Recognized Gender Identities in Thailand: A Progressive Perspective


 Recognized Gender Identities in Thailand: A Progressive Perspective

Thailand, often celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, also stands out as a pioneer in recognizing diverse gender identities. This Southeast Asian nation has made significant strides in promoting inclusivity and acknowledging the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals. In this article, we will explore the various legally recognized gender identities in Thailand.

1. Male (Nam Pueng):

The most common gender identity, male, or "Nam Pueng" in Thai, aligns with the gender assigned at birth for those who identify as men.

2. Female (Nam Ying):

Similarly, "Nam Ying" refers to individuals whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned at birth and who identify as women.

3. Tom (ทอม):

"Tom" is a term used to describe individuals who were assigned female at birth but have a masculine gender identity. They typically present themselves in a more masculine manner and may adopt masculine clothing styles and mannerisms.

4. Dee (ดี้):

On the other hand, "Dee" refers to individuals who were assigned male at birth but have a feminine gender identity. They often express themselves in a more feminine manner, with feminine clothing and behaviors.

5. Kathoey (Ladyboys):

The term "kathoey" is perhaps the most well-known among non-binary gender identities in Thailand. It is used to describe transgender women or individuals who were assigned male at birth but identify and present themselves as women. Many kathoey individuals live openly and contribute significantly to Thai society.

6. Pang (ปัง):

"Pang" is a more recent and inclusive term used for individuals who do not identify strictly as male or female. It encompasses a broad spectrum of gender identities and expressions beyond the binary.

7. Fem (เฟ็ม):

Similar to "Pang," "Fem" is another term used to describe individuals who have a non-binary or genderqueer identity. It acknowledges the diversity of gender expressions and identities beyond the traditional binary.

8. Gender Recognition Act:

In 2015, Thailand passed the Gender Recognition Act, which allows individuals to change their gender marker on official documents, such as identification cards and passports, without undergoing gender-affirming surgery. This progressive legislation recognizes and respects the gender identities of transgender and non-binary individuals.


Thailand's recognition of diverse gender identities is a significant step towards inclusivity and human rights. The country's legal framework, including the Gender Recognition Act, sets an example for others in the region and around the world to follow. By acknowledging the rights and identities of all its citizens, Thailand continues to promote a more equitable and accepting society for everyone.

read Exploring Fascinating Facts About Thailand


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