Thailand’s new PC Air first airline in country to hire transsexual flight attendants

transsexual flight attendantsBeing the hostess with the mostess just got more competitive. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Thailand’s newest airline, PC Air, is raising the bar on airline personnel. It’s the first Thai airline to hire transsexual flight attendants, as part of a pioneering effort to redefine equal rights within the industry. PC Air is slated to debut in April, running charter flights across Asia. The airline has already hired six transsexual crew members, including Thanyarat ‘Film’ Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the Miss Tiffany Universe Transsexual beauty pageant in 2007. Over 100 transsexual people applied during the first round of hiring.

Thailand has one of the world’s largest transsexual, or “third sex” populations, and its surgeons have achieved a global reputation for providing relatively affordable, easily accessible sex change operations (which pertain to the transgender, not transsexual, population). PC Air doesn’t require sexual reassignment surgery; rather, applicants need to meet criteria that include language and customer service skills.

While many Thai transsexuals are involved in prostitution or more legitimate forms of entertainment, PC Air’s president, Peter Chan, wants to provide more opportunity for the trans community. “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…When it’s their dream job or the job they love, they can do it even better,” he says. “Our society has changed — it’s evolution. I’m a pioneer, and I’m sure there will be (other) organizations following my idea.”

Christians protest transssexual Jesus

A play in Glasgow, Scotland, has sparked an angry protest by local Christians. Jesus Queen of Heaven depicts Jesus as a transsexual woman and is part of the Glasgay! Festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered culture.

The festival, which runs through November 8, features plays, music, dance, comedy, and many other events and has drawn artists from around the world. The annual festival has been held since 1993, attracts more than 20,000 visitors, and receives partial funding from national and municipal arts councils.

While gay arts festivals and the inevitable protests against them are nothing new, Jesus Queen of Heaven has drawn special ire. The play, written and performed by leading transgendered artist Jo Clifford, looks at her personal path to faith as a transgendered person.

The description of the play begins, “Jesus is a transsexual woman. And it is now she walks the earth. This is a play with music that presents her sayings, her miracles, and her testimony. And she does not condemn the gays or the queers or the trans women or the trans men, and no, not the straight women nor the straight men neither. Because she is the Daughter of God, most certainly, and almost as certainly the son also. And God’s child condemns nobody. She can only love…”

About 300 Christians, on the other hand, felt differently. They held a candlelight vigil outside the Tron Theatre last night, holding signs protesting the use of public funds for the festival and Clifford’s depiction of Jesus. One read “God: My Son Is Not A Pervert.” It is not clear if the sign was written by the protester or was a direct quote from the Almighty.

If November sounds like a bad time to go to Scotland, there’s always Pride Scotia in June, a ten-day national LGBT event that culminates in a massive parade in Edinburgh. If you really want make sure you’ll be partying in the sun, head south to Madrid, where the Orgullo (“Pride”) festival is held in the toasty months of late June and early July.