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July 24, 2017
Clad in a pink tank top and shorts, her face made up with rouge and red lipstick, transgender Muay Thai...
Bangkok, Thailand
The Wider Image: Transgender boxer fights for acceptance
Clad in a pink tank top and shorts, her face made up with rouge and red lipstick, transgender Muay Thai fighter Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk is a formidable opponent. Karun "Priewpak" Kaemlam, a male fighter, lost a thrilling five-round match to Rose, as she is generally known, earlier this month. "I wasn't able to fight her strength and big build," said Priewpak who suffered a gash above his right eye in the fight at Rajadamnern Stadium in the Thai capital. It was the second consecutive win for Rose in the revered Muay Thai arena after becoming the first transgender boxer to fight there last month. "Being a transgender doesn't mean that we're weak," Rose said after the fight. Born Somros Polchareon, Rose said she identified as a woman at an early age and began wearing makeup and a sports bra in the ring. In the rural towns where she has done most of her fighting, her appearance disconcerted some of her male opponents. "They would say they didn't want to fight with a gay person, as it would be embarrassing if they won or lost," she said. "I still face those insults, but I don't care about them." Thailand is widely seen as a paradise for gay and transgender people, but many say they are treated as second-class citizens. Transgender women figure on television, in beauty pageants and at hair salons and cosmetics counters, but they cannot change their gender designation on identity papers, despite a 2015 law against gender-based discrimination. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha SEARCH "TRANSGENDER BOXER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: THAILAND-LGBT/BOXER
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