornthip Chalungsooth, Yik Koon Teh, Nongnuch Rojanalert, Kulthida Maneerat, Ying Wuen Wong, Anne Beaumont, Loretta Man Wah Ho, Francis 'Chuck' Gomez, and Raymond Aquino Macapagal). We post here an electronic postprint version  (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf). Final article published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, 21: 96-118, 2009. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: Eight hundred and forty one undergraduate students in seven countries (China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, United Kingdom and United States) completed a questionnaire examining perceptions of transwomen (on a transacceptance–transprejudice continuum).  The aims were to: ( a ) identify factors underlying transacceptance-transprejudice, and relationships among them; and  ( b ) examine gender differences,  Five factors were identified (MENTAL-ILLNESS, DENIAL-WOMEN, SOCIAL-REJECTION, PEER-REJECTION, SEXUAL-DEVIANCE). MENTAL-ILLNESS (the belief that transwomen were mentally ill) was the most powerful underlying factor, linked to other aspects of transprejudice. Gender effects (with men significantly less accepting than women) were observed in three countries; most consistently in the US (with men there markedly more prejudiced than men in other samples).  We discuss implications for the US debate on depathologisation of gender variance, and for transprejudice worldwide.

Lost in transition: transpeople, transprejudice and pathology in Asia. (Sam Winter). We post here an electronic postprint version  (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf)  Final article published in the International Journal of Human Rights, 13, 2-3: 365-390, 2009. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: In many Asian cultures transpeople are highly prevalent and socially visible members of the community. They commonly make a gender transition early in life. They often face limits on opportunity for ‘living in stealth’. The cultures often link maleness and femaleness to sexual preference and behaviour. Transpeople are preponderantly heterosexual. There are large numbers of transpeople who even in their teenage years greatly need competent and trans-friendly medical support for their gender transition, yet cannot get access to it, therefore seek alternatives outside the established health system, and in doing so put themselves at great health risk. Worse, their Governments often do not allow them to change key personal documentation, including any that designates their legal gender status. They are consequently denied a range of rights that such change in status would provide; including to privacy and to enter a heterosexual marriage appropriate to their heterosexuality. The denial of the right to marry heterosexually in turn implies denial of other rights, including the right to adopt and raise a family. Prevented from changing their legal gender status, often unable to pass even in informal social situations, transpeople often find it impossible to live in stealth. They become easy targets for the transprejudice and discrimination that pervades their societies. Among other factors which may support and encourage transprejudice, modern psychiatry may inadvertently do so by pathologising gender identity variance. 

Transpeople, hormones and health risks in Southeast Asia: a Lao study. (Sam Winter and Serge Doussantousse) .We post here an electronic postprint version  (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf). Final article published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, 21: 35-48, 2009. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

Abstract: Cross-sex hormones, while often effective in producing some of the bodily changes desired by  transpeople, may also involve harmful side effect risks, especially when used against contraindications and precautions, and in the wrong dosages. Same-sex hormones blockers (interrupting the person’s own sex hormone production) may also have potential side effects. Yet there is evidence that Asian transpeople commonly use hormones of both types without any medical supervision, often unaware of the risks at which they put themselves. This report (employing a sample of transwomen recruited for a broader study) examines the patterns of hormone usage in developing country in South-East Asian - Laos. The results confirm that large numbers of Lao transwomen use hormones without at any time consulting a medical professional, nor being aware of many of the more major risks associated with these hormones. The implications for health services are discussed.

The Child Play Behavior and Activity Questionnaire: A Parent-Report Measure of Childhood Gender-Related Behavior in China (Lu Yu, Sam Winter and Dong Xie). An electronic postprint version (i.e. author version, not final publisher pdf) of an article published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. (DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9403-4). Published Online: August 22, 2008.Displayed here with permission from the publishers (Springer)

Boys and girls establish relatively stable gender stereotyped behavior patterns by middle childhood. Parent-reported questionnaires measuring children’s gender related behavior enable researchers to conduct large-scale screenings of community samples of children. For school-aged children, two parent-reported instruments, the Child Game Participation Questionnaire (CGPQ) and the Child Behavior and Attitude Questionnaire (CBAQ), have long been used for measuring children’s sex-dimorphic behaviors in Western societies, but few studies have been conducted using these measures for Chinese populations. The current study aimed to empirically examine and modify the two instruments for their applications to Chinese society. Parents of 486 Chinese boys and 417 Chinese girls (6-12 years old) completed a questionnaire comprising items from the CGPQ and CBAQ, and an additional 14 items specifically related to Chinese gender-specific games. Items revealing gender differences in a Chinese sample were identified and used to construct a Child Play Behavior and Activity Questionnaire (CPBAQ). Four new scales were generated through factor analysis: Gender Scale, Girl Typicality Scale, Boy Typicality Scale, and Cross-Gender Scale. These scales had satisfactory internal reliabilities and a large effect size for gender. The CPBAQ is believed to be a promising instrument for measuring children’s gender-related behavior in China.

