]>> They may be a fixture of Thailand's entertainment scene, but this is a public spectacle that many of the country's transgender women would rather avoid. It's the annual military draft, and every male citizen who's turned 21 must show up. Including those who now identify as female.
I'm in Bangkok, where the annual military draft is taking place. To outsiders, Thailand may seem like a transgender paradise, with its world renowned ladyboys, and a thriving sex industry. But this is a country ruled by the military government. And when it comes to the third gender, compulsory government service can be unforgiving.
Thailand does not allow gender to be changed on official IDs. That means people like Kan Pi Chao Sang Suk have to get in line with all the guys.>> On official documents, we're identified as men. So we have to report for duty. The one good thing is that at least, there are legal provisions that give us leniency.
>> But getting leniency can be a humiliating process. The military hands out exemptions to the mandatory service for some transgender woman. But only after being examined by a doctor to confirm they've undergone a sex change.>>
> Some of them already have the required medical documents but still have to walk in to an area where there's only men and the army officers are also all men.
It's like when a girl walks into an old boy school, they feel uncomfortable.>> The military says it's doing its best to provide privacy for transwomen who show up. But activists are pressing authorities to do more, like allowing them to change their IDs to female and avoid the ordeal altogether.