Moral Low Ground


Thai Airline Hires Transsexual Flight Crew

PC Air hires a real winner.

A Thai airline has hired the world’s first transsexual flight crew.

Upstart charter carrier PC Air, which will begin flying this April, is welcoming six transgendered women, including the winner of a world-renowned beauty pageant, as flight attendants.

Peter Chan, the new airline’s boss, is touting his new crew and the opportunities it represents to a segment of the population often limited to the entertainment or beauty industry.

“I think these people can have many careers – not just in the entertainment business – and many of them have a dream to be an air hostess,” he told Britain’s Telegraph. “I just made their dream come true. Our society has changed. It’s evolution. I’m a pioneer and I’m sure there will be other organizations following my idea.”

It is estimated that up to 1% of Thailand’s nearly 68 million people are kathoey, or male-to-female transsexuals. The country is one of the most accepting of them in the world, and members of the “third sex” are  excelling in music, acting and even sports. Many work in the always-booming sex industry.

Despite Thailand’s openness, transgendered women often face difficult lives with limited employment prospects. PC Air’s Chan is doing his bit to change that.

According to the Telegraph, over 100 transsexual women applied for the first job openings at PC Air. Successful applicants included Thanyarat “Film” Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the internationally renowned Miss Tiffany’s Universe beauty pageant in 2007.

“At first I thought they would just take applications but not actually recruit us, as happened at other places before,” she told the Telegraph, adding that she was delighted to have been selected.

PC Air’s transgendered flight crew will wear special golden “third sex” name badges to help passengers and immigration agents more easily identify the gender of the crew they’re interacting with.

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