Drama erupts over transgender actress’ privilege to use gender-neutral title
Drama erupts over transgender actress’ privilege to use gender-neutral titleLegacy

A drama erupted over the privileges of Thai celebrities after a renowned transgender actress was allowed to use a gender-neutral title on her bank account while others were not afforded the same privilege.

Miss Tiffany Universe 2007, Thunyarat “Film” Chipraphachin, shared a receipt from Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) of Treechada “Poyd” Hongyok, transferring money to her via Facebook and thanked her for the support on her pet parrot, after she bought the colourful bird some food. However, the netizens, including another Thai transgender model, Phacharanat “Mimi” Nobantao, focused on the different titles displayed on the receipt.

Film’s title was listed as mister, while Poyd’s title was a Thai gender-neutral title, identified as khun (คุณ). Mimi raised questions about the difference on her Facebook account.

“I would like SCB to clarify this inequality. Who can use the title khun on their accounts? Only some people or everybody? PS. I don’t have any personal conflicts with Film or Poyd. I love them both, but I do not agree with the inequality and discrimination. #ReducedInequalities.”

Mimi added that she harboured no feelings of jealousy nor a desire to adopt the title khun, as she currently resides in the US, where individuals are free to select their preferred title, such as miss.

Numerous netizens echoed Mimi’s sentiments, urging the bank to address the title matter and make it known to the public if customers have the option to choose their preferred title. Some also requested Poyd to divulge how she transitioned her title from mister to khun, indicating their interest in adopting a gender-neutral title themselves.

Gender binary system

Poyd’s friend later clarified that the bank allowed every client to pick their preferred title when opening a bank account, and Poyd opted for khun. The friend also urged netizens to give up the drama and wait for the official clarification from the SCB.

Following lots of inquiries on the official Facebook page, SCB provided clarification on the issue, but its response differed from Poyd’s friend’s clarification. The bank insisted that the title on the bank account is assigned based on official documents issued by the government, such as an identification card.

According to this explanation, no one in Thailand should be able to use a gender-neutral title because the Thai government adheres to a gender binary system.

The bank later provided further clarification, stating that Poyd’s title was recorded incorrectly at the branch where she opened her bank account. The bank added that Poyd’s title would be changed to Mister, following her official document.

The gender-neutral title sparked discussions on Thai social media, with many advocating for LGBTQA+ people to have the option to choose their preferred titles.

In response to the controversy, Move Forward Party MP Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat announced plans to submit and seek approval for the Act on Gender Recognition, Title, and Protection of Gender Diversity in Parliament on February 21, aiming to grant people the right to self-determination.

The story Drama erupts over transgender actress’ privilege to use gender-neutral title as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Petch Petpailin