LGBT groups slam col­lege’s ‘sex­ual de­vi­a­tion’ forum

The Nation - - FRONT PAGE - KORNRAWEE PANYASUPPAKUN

THAI­LAND’S gen­der di­ver­sity groups yes­ter­day de­nounced a plan by the all-male Bangkok Christian Col­lege to host a sem­i­nar to help par­ents pro­tect their chil­dren from “sex­ual de­vi­a­tion”.

Say­ing such an ob­so­lete term en­cour­ages dan­ger­ous ig­no­rance, the LGBT net­work – in­clud­ing To­gether for Equal­ity and Ac­tion (TEA), Non-Bi­nary Thai­land, For­sogi, Pink Mango and Sa­paan – is­sued a joint state­ment call­ing on the school to “stop pro­duc­ing ha­tred and vi­o­lence against gen­der di­ver­sity peo­ple”.

“The sem­i­nar could foster ha­tred and bias for gen­der-di­verse peo­ple,” it said. “The word ‘sex­ual de­vi­a­tion’

[ biang bain] not only stig­ma­tises LGBT peo­ple, but it pro­motes vi­o­lence.” Also, when the school and teach­ers take such a po­si­tion to­wards LGBT groups, it di­rectly af­fects LGBT stu­dents, cre­at­ing low self-re­spect and bul­ly­ing.

The group say the school may also have vi­o­lated the Gen­der Equal­ity Act 2015, which for­bids any act that causes divi­sion, dis­crim­i­na­tion or lim­i­ta­tion of any rights and ben­e­fits due to a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

On Au­gust 30, the col­lege Face­book page ad­ver­tised the sem­i­nar sched­uled for Septem­ber 3, ti­tled “How to raise a child to not be sex­u­ally de­vi­ated”. It said: “Sex­ual de­vi­a­tion of­ten comes from the en­vi­ron­ment in child­hood, es­pe­cially from the fam­ily. How does sex­ual de­vi­a­tion af­fect the chil­dren and how can we pre­vent it?”

The post was deleted af­ter it was mocked and con­demned by the gen­eral public.

“The school wants the best for its stu­dents, but it un­know­ingly vi­o­lates their rights and re­pro­duces vi­o­lence,” Naiyana Su­papung, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Thai­land’s LGBT rights net­work told TheNa­tion.

“Fix­ing one’s gen­der is in­vis­i­ble vi­o­lence – but the wound pen­e­trates deeper. Gen­der is some­thing that can’t be fixed. If one is born a trans­gen­der, but is looked down upon and forced by the school to be some­thing else, how bit­ter would it be?” Naiyana asked.

In­stead of sug­gest­ing a child’s gen­der needs fix­ing, Naiyana urged the par­ents and teach­ers to fix their at­ti­tudes.“We want the par­ents of the LGBT child to see their child as nor­mal – love and be proud of who they are,” she said.

The fa­mous all-male school had pre­vi­ously or­gan­ised a sim­i­lar sem­i­nar ti­tled “How to raise a child to be a straight man”.

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