‘Tomboy’ students in Thailand are demanding their right to wear non-gender-conforming clothes to university.
Students at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University in Bangkok have complained saying it is unfair that male students are allowed to wear female clothes, but female students are not allowed to wear male clothes.
‘When I see that men come to class wearing skirts I just feel that’s unfair,’ said third year student Jinda Pigulgaew, Bangkok Post reports. ‘However, I do understand that in our current society men have more advantages.’
The university has many kathoey (transgender women or effeminate gay men) students who wear skirts, but students who identify as tomboy are not allowed to wear pants.
Lesbian women in Thailand usually identify as either ‘tomboy’ or ‘princess’. Tomboys may also refer to trans men.
Teachers have told tomboy students to leave their class if they are wearing pants.
A professor at the university, Nantida Ohtagam, told Bangkok Post that ‘if students don’t feel happy wearing a female uniform then they need to talk with the teachers first’.
‘We don’t what to segregate these individuals,’ Ohtagam said. ‘They all have equal rights as students. I feel that the university will find the best solution for them.’