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Thai transgender government worker defends wearing a skirt to work.

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Yollada "Nok" Suanyos, a transgender councillor on the Nan provincial administration organisation, says he has been criticised by many people for wearing a dress to work and has called on the public to give equal rights to transgender people.

"I don't want to breach regulations or offend our culture, but I've been living as a woman for some time now," Mr Yollada said. "So I've decided to wear a woman's uniform, with dignity and with respect for the regulations."

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The 30-year-old model-actress-singer and provincial official said he would like people to understand the difference between rights and duties. The duties assigned to a gender group were not compatible with their rights, he said.

"I want to express myself, so that many more men will accept the transgender group and treat us like normal women.

"There is no third gender under the law in this country yet. Many people who have already had a sex-change operation, like me, have been sexually harrassed, but the law does not protect us.

"I think that wearing a dress is a symbol of showing our femininity and it would make men respect us," Mr Yollada said.

Mr Yollada, a former transvestite beauty queen, graduated with a science degree from Thammasat University when he was 21 and later obtained a master's degree in political science.

He gained widespread admiration for his unrelenting campaign for legal recognition of the third gender.

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Guest Monday, 21 April 2014

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