Binh Dinh wants to cancel recognition of transgender teacher

VietNamNet Bridge – The People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc province on January 21 told the provincial Justice Department to withdraw the two decisions that redefine the gender and civil status change of Pham Van Hiep, from a man into a woman, because it is unlawful.

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After the transgender surgery, Mr. Pham Van Hiep was renamed into Ms. Pham Le Quynh Tram.

Accordingly, Binh Phuoc authorities asked the Department of Justice to withdraw and cancel two decisions of the authorities of Chon Thanh District on the redefinition of gender, civil status change of Mr. Pham Van Hiep, 39, in Chon Thanh town, Chon Thanh district, from male to female and renamed into Pham Le Quynh Tram. The provincial officials said that this is a decision contrary to the law.

The provincial government also required penalizing the officials and civil servants who directly involved in the case.

In a talk with a local newspaper on the same day, Quynh Tram said she was very sad and disappointed about the proposal of the Binh Phuoc provincial People's Committee. "I have not yet received official information about this, but I do not understand why this happens," she said.

She added that in the case the provincial leaders decide to withdraw and cancel the decision on gender reification, she would accept but she would proceed with a lawsuit against the authorities.

Nearly four years after the surgery to re-determine the gender and being recognized by the law, Quynh Tram said she is happy to be living in the shape of a woman.

Tram was born in HCM City. Her family moved to Binh Phuoc when she was small. Tram was born as an intersex but she was defined at birth as a boy. At puberty, her body changed as a woman. She studied very well but felt complex of being a bisexual, Tram did not have friends.

After high-school, she studied at two universities at the same time: the HCM City Economic University and the HCM City Banking Institute. In 2006, medical tests showed that the boy Pham Van Hiep had high female hormone volumes and a lot of female characteristics in his sex organ. Doctors advised Hiep to go to Thailand for a transgender surgery.

In mid-2008, after the sex organ surgery, she became a real woman. Returning home, she sent applications to relevant bodies to ask their permission to change her sex and name in her personal papers. Facing a lot of difficulties because there was no precedent, until late 2009, Tram’s petition was approved. She cried like a baby the day she held the decision on her hand.

At present, Tram likes wearing skirts and she is more confident seeing others. She spent a lot of time to attend make-up classes. She also worked as a host for music shows. She planed to start her singing career by a show in early 2013.

She is the first legally-recognized transgender in Vietnam.

Compiled by T. Van

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