Thailand 17 Dec 2015 00:00
Sam and Yollie love each other as much as any other ordinary couple. What makes them different from many others is that Yollie was born in the body of a man, while Sam the body of a woman, and both are transgender. Two years after beginning their relationship, they are fighting to have their gender identities recognized, marry and consider the option of adopting a child. "We think of our future", explains Yollie.
Thailand is a country that holds every year a Miss Universe pageant for transsexuals, and where sex changes are advertised in the newspapers, but the rights of the transgender community are far from being equal to those of other men and women. For starters they are not even legally recognized.
Sam and Yollie have undergone each a complete change operation sex, but continue to maintain their gender of birth in official documents and cannot marry. Such unions between a transsexual and a man or a woman are considered same-sex marriages and have no legal validity.
"Legally we cannot get married the way we are. Sam would be my wife and I would be her husband. If we adopt a son, Sam will be the mother and I will be the father. Do you think I want to marry Sam as a husband or that he wants to marry me as a wife? Do you think I want to be the father of my son?”, asks Yollie, who is the president of the TransFemale Association of Thailand. Next year the association will be renamed as Transgender Association to give transmale people like Sam the chance to join.
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