The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

One barbell at a time for Vietnam’s first transgender bodybuilder

VIETNAM: It feels strange, but a few times each year Vietnamese bodybuilder Kendy Nguyen must strap a bikini top over his rock-hard pecs and pretend for a day he is once again a woman.


AFP

Sunday 9 April 2017, 10:00AM


Kendy Nguyen (right) talks with two women during a training session at a gym in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP
Kendy Nguyen (right) talks with two women during a training session at a gym in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP

He’s not happy about the official rules that force him to compete with other women, but it’s a small price to pay to live the rest of his life as a man, says Vietnam’s first openly transgender competitive bodybuilder.

“It’s weird to wear the uniform during competition, I don’t really like it, but because [bodybuilding] is my passion, I accept it,” said 28-year-old Kendy, wearing a black sleeveless shirt showing off his bulging biceps.

With more than 6,000 Facebook followers, an outspoken nature and Adonis-like physique, Kendy is breaking transgender barriers in communist Vietnam.

He’s also changing what it means to be a male bodybuilder in a world awash with body oil, fake tans and protruding muscle veins, typically thought of as a boys club for only the most macho of men.

“I want to be a role model for transgender people, specifically female-to-male,” Kendy said, after busting out a quick workout at his local gym in Ho Chi Minh City.

“They have a lot of difficulties coming out to their families, and I want them to see themselves in a positive way by going to the gym.”

He speaks from experience.

His parents rejected him when they found out he was trans, and they barely talk today.

Kendy fell into bodybuilding through some friends at the hotel where he worked after injuring himself doing karate.

His physical transformation accompanied his emotional transition, and he now trains six days a week – twice a day when preparing for a competition.

He’s raked in dozens of medals since he started competing in 2012, including a silver and a gold at last year’s national championship.

But he insists he doesn’t have an unfair advantage over the women he must compete with according to the organisers’ strict rules.

C and C Marine

“In bodybuilding, using hormones is normal for men and women, everyone uses them,” he said.

The Vietnam Sports Administration officially bans any hormone use as doping, but admits it is hard to control, and said in the absence of any regulations on trans competitors Kendy has to compete according to his legal gender at birth.

“If Kendy legally changes his identity, then he could compete with men,” said Do Dinh Khang, head of weightlifting and bodybuilding at the organisation.

The Vietnamese government is drafting a landmark law that could allow some trans people to legally change their gender, but it’s not yet clear who will be eligible.

Kendy said he’s not ready to have sex-reassignment surgery, currently not available in Vietnam.

It’s also not clear whether the law – which will take at least two years to pass – will allow him to change his gender if he doesn’t have the surgery.

Kendy isn’t the first trans role model in Vietnam, where Nguyen Huong Giang shot to stardom on the ultra-popular Vietnam Idol – one of several well-known trans singers in the country.

But female-to-male celebrities are not as well-known as their ultra-feminine counterparts, and there are few role models outside the entertainment industry.

“Kendy has proven that trans people have the freedom to choose their jobs like everybody else,” said Luong The Huy, LGBT rights programme manager at the non-profit institute iSEE.

Kendy said he had few people to look up to while he was growing up trans in Vietnam, but doesn’t hesitate when asked who his idol is today.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he said, flashing a broad smile.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Canadian tourist charged for killer Phuket U-turn

Firstly, sincere condolences to the dead motorcyclist's family & friends. Too bad he was not wearing a helmet which is Thai Law. It may hav...(Read More)


Canadian tourist charged for killer Phuket U-turn

I would recommend to leave a.s.a.p. Horst...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

Thai "authorities" are renowned for not seeking expert advice in solving problems. Seems that the "authorities" always want to re-...(Read More)


Going Down: Businesses on Phuket’s famed Bangla Rd suffer as clientele dries up

I've been in Patong already a few time. Since my first arrival, back in 2007, I've seen the town rise (a bit) and then going down this downfal...(Read More)


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

Yes, that will reduce the accidents for sure. Don't worry about driver training, vehicle safety checks etc. This will fix the issues. ...(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

The major charge of reckless driving causing death ends on Sept 3, 2027 but is likely not provable. If there were any witnesses they will have now ...(Read More)


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

They should be praying to the Chinese god of vehicle safety checks and driver training....(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

No we've not been dragging our feet, only took 5 years to issue a blue notice, 5 years to revoke his passport, all the times he's flown in and...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

So the PN editor writes that Thailand is an “international hub for crime". If one reads the background of Alexandre Cazes, he has lived in Thai...(Read More)


Troop checkpoints to ward off Yingluck fans

It looks a bit or there is coming days a partial martial law without declaring it....(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.