Campaigners in Thailand want the government to remove textbooks from 30,000 schools that label LGBTI people as abnormal.
Campaigners handed letters to the country’s gender discrimination watchdog on Tuesday (9 October).
‘Students are learning from these textbooks that we [LGBT] people are abnormal’, activist Parit Chomchen told the Nation.
In their letter, activists urged the watchdog, known as Wor Lor Por, to scrutinize textbooks in Thai secondary and high schools.
‘The health education textbooks advise students to keep their LGBT friends at arm’s length’, another LGBTI activist Naiyana Suphapung.
Activists hope Wor Lor Por will urge the education ministry to change the books within a year.
Thailand’s Gender Equality Act of 2015 forbids discriminatory content from schools. But, the education ministry told the Nation, some textbooks bough prior to the legislation have not yet been replaced.
The health education textbook in questions advises children to ‘know and act according to the appropriate and normal gender roles’.
The books say women should wear skirts and do housework while men should play sports like boxing and football.
It also advises parents to take LGBTI kids to psychiatrists.
Grade 6 student, Suphanut, also handed in a letter to the rights body on Tuesday, according to the Nation.
‘I am straight but I don’t play football and am not that ‘manly’’, he said. ‘I am different from what is believed to be a man, that’s why my friends think I’m not straight and I was even a target for bullies’.