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, For-sogi, 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 The Nation.
“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”.
The school’s management could not be reached for comment yesterday.