Vietnam’s one and only transgender citizen whose gender transition was officially recognized after gender reassignment surgery is about to have her recognition revoked, reports Thanh Nien News.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Justice reportedly stated that Pham Le Quynh Tram’s recognition isn’t applicable because of a law prohibiting gender reassignment post puberty. The ministry also pointed to the fact that her the surgery was completed in Thailand and not at an approved Vietnamese hospital.
In 2009, Tram had her name and gender change recognized by the Chon Thanh District, after undergoing gender reassignment surgery. The accredited acceptance allowed Tram’s official documents such as passport and driver license to list her gender as a female, Pink News reported.
Last week, the People’s Committee of the southern province of Binh Phuoc ordered the local Department of Justice to revert to recognizing Tram as a male and to refer to her as Pham Van Hiep, her birth name. In addition to the Department of Justice rescinding Tram’s initial recognition, the officials who first approved it are reportedly ordered to be penalized.
Tram said she was "deeply shocked" by decision, adding, "I could not sleep. Four years since I changed my name and re-defined my sex, I have done nothing wrong nor lost the virtue of a Vietnamese woman.”
She also stated that because she’s intersex, she’s allowed to redefine her sex by law. “I’m intersex so I am allowed to redefine my sex in accordance with the government’s Decree No. 88,” she said, as quoted by Pink News.
In other transgender-related news, furniture retailer Ikea recently produced an ad that angered the transgender community in Thailand. In an open letter to the Swedish retailer, a Thai transgender advocacy group deemed the ad “negative, stereotypical and a gross violation of human rights."