Cross-dressing is the practice of wearing clothes typically worn by the opposite sex. It is closely associated with transvestites, transgender people and homosexuals – a group that enjoys a relatively high level of acceptance in Thailand, which is a predominately Buddhist country. While cross-dressing exists in the Philippines, it is not widely accepted largely due to the country’s Christian orientation.
A leading Thai university for the first time has given permission to five cross-dressing students to wear women’s gowns at their graduation ceremony this month, officials said.
”We think it is the right decision for us because society is open to this at present,” said Udom Ratamarit, the deputy dean of administration at Bangkok’s Thammasat University.
The university allows undergraduate students to cross-dress in classes and was under increasing pressure to extend the flexible dress code to graduation gowns. The university approved the new dress code after receiving a go-ahead from the Royal Household Bureau, which handles questions of etiquette for all functions involving the Thai royal family. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is to preside over the university’s August 30 graduation ceremony.