Vietnamese censors OK first transsexual singers musical debut – dpa German Press Agency

Hanoi- Communist Vietnam’s conservative Ministry of Culture has approved release of the debut music CD by the country’s first transsexual singing star, an official said Friday. Cindy Thai Tai’s release Sentiments features a selection of Vietnamese standards, including such love songs as Sweet Pain.

Reached by telephone Friday, the singer said the news was doubly welcome as she was celebrating Vietnamese National Women’s Day.

“I’m so happy,” she said. “It means that the society accepts people like me.”

Born Nguyen Thai Tai, the singer was well-known as a make-up artist to other celebrities before she traveled to Thailand in 1999 to begin a series of operations to transform her into the diva known as Cindy, named after her role model, Cindy Crawford.

Homosexuality and transsexuality used to be condemned as “social evils” by the ruling Communist Party, but the government this year lifted a ban on operations for sex changes.