Third-sex hostesses ready for takeoff

Thai transsexuals were overjoyed as new airline P.C. Air yesterday took air hostess job applications from "third sex" candidates at Bangkok's Esplanade shopping mall.

Among the successful applicants was Miss Tiffany 2007 winner Thanyarat "Film" Jiraphatpakorn.

P.C. Air executive Peter Shan said the company had seen the potential of transsexuals to work as hostesses.

After passing the preliminary round, the transsexuals will undergo training along with female air-hostesses and will have a "third sex" name tag pinned to their uniform to avoid immigration issues, Shan explained.

The first batch of successful candidates consisted of 17 women, 10 men and three transsexuals.

Miss Tiffany 2007 winner Thanyarat, 23, said she was overjoyed to get the chance she had longed for.

"At first I thought they would just take applications but not actually recruit us, as happened at other places before," she said.

Another transsexual applicant, Panthakan Sri-ngern, 24, said she once applied for a hostess position at another airline but wasn't chosen. She said a friend who worked there later told her she was rejected because she was transsexual. She felt devastated by the discrimination.

Panthakan, who has a hospitality and tourism degree from Kasetsart University, said this time she hoped to succeed and was glad Thai society was now giving more opportunities to transsexuals.


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