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Thai Transgender Boxer Is a Rose Among Thorns

IN PICTURES: Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk transgender fighter to perform at the famed Rajadamnern Stadium
Transgender Muay Thai fighter Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk, or Rose for short, is a fearsome fighter. She is the first transgender fighter to perform at the famed Rajadamnern Stadium, but most of her battles are outside of the ring.
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Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk is a Muay Thai fighter in her native Thailand. She is also a transgender woman who fights male opponents.
Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk is a Muay Thai fighter in her native Thailand. She is also a transgender woman who fights male opponents. Photo:Reuters
She started training in Muay Thai at 8 years old, following her uncle into the sport. Her twin brother is also a Muay Thai fighter.
She started training in Muay Thai at 8 years old, following her uncle into the sport. Her twin brother is also a Muay Thai fighter. Photo:Reuters
Rose, seen here with her boyfriend Beer, trains near her home in Thailand
Rose, seen here with her boyfriend Beer, trains near her home in Thailand's Chachoengsao province. Photo:Reuters
Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk, or Rose, knew that she was female from a very young age. She started wearing make-up and a sports bra to her fights. It made some of her opponents uncomfortable.
Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk, or Rose, knew that she was female from a very young age. She started wearing make-up and a sports bra to her fights. It made some of her opponents uncomfortable. Photo:Reuters
Rose isn
Rose isn't Thailand's first transgender boxer, that title belongs to Parinya "Nong Toom" Charoenphol, the subject of the 2004 film "Beautiful Boxer". Photo:Reuters
Rose takes a break during an intense training session at the gym.
Rose takes a break during an intense training session at the gym. Photo:Reuters
Some of Rose
Some of Rose's opponents insult her before and after their fights, she says their comments no longer hurt her. Photo:Reuters
Thailand is seen as a haven for gay and transgender people, but in reality many still face persecution. Rose hopes to inspire them to be brave enough to live their full lives.
Thailand is seen as a haven for gay and transgender people, but in reality many still face persecution. Rose hopes to inspire them to be brave enough to live their full lives. Photo:Reuters
"Being a transgender doesn
"Being a transgender doesn't mean that we're weak." Rose has fought in over 300 matches, 30 of her 150 wins were through knockouts. She has finally been allowed to fight at Rajadamnern Stadium. Photo:Reuters
Rose in a quiet moment before her match at the Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand
Rose in a quiet moment before her match at the Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand Photo:Reuters
While Rose isn
While Rose isn't Thailand's first transgender boxer, she is the first transgender boxer to fight in the famed Rajadamnern Stadium in the Thai capital. Photo:Reuters
Rose training with other boxers from her gym in Buriram province
Rose training with other boxers from her gym in Buriram province Photo:Reuters
Rose receives a massage as part of her training
Rose receives a massage as part of her training Photo:Reuters
Rose seems to be well-loved by fans, who loudly cheer her on during her fights.
Rose seems to be well-loved by fans, who loudly cheer her on during her fights. Photo:Reuters
Rose at home with her boyfriend Beer. He helps to train her for matches.
Rose at home with her boyfriend Beer. He helps to train her for matches. Photo:Reuters
Rose spends time with her family in the Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand.
Rose spends time with her family in the Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand. Photo:Reuters
Rose at home with her family
Rose at home with her family Photo:Reuters
Rose shopping at a local market
Rose shopping at a local market Photo:Reuters
Muay Thai boxer Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk, praying at a shrine near her Baan Charoensuk gym in Thailand
Muay Thai boxer Nong Rose Baan Charoensuk, praying at a shrine near her Baan Charoensuk gym in Thailand's Chachoengsao province. Photo:Reuters
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