Contact Reduces Transprejudice: A Study on Attitudes towards Transgenderism and Transgender Civil Rights in Hong Kong (Mark King, Sam Winter and Beverley Webster) We post here an electronic preprint version  (i.e. author first draft sent for review), Transprejudice in Hong Kong: Associations with Contact and Demographic Variables on Attitudes towards Transgenderism and Transgender Civil Rights. Final article published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, 21: 17-34, 2009. The final published article is available online (for subscribing institutions and individuals) at

This paper examines the construct of transprejudice and the relationship between Hong Kong Chinese people's contact with transgender/transsexual (TG/TS) people and attitudes toward transgenderism and transgender civil rights, based on Allport¹s Contact Hypothesis. Data are presented from a population-based survey with a random sample of 856 Hong Kong Chinese persons aged between 15 and 64, using the Chinese Attitudes towards Transgenderism and Transgender Civil Rights Scale (CATTCRS). Attitudes, assessed on both personal and institutional dimensions, are examined in relation to participants' gender, age, educational level, religiosity, and previous contact with TG/TS people. Results suggest that previous contact with TG/TS people was significantly associated with attitudes reflected in the scale; decreased social distance, decreased social discrimination, and decreased transprejudice, increased awareness of discrimination against TG/TS people, increased support for equal opportunities, increased support for post-operative transsexual civil rights, and increased support for anti-discrimination legislation. Our findings support the contact hypothesis, that contact has a positive effect on attitudes towards TG/TS persons. We discuss the implications of these findings for public education interventions and public policy, as well as for research.

Well and Truly Fucked: Transwomen, Stigma, Sex Work and Sexual Health in South to East Asia. (Sam Winter and Mark King). We post here, with the permission of the editor, an electronic post-print version of a chapter in Dalla, R. L., Baker, L. M., DeFrain, J. & Williamson, C. (Eds.) A Global Perspective of Prostitution with Implications for Research, Policy, Education, and Service (Vol. II: North America, Latin America, and Europe). Landham, MD: Lexington Publishers, Inc. 2011

This chapter’s key points are as follows. First, there are large numbers of transwomen in South to East Asia, often gender-transitioning early in life. Second, in many cultures transwomen draw upon a sexology that conflates sex, gender and sexuality, and upon a rich pre-modern tradition of gender pluralism in which they played important social roles (as well as providing a sexual outlet for men). Third, transwomen have in modern times often become victims of stigma, driven out to the margins of society and unable to obtain employment except in a small range of “ghetto” occupations, which includes sex work. Fourth, a large number of men enter sexual relationships with transwomen (including TSWs, whose services involve a wide range of worker-customer relationships). Fifth, sex work offers transwomen opportunities not easily available elsewhere for earning money (including for changing their bodies to match their gender identity), for affirming their identity, and for searching for a stable partner. On the other hand it puts transwomen at heightened risk of stigma, harassment and violence, relationship distress, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is this chain running from stigma through sex work, to more stigma, illness and death, that underlines the title of this chapter: “well and truly fucked”. We argue that the social changes which would improve the life circumstances of TSWs are broadly those that would improve the circumstances of transwomen more generally. In particular there is a need to remove stigma attached to being transgender. We argue that this stigma arises in part from the Western psychiatric view of transpeople as suffering from a mental disorder (Gender Identity Disorder or GID, and related diagnoses such as Transsexualism). TSWs, and transpeople more generally,  would benefit from an end to the practice of pathologising their identities.


Violence against trans sex workers (TSWs): stigma, exclusion, poverty and death (Khartini Slamah, Sam Winter, and Kemal Ordek.  Research for Sex Work, 12, 2010, pp30-31. Full issue available at NSWP website. This specific paper available here by arrangement with editor.


This paper provides a general overview of the Asian trans sex work experience. No abstract. However, it begins thus:Andrea  is in her early 20s  She comes from a poor family in the provinces of a Southeast Asian country. Unlike most women, she has a male birth certificate. She is a transgender woman. She has felt female as long as she can remember, and began living a female life as soon as she could. For this she was taunted by neighbours, teased by teachers and classmates at school, beaten up and raped by a bunch of young boys one night, and eventually beaten and disowned by her father. She dropped out of education, left home and migrated to the city, to stay with an older transwoman from her home town who, it turned out, was a transgender sex worker (TSW) working the streets. Andrea didn’t much like the idea of sex work, but without education or connections was unable to get another job. And being ‘trans’ worked against her. No one wanted to employ her, even as waitress or shop assistant. She turned to the ‘entertainment’ sector. Unable to get a job as a bar dancer or hostess, and barred from nightclubs and discos (all because she was trans), she too began street work. She has done it for five years, earning money for food and lodging, and a little extra for hormones, and for silicon injections for hips and breasts. The silicone, initially so effective in producing the shape she wanted, is beginning to migrate. Competition on the street is tough. Too many TSWs, too few customers. Increasingly, competitors........ (paper continues)


Transpeople (Khon Kham Phet) in Thailand: transprejudice, exclusion, and the presumption of mental illness. Winter, S. (2011). Chapter 13 in Jackson, P (Ed.) Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Media, Markets and Rights. Hong Kong University Press (pp251-267) (reproduced here by permission of the publisher)  Endnotes

Gender identity variance (a person’s identification as belonging to a gender other than that into which he or she was allocated at birth) appears to be a cross-cultural and transhistorical aspect of human diversity, with gender identity variant people being present in a wide range of societies across many historical periods.  In the past in Western societies, such people were often mistakenly labeled as “hermaphrodites” even when their physiologies were indubitably male or female.  In recent decades, in the West gender variant people have come to be called transsexual, sometimes transgender, often more informally as transpeople. As will be evident from material elsewhere in this book, it can be quite difficult to find Thai equivalents for Western terms in the field of sexual and gender diversity. .... (the chapter continues..)






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