Bangkok University has become one of the first institutions to implement uniforms for their transgender student population.
The website for the school recently began to list acceptable attire for students who consider themselves to be “tomboys” or “ladyboys.”
Most universities in the country have dress codes, typically a white shirt with black pants or a skirt. The recent changes allow those students who identify as female to wear pants that look like leggings or a long black skirt while attending classes. ‘Tomboys’ may now wear trousers that fit more loosely than the male version, writes Elizabeth Shim for UPI.
Transgender individuals have become more commonplace in Thai society, causing the school to decide to make the changes to its dress code. According to a statement made by the school, the goal behind the new rules was to maintain the dress code on campus, as transgender individuals had begun to wear “whatever they liked” to class as a result of becoming unhappy with having to wear uniforms they did not feel comfortable in.
The decision was welcomed by transgender activists in the country who view the move as a step forward for the country.
“I am very glad to hear that this university lets the students choose the uniform which fits their desire and their gender,” said Nok Yollada, president of the Transgender Female Association of Thailand.
Transgender individuals are highly visible in the country, which holds the annual Miss Tiffany transgender beauty contest. In addition, people come from all over the world to have gender reassignment surgery there. A number of high schools in the country have installed “third gender” toilets for those students who do not feel comfortable entering a bathroom meant for either men or women.
While transgender individuals are fairly well accepted by Thai society, they still lack certain rights such as the ability to change their gender on national identification cards. Even after altering their bodies to become women, a physical examination is required before the ID card change, which is sometimes rejected based on mental health.
Transgender actress Poy Treechada approved of the changes, saying that such students would be more likely to be respected by society if they first respected the rules of the universities they attend, writes Darren Wee for GayStarNews.
A recent poll in Thailand found that 90% of students in the country believe uniforms to be important to maintaining order on school grounds.