Hundreds of ‘Ladyboys’ Exempted From Draft

Hordes of queers, transsexuals, and ‘katoeys’ showed up nationwide for mandatory military service but were turned away by officials.

 It′s the season millions of Thai males dread – the registration for 2-year service in the the country′s armed forces. However, many potential draftees were entertained at the colorful sights of ‘katoeys’ (known in English as ladyboys) who arrived at their registration booths in sexy, revealing dresses, our provincial correspondents reported. 

 However, the military has strict rules barring ‘katoeys’ from joining the ranks. Col. Attasit Sittitaworn, who oversaw the drafting session in Pitsanuloke Province, said those who “behaved very womanly” or went through relevant surgeries are disqualified on the grounds of “gender conflicting with reported sex” and “mentally impaired” – a term that has raised eyebrows of many LGBT advocates in Thailand before.

 According to Thai laws, all males with Thai nationality are required to report for the draft in April every year, but they could also choose to participate in 3-year weekly military training during high school years in order to exempt themselves from the service. Those with health problems and undesirable height or weight are also usually exempted upon inspection at the registration sites.