Humans of Bangkok: Nijshanaaj (Sharina) Sudlarphaar

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To commemorate International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) 2017, the World Bank partnered with Humans of Bangkok to create a series of inspiring stories to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the families and relationships that LGBTI people have, created, or chosen, in all their diversity, in Thailand.  “For as long as I remember, I always liked feminine things. As the eldest son, I went to an all-boys school and my father is a well-respected civil servant with good social standing. When I was young, because of all this, I felt very repressed, unable to express my identity. Gradually, I tried to prove myself by studying very hard and never going astray, never causing any trouble. What was important to me was the love and understanding from my family, and my parents love me so much. No matter who I am, they would say that I will always be their child. This was even before graduation, before my successful career as a model and without all the TV publicity. They already accepted me for who I am.” “Once I sat watching TV with my dad. On TV, there was a monk giving a sermon on the topic of what parents ought to do if their children wanted to be the opposite gender. The monk said that parents should be open and accept, understand and love the children for the way they are. Because when children are happy, so will the parents. I think that was an important turning point that created mutual understanding within a family. I believe that if parents don’t accept it and want their children to be the gender that they don’t want to be, what follows will always be family conflict.”

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